The fantastic picture above is of Sharon, a lady I met recently, whose sense of humour and enthusiasm was infectious. One of the most amazing things about the yoga community is that you get to meet some inspirational characters on the journey who invest so much time and energy into yoga for lots of different reasons. Most people I meet want to share their passion for yoga with others so that they too can gain the same mental, spiritual and physical benefits.
I’ve always struggled with the meditation side of our practice so it’s something I’ve tended to avoid where possible. That ability to switch off and empty my mind has eluded me – however much I try, thoughts interrupt my concentration and my mind goes into overdrive.
I was extremely lucky to experience a guided meditation based on the Chakras led by Sharon, who is also a Reiki Master, that just blew my mind. For the first time, I experienced true, deep relaxation. Afterwards, I felt energised and completely centred – it was the highlight of my day.
My experience inspired me to go home and read more about the Chakras, which are thought to be energy centres. Translated literally from Sanskrit, Chakras mean spinning wheels. Chakras cannot be seen or touched and are located where nerves, arteries and veins interlace. Perhaps because they are intangible they are the domain of mysticism and spirituality.
Sharon is based near Stoke and I’ll certainly be making the effort to go again soon. Quite apart from anything else, I need to know her technique for making sure that no wine was spilt during her celebrations!
Seriously, if you’ve never experienced a yoga class, you might find it not just life enhancing, but life changing. And if, like me, you love yoga but the benefits of a fully relaxed meditation have so far eluded you, keep exploring.
There are several things about our style of yoga we want you to know.
First and foremost, we go with the flow. Our style of yoga is a style of Vinyasa Yoga and with some laughter thrown in for good measure. It’s not a old fashioned style and you won’t find exactly the same routines week after week. By going with the flow the moves come naturally to challenge and stretch us further.
We recommend that you give yourself time. It won’t take you long, maybe just a couple of classes and you will soon feel at home. Everyone starts somewhere and we are all different – that’s why our classes have options for everyone. Choose the path that feels right for you and before long you will notice the change as you get stronger, fitter and more confident.
Try to avoid comparing yourself to others in the room. Everyone comes with their own strengths. Some of us have been practising for years and others are totally new to exercise, let alone yoga. By all means, look at other people to check your pose, but try not to judge your performance. We won’t!
Allow yourself to breathe deeper into each pose. Your body can do more than you give it credit for and your mind can sometimes try to convince you to give up long before your body needs to. Steve Peters, Psychologist to British Cycling, wrote about this in his book ‘The Chimp Paradox’.
It can take years to perfect some of our more advanced poses and some of us will never be able to achieve a couple of them. It’s the journey towards them and the personal gains that we all strive for – that millimetre extra in Eagle Pose, that second longer in the abs section, that bit further in Dancers Pose – all these leave us with that great sense of satisfaction. At the end of each class, we realise just how much we have achieved.
We believe that the perfect hot yoga studio is a place you feel at home – where the atmosphere suits you and you feel part of a community. Somewhere people will pay you attention, care about your well-being and connect with you.
Not all yoga classes are equally sociable, entertaining or lively. It’s great if you have the perfect class almost on your doorstep, but it can be worth travelling a little further to a special place.
And of course, it all depends on your personal exercise goals. A dedicated athlete looking for strength and conditioning may have different requirements to someone looking to improve their flexibility and range of motion. A serious yogi looking for the most pure and spiritual side of our practice might favour a formal style of studio. Even if you have very specific requirements, it often helps to keep an open mind.
Try out classes at several studios to make sure the time you invest in your fitness is as rewarding as possible for body, mind and spirit. If you can find a class you really enjoy, you’re much more likely to stick with it and achieve your fitness goals.
Our studio is vibrant, lively, full of laughter, with people there to support you whatever your needs. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and have sometimes been described as zany. Many of the people who exercise with us are seeking to improve their overall fitness, balance and body tone or want to learn or refine hot yoga poses and have fun while they’re working out. Even our background music often receives rave reviews.
Whether you are just starting out, getting back into exercise for the first time in 40 years, or have specific medical conditions you’d like to improve, we can help.
Only you know what type of fitness studio is right for you, but the good news is that there are plenty for you to try. If you live in or around the Stoke area, we hope you’ll come to one of our classes so you can find out how well we suit you.
Book online here