Ellie Priest of Brighton Pilates and Holly Cooper of Studio iO both found yoga and pilates in their teens.
Now, almost 20 years later they still practice both disciplines and feel that it has helped them through all the challenges that life throws up such as breakups, pregnancy and work stress. Although growing in popularity they believe there is still room for Yoga and Pilates to become more mainstream.
Young children and teenagers go through all the stresses we do as adults so it seems a fantastic time to target young people to help them channel their emotions in a positive way.
Help with self-esteem and confidence
Exercise has been proven to improve self-esteem and confidence and with the addition of mindfulness and breathwork that yoga has to offer, it can give young people the tools to combat negative emotions such as stress and anxiety.
The beauty of yoga and pilates is that they are non-competitive. It’s about you, your practice, tuning in to how you feel at that moment.
We feel this is an invaluable skill especially in this day and age when everything is so fast-paced and all about image and technology.
Calm and mindfulness
Yoga and pilates also brings that moment of calm and mindfulness, therefore improving focus and concentration. Focus, of course, is incredibly important for teens especially as they embark on exams that will ultimately set them up for later life.
Like everybody, Ellie and Holly go through phases where they are so busy and don’t have time to get to a regular class.
However, over the years they have learned that actually if you make time to go to your class, you actually end up with more time.
This is a weird concept. But actually as you become more mindful your work becomes more productive, and you manage to get more done in less time, therefore freeing you up to things that you enjoy too.
Finding the right fuel
The other positive of doing regular exercise is that you appreciate your body so much more, so you then want to fuel it with better quality foods. We all know that as exercise habits reduce we are less mindful of what we eat and we graze.
When we look after ourselves and really tune in we are able to feel what our bodies need as opposed to not listening and just picking on sugary snacks to get us through another day.
The Brighton Yoga Foundation is working throughout the year to provide regular community yoga outreach activities: free or subsidised yoga classes to those in greatest need and who do not normally have access to yoga, in particular, yoga for teens.
It runs a yearly free yoga festival bringing together teachers from across the city and beyond to offer classes and workshops. It is open to all, regardless of age, experience or fitness levels with many specialist and beginner classes for those who have never tried yoga before.
The Brighton Yoga Festival is on July 27.
Ellie and Holly also run Yoga in the Sky, a class on Brighton’s i360 for all ages and levels of ability.
In this flowing class, you can experience all that yoga has to offer and more, as you fly high above the city.