Yoga Expert & Businesswoman
Richelle is the owner and creator of Bodysculpt Yoga and Bodysculpt Fitness & Yoga and a Lululemon Ambassador. With over 12 years in the fitness and holistic industry, Richelle integrates a mind/body approach to her training style with an emphasis on creativity and fun.
“Life is an adventure just waiting to happen and you never know what you may find around the next corner. Make the choice to live, to experience and to explore.”
1. What exactly is yoga?
Yoga is many things to many people. Yoga can be as simple as sitting quietly in your own space to flowing through a sequence of strength building movements. Yoga can be both powerful and soft. A union of breath with movement that helps strengthen the body, calm the mind and stimulate the nervous systems.
2. What are the benefits of doing yoga?
For me the benefits have been endless. Yoga has changed my life in ways I didn't imagine. As a business women, I am constantly on the go. Add a monkey mind in the mix and I had trouble shutting down and taking time for myself. Yoga has helped me to de-stress, to strengthen my body and is helping me find balance. Yoga can also help manage anxiety, illnesses and many other ailments.
3. Is there a significant learning curve to getting started?
Just like anything else, you have to give it chance to stick. Start with a beginner class, no matter what your fitness level. It's kind of like learning to bake…you have to learn your way around the kitchen before you can tackle a souffle. Sometimes when meeting new people, we'll get chatting about yoga and they tell me "they've tried it and don't like it". It's like saying I've tried shiraz and don't like red wine. So not true;-) Try different classes, styles and teachers to find a style that suits you.
4. How fit and flexible do you have to be to do yoga?
Yoga is for everybody and everybody. And that's what's so wonderful and amazing about yoga…we can all do it! I have taught athletes to people with injuries or disabilities. Yoga helps you be physically healthy and can create more flexibility in your body.
5. Is yoga fundamentally a "spiritual" or a "physical" exercise?
I believe it's a mix of both. I also believe that it depends on where you're at in your life and your practice. I wouldn't send someone new to yoga who has an A type personality to a 'hippy-trippy' yoga teacher with a heavy focus on meditation…they would go running to the hills! When we start to build strength in our bodies and change out unhealthy habits, I think it can't help but effect you spiritually in some way. How far you take that depends on you.
6. How long is a typical yoga session?
In a studio setting, classes average an hour in length. But yoga is not about how much time you have to do it, it's about simply stepping on your mat and doing. When life gets busy, I know that I have to give myself time to do yoga because it helps me stay balanced and focused. I don't worry about time, I just do. So it may be a 20 minute session or ninety minute session. You can also sneak yoga in during the day in many ways. Tadasana and breath work while in line at the grocery store to help energize, twists and stretches while at your desk to help work out the kinks or a 5 minute meditation to help calm the mind.
7. How often do you need to practice yoga for it to be beneficial?
Just like anything else in life, the more you do it, the better the results. I start my day with yoga and when I can't, I feel blah. Yoga is not a cure-all, but a means to manage what may be gong on in your body and your life. Once we can connect to the roots of what we may be struggling with, we can start to peel away the layers and use yoga to help manage it.
8. Can you start at any age?
Any age, any time, any where! To me, yoga is ageless.
9. Is it equally beneficial for men and women? Any difference?
Most definitely beneficial for both! But I find that men are less eager to try it. My clients usually 'drag' the men in their life to class by means of bribe of some sort. A lot of men worry that they will be the only man in a sea of women. Or that it won't be physical enough for them. That usually goes away when they get into their first downward dog or warrior pose and feel their muscles start to talk. Differences…the average guy tends to have a tough time sitting in malasana (cross legged) due to pelvic make-up and tightness, so I've learned to keep a ton of pillows on hand to help with this.
10. What can a person expect to experience at a yoga retreat?
You can expect to experience a lot of growth, fun, laughter, music and adventure. I've got a ton of fun stuff in store for the ladies on my upcoming retreat. Workshops, daily yoga, healthy meals and nights out to listen to music. An adventure in Tulum! When I hosted my retreat last year, I had no idea the profound change it would create in my life. It truly was a life-changing adventure for everyone on the retreat. Women of different backgrounds, ages and lifestyles came together with one common bond: yoga. And on this trip discovered things about themselves they had either buried or did not know werethere. For some it was a healing process, for others it was simply a chance to get away from the daily grind. Throw in some sun, sea, a gorgeous beach, margarita or two and the chance to kick off your shoes for a whole week and you have the recipe for an amazing adventure. An added bonus, we all lost some weight!
11. What are the potential long-term benefits beyond the week retreat?
When you do something that is solely for yourself, you are left with a serenity and gratitude for your body and your spirit. Going on a vacation that focuses on creating a deeper relationship with your body, your health and your spirit can't help but effect how you move through life after you go home. And being with a group of people on the same journey creates bonds that tend to continue long after your retreat vacation.
12. What is the most powerful reason to practice yoga?
Why not practice yoga is what I ask people.
Richelle is generously giving fans of Adventure Woman a special offer to her retreat on our Supplies Tent.
For more information on Richelle and her upcoming retreats visit her websites: http://www.bodysculptbootcamp.ca/results/home__.html