Belinda is from the UK and came to India on sabbatical to volunteer and travel, and decided to start her trip with 5 day yoga workshop at Abhinam. She had looked at a few other yoga courses, but what attracted her to Abhinam was having the opportunity to learn some of the theory side as well as improve her physical practice. Before coming to Abhinam, Belinda had practiced a bit of Hatha yoga, however the classes she was going to were very big and she felt that she was never corrected. As a result, she felt that she had learned some bad habits and had never been taught how to do the asanas properly with the correct alignment. The small class size of the 5 day workshop at Abhinam Yoga Center in Goa therefore appealed to her, as she would get more hands-on adjustment to help her improve her practice.
Belinda was new to Ashtanga, but she enjoyed the challenge of learning the primary series. She found it helpful to have the chart to follow, so she could work towards self-practice. After the course, she felt fairly confident that she could go forwards and work through the Ashtanga Primary Series on her own.
“Anniina went through every asana in the primary series with us,” Belinda explained. “Because the group was small, we had time to go through it all properly, and really focus on the proper alignment. After my first class with Anniina, I had much more confidence, and so when I went to the morning Ashtanga classes I realized I could do a little bit more each time and get the alignment right.” Belinda started to realise that a lot of the ways she’d been taught yoga in the past were incorrect. “I learned that rather than achieving the poses, it was far more important to work towards them in the correct way.”
At the end of her 5 day yoga workshop, Belinda told us that she really enjoyed the experience. She got to try out lots of new things, from pranayama in the morning, to restorative yoga and meditation in the evenings. She felt like lots of other yoga courses didn’t offer as much variety or support. She told us that she particularly enjoyed her alignment classes with Anniina: “Anniina has just been brilliant, she’s an absolutely fantastic teacher and so, so supportive. She watches us in the morning classes and notices which things we’re struggling with and then in the alignment class she’ll go over those things. She never pushed us but worked with what we were comfortable with and answered any questions we had. That’s been my favourite bit, learning from her. She taught us absolutely loads.”
Belinda felt as though her practice really improved over the 5 days, and she found that she was able to do some of the asanas she’d always struggled with. “I always tried doing Halasana in classes at home but I always found that it hurt my shoulders. It wasn’t until coming here that I realized that I just wasn’t lifting properly. So now that that pain’s gone, I can do it. That was my achievement of today!”