As a teacher, I love concluding a class knowing that I really reached the students. Some kind of magic happened, and there’s a palpable feeling in the air – the things that were said, the things they did, it all landed. They feel great, and so do I. It doesn’t happen every time! So, it’s special when it does.
Yoga teachers reading this will know that same, special feeling. In a way, it’s a call to action: to go outside our teaching comfort zones and reach new groups with different needs and wants. I say that because it’s wonderful to work with the people and methods we already connect with. It’s great then to reach out and extend that connection to new methods and groups whenever we can.
Many Hatha and Vinyasa teachers will never have taught in heat. Often, they have very valid reasons – usually, an unpleasant experience in a studio that perhaps didn’t embody the values of Yoga. Well, it doesn’t have to be like that – all studios are not the same. There are studios that live the tradition with authenticity and use heat. And they have buzzing communities of engaged students, who all share the teacher’s love of Yoga.
10 weeks ago yesterday I broke my spine in a motorbike accident – you can read what happened here. Initially I was told I had broken my L1 vertebra and was prescribed a back brace, crutches and an unholy amount of cocodamol which I never took.
I really needed the back brace andthe crutches after the accident. I couldn’t walk on my own without the support of both. And even with those two to help me, I couldn’t make myself a cup of tea or run myself a bath for the first 2 weeks. I felt close to completely helpless. The only thing I could do was sleep, read, watch Netlfix (obviously) and practice copious amounts Yoga Nidra to hopefully boost my healing response. I knew I was one of the lucky ones, that I could heal, but it didn’t stop the difficult moments getting to me.
The accident was July 17th. It has taught me that I really am not someone to take this lying down (so to speak!). I did as much as I could whenever I could. As soon as I could make my own lunches and dinners, I was cooking. As soon as I could carry lightweight objects, I was putting the rubbish out. As soon as I could drive, or perhaps a little too soon before I could drive, I was behind the wheel.
Quantum physics says that matter – at the smallest level – isn’t solid. It’s clouds of energy, and it’s impossible to know for sure what it’s doing unless you measure it. When you measure it, all the possibilities it could hold (the wave function) collapse into one outcome.
I think that rings true of any situation. I can’t see the future, but I’ll give it all my best shot and see how things turn out.
This New Scientist article goes on to say, “How did our universe come to be, out of a seemingly vast number of equally likely possibilities allowed by the laws of physics?”
You love Yoga and Hot Yoga, and you’ve been practicing consistently for a while. You love the way it makes you feel, and you really notice when you can’t go for any reason. Life just seems simpler and more manageable when you practice regularly, even though nothing’s really changed. Sure, there are times when you feel like just staying at home and vegging out. But you get up and get to class anyway, because you know that you’ll be glad you did.
Does any of this ring true for you? Yep, you’ve got the Hot Yoga bug alright!
If this is you, then you’ve already come a long way. If you could see the person you were, if you could see your posture shapes the first time you went to class, then you’d be amazed at how much you’ve changed since then. It might feel like that’s all thanks to the magic of Yoga and Hot Yoga. And it is, but there’s more: it’s your hard work that’s moved you forward, and the good guidance of the studio and teachers you’ve stuck with.
We’ve all had wobbles on the yoga mat; the teacher instructs us to lift through the arches of the feet or keep our gaze steady and find our balance, and what happens? We wobble, we sometimes come out of the pose, occasionally we fall over. Thankfully our bodies are forgiving. Hopefully we are forgiving of ourselves; we might giggle, steady our breath and come back into the pose with renewed insight into how we find our balance.
What happens when we wobble in life? What happens when something happens in our lives sends us off-balance? Are we as forgiving of ourselves? And what happens when our wobbles, whether big or small, happen when you’re embarking on a transformational journey like yoga teacher training?
Written by Kate Hardcastle, a Yogafurie Hot Yoga Instructor and a graduate of Yogafurie Academy Teacher Training
We may have heard of HIIT yoga, OM Yoga Weights and Fitness Yoga used to describe classes and workshops before. What does this mean? Why is fitness becoming a big thing in the many different types of yoga on offer?
Have you ever been in a yoga class and your instructor holds you in plank (uttitha chaturanga dandasana) for so long that you feel like collapsing in a puddle on the mat? How about that inward groan as you lower down into chair (utkatasana) for the twentieth time before you’ve even reached halfway through? Do you experience shaky legs after your class?
Okay so when I say ‘the’ creep I’m being playful. What I mean is creep. And you can turn radiohead off in your brainbox because this version of creep may be one you are unfamiliar with. Creep is the way in which our bodies, that is to say the muscles and their connecting tissues, react to stress over time.
So I am 3 sessions in now and on track for my ‘warm up act’ target! I would have aimed for more but having had nearly 18 months away from the studio baby steps is my approach!
I am glad too, session 1 was a big eye opener! Despite the recent heat wave, it is still surprising how hot the studio can feel when you first enter. Whilst I quickly acclimatized, it is fair to say my yoga (and balance) was a little rusty and I had forgotten all the little extras that make all the difference, specifically a water bottle and hand towel! So whist thoroughly enjoyable, I was definitely a wobbly and unnaturally sweaty student with envious eyes on the many water bottles surrounding me!
After such a long time, it was really good to get back into the studio. I was a little nervous as I had not been in since Will my son had been diagnosed, so it was definitely a little emotional to return. That said, once I had gotten over my initially exhaustion and self-inflicted dehydration, I was pleased to again experience the jump in energy levels and contentment I remembered from before.
Now three sessions in and I am pleased to see how quickly the steadiness and flexibility is returning. Although whilst thoroughly entertaining to try, Aaron’s hand stands are still a little way off!
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