You will have heard it before – I was too stiff for yoga which, let’s face it, is designed by women, for women, right! Built for strength, not flexibility. Not designed to stretch like that and put my head on the floor. And FAR too self conscious to show off my lack of flexibility and general awkwardness is a room of the same!!
Game over. Let me stick to the gym and those weights and static bikes that I know so well (and loath actually, but you have to stay fit, don’t you…no pain, no gain)
And then Hot Yoga arrived. Encouraged by a new lady in my life (now my wife in fact), the pressure was on. Man up to the Hot room, or ship out. Are you a man or a mouse?
And so I donned some short shorts, and a singlet put on a brave face, closed my eyes and hit the Hot mat.
And it was extraordinary!!
It felt like a real workout! It felt like, maybe there was a bit more in the tank that I had realized, and maybe being strong was as important in yoga as being flexible. And, anyway, maybe I was a bit more flexible than I had expected in that lovely heat….and at the end we just rested – in silence – with permission to drift. I had never felt such a high, such calm, and so cleansed.
My stiff joints started to ease. Getting up in the morning started to feel more like it had when I was in my 20’s (well at least after a couple of weeks of practice anyway). My energy levels seemed to have increased, and that vague reluctance to get to the gym had been replaced with a strange desire to get hot and sweaty in the Hot room.
So there you have it – I became hooked on hot yoga, practicing a couple of times a week, then three times, and sometimes more.
And then, having an enquiring mind, I started to wonder. What were all these strange Indian words that were being used in the class. And where had all this been dreamt up, and why the concentration on strange breathing patterns – and what about the other yoga “brands” that I was hearing about …Ashtanga, and Kundalini, and Hatha and Jimanukti and…if Hot Yoga was this good, what else could be on offer?
And so my yoga journey began, and – quite literally – changed my life and my outlook on life. Then a yoga teacher, trying to help other people find the joy and relaxation and fullfilment of a yoga practice . And then founding a studio…
I wonder what’s next.