Is Yoga Better With Friends?
Are you a lone yogi? Or do you prefer to practice with friends? According to research by Oxford University anthropologist Dr Emma Cohen exercising in a group actually has many benefits - both physical and psychological. Firstly, training in a synchronised group may heighten tolerance for pain, enabling atheltes to train longer and harder. At Camyoga we certainly don't advocate pushing our members to the point of pain - yoga should never be painful - but this does suggest that practising with friends can improve endurance, which is particularly relevant to more physically taxing forms of yoga such as hot yoga, power yoga and ashtanga. As Jackie MacLeod and Sukey Novogratz, yoga buddies and founders of The Well Daily, point out, "who better to tackle crow pose with than someone you know is rooting for your success?"
Another recent study, conducted by Virgin Active Health Clubs, reveals that friends who exercise together will visit the gym more regularly, and of women who run, go to the gym or attend group exercise classes with friends, 64% push themselves harder than if they went alone. In terms of attendance, we all know that one of the most mentally challenging aspects of yoga practice can be making the commitment to just do it. Whether it's early in the morning or after work, getting into the right frame of mind to get yourself to class on time can sometimes be pretty tough. Whether you're too tired, too busy, too hungry or simply 'not in the mood', finding excuses to avoid practice, and caving in to them, is probably all too familiar for most of us. Even the most dedicated of yogis have 'off' days! Heading to class with friends can take some of the decision-making out of that process - we've agreed to go and 'that is that'. After all, it's much easier to convince yourself that you just can't be bothered than it is to convince a persuasive friend...
On a less scientific front, many of us live increasingly busy lives, jam-packed with work commitments, financial concerns, busy calendars full of social events and even more for those of us who are parents! Sometimes socialising, outside of pre-ordained 'social events', can be hard to squeeze in. Neighbours are less and less likely to 'just pop round' for a a cup of tea. Practising yoga with friends can be a beautiful and relaxed way to spend time with pals with no pressure attached.
At Camyoga we value the importance of friendship. That's why our Gold Members can now bring a friend to class, absolutely free of charge. To find out more, ask at reception or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.