Yoga is a practice known for both its physical and mental health benefits. It increases flexibility, strengthens muscles, improves lung capacity, is good for the heart, and reduces anxiety, tension and stress.
Kirsty Downey has been teaching yoga in Honiara for some time now. After enjoying yoga in Vanuatu and Fiji, her move to the Solomons left quite a gap in her exercise schedule when she couldn’t find any formal classes.
With past experience in dance and later in massage therapy, Reiki and reflexology she saw yoga as a natural progression for her and so made the decision to teach a class herself. Kirsty completed her yoga instructor training in a remote region of Bali, an hour and half bus ride from Ubud. All distractions were left far away as she concentrated on fifteen-hour days learning all facets of yoga instruction.
Although familiar with many types of yoga, Kirsty has chosen Vinyasa for her Honiara classes. Vinyasa is often referred to as ‘flow yoga’ because of the smooth way that poses run together. This type of yoga focuses on the flow of energy around the body and on the inhaling and exhaling of the breath as you move.
Each class starts with a meditation for both relaxation and to get you concentrating on your breathing. The class is then tailored to the skill level of the participants on the day. If the class is a mix of both beginners and experienced, then Kirsty will show variations of the poses so there is something for everyone. ‘Yoga isn’t about doing the hardest pose’, she explains, ‘it’s about working within your own limits, and feeling happiness about where you are’.
After class, everyone is welcome to stay behind for some breakfast or a coffee at the Kokonut Café. After an hour of peaceful yoga while staring out into the beautiful blue ocean, what better way to finish the outing than with a little socialising? If you’re new to Honiara, the yoga group is a great way to make some friends and increase your fitness in the process.
While Kirsty has a couple of yoga mats spare, it’s best to bring your own to avoid disappointment. Mats are available for purchase at AusMart (located Town Ground) or if you’re moving to the Solomons, make sure to pop one in your luggage. Also remember to bring a water bottle and towel to class, and if you have your own blocks and straps bring those along too.
Any questions? Please feel free to email Kirsty at: firstname.lastname@example.org.