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'Why I do Vinyasa yoga...'

posted on Friday, 11th July 2014 | find under Tamara, Fitness
Meet Lex. Not only is she a fantastic yoga teacher who has spent time practicing on 3 different continents around the globe, but she is also 6 months pregnant and the instructor behind the SB Support Office's favourite Vinyasa Flow yoga class.

With so many disciplines of yoga to choose from, Sweaty Betty sat down with Lex to find out how and why Vinyasa yoga became her practice of choice; finding out her thoughts on pre-natal yoga, nutrition and where she teaches in London.

The Journey To Vinyasa

It was all thanks to her Mum that Lex discovered yoga 14 years ago. Aged 17 and on holiday in Florida, it was hot and sweaty Bikram that was Lex's first foray into the world of yoga. 

"I came out of my Bikram class feeling so clean and serene in both body and mind; almost newborn," recalls Lex. "I completely fell in love with yoga."

While yoga studios were fairly common in the US, back home in London, the choice was much more limited. Despite the lack of options, Lex found a studio and continued practicing the sweatiest discipline of yoga for the next five years, before moving across the globe to Sydney.

It was during a trip to Florida just before the move, that Lex discovered Hot Vinyasa Flow. Her favourite Bikram studio had changed its specialism to Vinyasa, and it was a more dynamic, flowing class than any yoga she had done before. "I found the combination of breath, movement and continuous flow amazing," explains Lex. "Especially as it was such a change from the regimented series of 26 poses that I had been used to with Bikram."

At her new home in Sydney, Lex found herself a Vinyasa studio; becoming more dedicated to the practice with every class she took. She explains, "I loved it so much, it made me feel so alive, balanced and free.”

Becoming An Instructor

After two years practicing in Sydney, Lex decided it was time to take her love of yoga to the next level. Knowing the limited options that were waiting for her in London, she headed back to Florida, where her yogic journey had first begun, for a month intensive teacher training course.

​Training every day from 7am until 10pm, Lex describes the month-long course as the best thing she has ever done. "Yoga completely changed me and my lifestyle. The training breaks you down and builds you back up to be your best possible self."

"I started teaching Hot Vinyasa Flow full-time as soon as I arrived back in London; renting spaces wherever I could, until I managed to get into a newly-opened studio, Breeze Urban Yoga, where I still teach part-time today."

So Why Vinyasa?

As for why Vinyasa is her practice of choice, Lex explains, "Vinyasa makes me feel alive. It strengthens, stretches, opens and helps you let go. When I move with my breath, it’s like a dance that connects me with my body and clears the mind."

"Working in a fairly static job where I spend a lot of time sat at a desk, I love to roll out my mat at the end of the day and get everything moving again; blood flowing, sweat dripping and body opening."

Lex deems her Type A personality (unable to sit still, with a fast-paced lifestyle) as her reason for being magnetised to the dynamic disciplines of yoga. Alongside her own Vinyasa practice (both at home and in studios), Lex also tries to take a more grounding yin yoga class once a week to help slow her down. 

Pre-Natal Practice

As Lex is 6 months pregnant, this insight into the life of yogi would not be complete without enquiring as to how her practice has changed. She says, "I have practiced through the whole of my pregnancy, and plan to keep on practicing right up until the end if I can. Obviously I have to modify certain poses and listen to my body, but yoga has really helped to keep me balanced throughout the last 6 months."

"Being pregnant means that yoga is no longer about pushing myself into more advanced poses; but about dedicating my practice to my baby boy. I've become much more selfless in my practice. I'm feeling amazing at the moment, and I'm sure that's all down to my practice." 

Pre & Post-Yoga Nutrition

Lex is a strong advocate for a clean and nutritious diet, particularly fruit. She says, "I love fruit and a wide variety of it too, from apples to mangosteens!"

As for pre and post-practice, Lex explains, "It’s best not to eat pre-Vinyasa, so I avoid food at least 2 hours before class. Afterwards, I love to re-hydrate with a coconut water and snack on some fruit like watermelon or a juicy orange."

Shop the best-selling Vinyasa Yoga Capris - back in stock now with 100% opacity and high-stretch capability. Pair with the new seamlessly-engineered Anusara Yoga Vest (supportive and sweat-wicking) for the perfect Vinyasa ensemble. And don't forget the must-have accessories: yoga mat, gripper yoga towel, gripper socks and foam roller.

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