Hot yoga

60 minutes, 35 degree heat, 26 Hatha yoga poses.  An incredible way to spend an hour.

Students Practice The Unique Bikram Yoga

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.

Day-glo girl

Today I treated myself to a new running top.  Frankly I was knackered this afternoon and couldn’t think of anything worse really than going out in the drizzle with the beginner’s running club.

I’ve been chatting about this recently with a couple of girlfriends.  I know I enjoy the feeling when I get back from a run – there’s a deeper peace somehow – but I couldn’t honestly say that I enjoy the process.  Is running something that I can do as part of my year of enjoyment & pleasure or is it another ‘should’ I have been wondering.

I decided to get dressed for running this evening.  There’s something about putting on that ‘armour’ of the ronhills and trainer socks, carefully attending to the stitched ‘L’ & ‘R’  (I didn’t even know these existed until I started the course ten weeks ago). The ritual of preparing myself and remembering all the inspirational women on the This Girl Can campaign.  I put on my new top and found that it really glowed in the dusk under the street lamps.  It made me smile thinking about myself as ‘day-glo girl’ with shiny super powers including looking awesome while running!

I made it up the biggest hill in our town without stopping today, and then ran a continuous 2 miles home.  Maybe there is a bit of day-glo girl in me after all.  I’m still not sure whether running counts as pleasure or enjoyment though!