60 minutes, 35 degree heat, 26 Hatha yoga poses. An incredible way to spend an hour.
Yes, I did sweat and I felt proud (I love the strapline ‘damn right I look hot’ from the This Girl Can campaign). This was an intense class with the determination, focus and relationship between you and your body only heightened by the heat. I surprised myself with both mental and physical suppleness and strength. The practice was a timely reminder that taking time out for me to be just with myself, deeply focused is a really good thing for my mental health.
My body image during the class also surprised me. I could see I was curvier and indeed jigglier than most of the more accomplished yogis in the studio, however it didn’t feel like it mattered. I felt beautiful and I felt strong, particularly through the skill and encouragement of the teacher leading the class. Despite the huge alterations that mood stabilising medication has caused to my body shape, I could appreciate a defined waist, leg muscles beginning to strengthen from my running. Deeper than that though, a growing confidence that I can try new things, hard things and succeed.
I was massively disappointed to find that there are no hot yoga classes closer than an hour and a half’s drive from home but I’m already planning how to build some Hatha yoga, on which Bikram (hot yoga) is based, into my weekly routine. UK friends – if you are ever anywhere near Truro go and try a class at Breathe.