Archive | January 2012

Waking up to Beach Yoga

Alarm clock goes off at 6:15am and it seems far too early to be getting up for anything other than Beach Yoga! Yes that is the ancient tradition of Yoga practiced most appropriately on the beautiful sandy shores of Boscombe beach – the UK’s version of Californian sands!

Cycling through Bournemouth town at 6:30am and no one is around other than me and the newspaper delivery man. A short cycle ride and I arrive at Bournemouth pier and ride along the sea front admiring the calm waters, lapping up my peaceful surroundings as I glide past the rainbow coloured beach huts – it really is a picture postcard scene!

The next person I see other than the sand scooper man on his JCB is Frank. Frank is Bournemouth’s very own Holistic Body Trainer. Now I have been to a fair few yoga classes in my time and trudged my way along to various martial art and body balance classes at the gym but Frank’s approach to what he calls Holistic Body Training is all encompassing! And you might say very BALANCED.

I first heard about Frank’s unique “Yoga on the beach” classes when I saw an advertisement for Boscombe Tea Party at the beginning of May on the bus one day and thought it sounded rather quirky and a great idea. So, arm in arm with my lovely, well-travelled friend Lottie, we decided to go along to the beach one Tuesday afternoon and have a go. Suffice to say we came away feeling BLISSFULL. And, in Lottie’s own words “Yoga is 100% better on the beach!” I had to agree. After the warm down and relaxation at the end of Frank’s challenging but incredibly relaxing hour long yoga session we didn’t want to leave our yoga mats and could have stayed there sunbathing all day.

That was it from then on in and we signed up for 10 sessions in a row – pre-paid and ready to go! Frank runs morning sessions 7-8am Tuesdays and Fridays, 2-3pm Tuesdays and Thursdays and 6-7pm Tuesdays and Wednesdays and anyone is welcome – beginners and veterans alike. Last Tuesday’s session saw a few keen surfers join in and pay as they go at £5 a time if that suits better and Frank even includes a little yoga for surfers as part of the sessions – aptly located on the beach outside SurfSteps Surf School, 300m from Boscombe Pier.

Frank leading a Beach Yoga class on Boscombe Beach

Frank’s website, details his background in Holistic Body Training which he describes as “the culmination of years of study, research and training – bringing a new dimension to health, fitness and the martial arts”. Frank, the founder of this unique way of maintaining health, fitness and wellbeing first began training at the age of seven with his father, a cross country runner for the RAF. A move “up North” introduced Frank to Karate and after ten years of training, in 1991, he went on to open what was possibly one of the first multi martial arts training centres in the UK! Here he formed his own style of martial arts called Tobu Jiyu Jutsu or Fly Free Art (art without constraints).

Later he trained to become a qualified yoga instructor and blended his understanding of nutritional studies, anatomy and physiology, along with elements of meditation and Chi Gong, leading him to the formation of a truly Holistic system of practice which he has called Holistic Body Training!

In early 2007, Frank was invited to train in Hong Kong with Grand Master Choy Shun Tin, the world’s leading Wing Chun master. A busy schedule now sees Frank running weekly Beach Yoga sessions, Holistic Body Toning, Self Defence Courses, Urban Combat, and Holistic Body Weight Training as well as being a personal trainer and taking 1 to 1 sessions.

And take my word for it, it is well worth the early morning start and if you’d rather not take my word for it – TRY IT!