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Brandy Lyn Winfield

2010 Woman’s World Yoga Champion at the opening of modern Yoga Riga, Latvia, speaking about what it is like as a beginner, intermediate and advanced student.

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Tere Lambert

Age: 45

I literally rolled off the couch and into the 30-day challenge. I am not fit, I dislike exercise, I have a wonky spine, weird knees and I am anaemic. modern yoga is a daily struggle for me; every day is a new experience, sometimes good with amazing highs, sometimes bad with a grumpy, though wonderfully soft, face.

There is a reason why this is called a Challenge. For me it was a singularly blinkered existence, working out when to drink, what to eat, timetables that worked with my full time job and teenage daughters, what to wear and when to get the endless laundry done. You have to be ultra-organised, single minded, have the commitment to see it through and do those doubles early on to ensure you have a safety net when things get tough or life's unexpected creeps up on you.

The 30-day challenge is one of the most satisfying experiences of my life. Some days I ached from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes, all day, all night. I bitched and moaned and yet I was back the next day hating and loving it all over again. Whenever I enter the studio and am enveloped by the wonderful heat, all of my aches and pains disappear.

Daily I am surrounded by the most extraordinary people. People who are genuinely nice, welcoming and amazingly thoughtful. My work is stressful and I am bombarded daily by other people's problems that I am charged with fixing and over the years this takes a heavy psychological toll.

With Kristina and Jack leading the class it allows me the chance to concentrate on me for an entire 90 minutes, to let everything go, to focus, to wonder at the changes in my body and my psyche and to de-stress and unload all of the drama and chattering monkeys. No matter how busy my days are once we start breathing and focusing on ourselves, life's dramas evaporate.

Maybe that is why the people attracted to modern yoga and all of the people I have been lucky enough to get to know, seem to be so at peace with life and themselves no matter at what stage in their lives they have entered this journey.

April 2012