I’ve taken dance classes since I was 3 years old, so when I decided to sign up for my first ever hot yoga class, I didn’t think it would be a big deal. Don’t get me wrong, I am not flexible, like, at all, which is weird for a dancer, but I’m pretty sure I’m just aligned weird. Anyhow, a new yoga studio recently opened in Southport, (Yoga Euphoria) and when I’d finally finished my degree, I figured I should check it out. They were offering a beginners offer, of £10 for 10 consecutive days. If you’ve ever been to a yoga class before you’ll know that that is an amazing bargain. Most of the classes they offer are ‘Hot Yoga’, which is yoga performed in 35-40 degree heat, however there is also a meditation class, pilates and a standard yoga class without the crazy heat.
I signed up to the Saturday morning class and went along to the studio, nervous and excited all at once. The whole building is just beautiful. The second you walk in, you are hit by positive energy, wonderful smells and lovely people. The design is clean and modern and straight away you know that this is a real yoga zone. Yoga Euphoria also offer made to order smoothies for just £2.50. As I was staying after the yoga class for meditation I decided to treat myself and ordered one for the break between classes.
Upstairs are brand new changing rooms, immaculate and well kept. But the real highlight for me is the chill out room. Located just before the actual studio, this room is a haven of relaxation; Buddah statues, incense sticks, and a lovely seating area.
Going into the room, I was struck with my usual social awkwardness when faced with a situation that I don’t know how to act in. People were all in various positions and I just stood frozen on a mat trying to sense what it was I was supposed to be doing. Luckily, a nice lady next to me whispered ‘lay down’, and I nervously laid on my mat trying not to do anything stupid.
I knew it would be hot, and hard, but | had no idea just how difficult it was going to be! You don’t appreciate the heat in the room until you’re half way through and ready to pass out. If you watch yoga, it doesn’t look like a big deal, but when you’re doing it, holding your body in positions, in ridiculous heat – well let’s just say I was a gross sweaty mess. I actually had to keep stopping on my first class. It was so hard and couldn’t understand why I couldn’t do it. I was the youngest in the room, but in yoga, that means nothing! I was so close to just giving up and walking out, but I had paid £10 for this class, how could I tell the world I had failed straight away?! It wasn’t until I’d heard the magic words ‘Only 10 minutes left, thank your body for the hard work it has achieved’, that I realised, I could do it. Who gives up so close to the end?! I stayed and was so euphoric at managing to stick the whole thing out – I was hooked!
Now, a few weeks later and I am obsessed. Yoga for me, seems to be how some people describe finding religion. I couldn’t got to a class for three weeks, and boy did I miss it! I was grouchy and constantly wanting to downward facing dog in boring meetings (Which often I did because people are so used to me by now.) I’ve done yoga a few times, but usually at gym classes. This is not yoga. Not really. The people who tend to teach yoga at gyms, also teach other things such as spin or circuit. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but often their focus is on hitting the positions. At Yoga Euphoria, it is more about how your body feels in the stances, it’s about the spirituality of the practise and working at your own pace. At the beginning of each class, we are encouraged to set an intention for the practise and question why we were called to the mat. This is the thing I think about when it gets tough. I have never again felt like I did the first week, in fact I kinda embrace the difficult parts, when my body wants to give up and I’m so drenched in sweat I feel like I’ve been swimming. As someone who is constantly on the go, yoga gives my mind time to be quiet and reflect only on my inner body. Don’t get my wrong, this is the hardest part. I’m so used to multi-tasking and having things that need to be done, my mind almost refuses to shut up, however yoga gives me a crazy energy and positivity that lasts through the whole day. I’m taught by practitioners who believe in what they teach, and are amazing at what they do. The environment is 100% non-judgmental and entirely individual. I never feel bad if I have to do the ‘easier’ option, because you’re always show the basic version, and then ‘if it is available to you today’, which is just wonderful, because it doesn’t say ‘if you are better at yoga’ or ‘if you’re not as strong’ and for someone with zero upper body strength, that is very much appreciated!
So now I am one of those people who are crazy obsessed with yoga. When I’m bored at work, I will look for yoga wear I can’t afford and positions I can’t yet do. But it’s the thought that keeps me buzzing. That, and the fact that my yoga class is just, incredible. They are like a family, a family full of positivity and encouragement. There’s always something going on, and this week, it’s a detox – which I am going to be blogging about too! If you are anywhere near Southport, I could not recommend anywhere else more.
And I am still yet to fart during yoga…