Summer Sweatfest Challenge and Little Hero Charity

From John:

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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Motorbikes and Breaking My Back: The Accident and Aftermath

*warning – a tad of strong language follows. But I broke my back so I think it’s okay!

The accident

It’s a day like any other. Work, family, jokes, laughter, plans for my practice later, plans for dinner with my husband, enjoying the challenges of day to day life. I leave work at about 1:30, grateful to finish the day early and get a longer time to myself for my yoga practice. 

The accident is a blur. One moment I’m swinging my leg over my motorbike with the familiar feeling of excitement for a fun packed 2 wheeled journey. The next moment, I smash into the side of a van. I’m in excruciating pain, in the middle of the road with the impending threat of a shouting van driver. So..much..pain. The van driver is screaming and shouting. I’m in the middle of the road with surrounding traffic. My bike is making unhappy noises. And I have this looming threat of being called a “stupid woman” in the back of my mind (at least that seems to be the tone of the van driver in the moment).

A lady wants to call the ambulance but I’m not sure. I have to move, but my back won’t let me. I drag myself as close to the curb as I can before giving up and laying in the road, in direct sunlight.

Now the pain REALLY sets in! Wow my back. Fuck. Seriously. Ouch. Yes call the ambulance because I can’t move anywhere without making a serious situation even worse.

 

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The Stormy Middle: half-way through Yoga and Hot Yoga Teacher Training

Right now is the time when teacher trainees earn our respect the most, at the half-way point of the program. They’ve already learned a great deal: they can plan and hold safe classes, and they can discuss Yoga and anatomy in ways they never anticipated. But most of all they understand how little we all really know, and that’s a sobering realisation.

Training is also difficult because our relationship to practice changes. Yoga was always there for us in the past: the one refuge from all that modern-day madness was the little temple of the Yoga mat. But now in Yoga and Hot Yoga classes, we find ourselves analysing the sequence, checking our alignment – sometimes with self-criticism – and assessing how the teacher is delivering the practice. Naturally, people ask: “Will I ever get MY Yoga back again?”

 

 

The short answer is: Yes, you will, and it’ll happen with a new richness of knowledge and depth of understanding about what you’re doing. There’ll be a feeling of new magic in your practice once you integrate your course experiences. But first, something equally magical but very different has to happen. It’s a kind of re-birth, and like all beautiful birth events, it comes with its measure of difficulty.

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Siân’s Yoga Teacher Training Journey

When Siân decided to take the Yoga & Hot Yoga Teacher Training course at Yogafurie, she had never taught and wasn’t sure if she would ever be able to. But less than two months after finishing the course last October she opened her own studio near her home in Cornwall, where she now teaches four lessons a week.

The ten-month course has given her a whole new career, and brought hot yoga to her area of Cornwall. ‘I absolutely love teaching so much,’ she says. ‘I couldn’t have predicted it as it seemed very daunting, and I have never taught before. I just knew I wanted to find out more and see where it would lead me.’

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Sam’s Story – How Yogafurie Hot Yoga Helped to Transform Her Life

Sam Hothersall found her symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) so crippling that she moved to Malta to avoid the long British winter. Last autumn she was anxiously awaiting the onset of SAD when a friend recommended she tried hot yoga at Yogafurie.

SAD

For Sam, an arts teacher at a secondary school, attending the classes was a revelation. ‘It was amazing,’ she says. ‘I went five times a week through the winter and it really helped me. I was waking up early and going before work, and I felt lovely and warm all day.’

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Ed, Hot Yoga and Yogafurie

why hot yogaI wanted to write a little about what how Hot Yoga – and of course Yogafurie – has impacted my life. Things have changed so much for me in less than ten years, and if I’m honest, I’m really looking forward to the next ten. If they’re anything like as exciting then I really won’t have time to get old…

Let me start by – really quickly – talking about how I got into Yoga and, more specifically, Hot Yoga. At school, I wanted to become a PE teacher. However, I was blessed with a family at a young age. When it came to Uni, I really thought it would be better to study IT and engineering. I thought I’d have more money that way – anyone that has a family knows that money is quite a pressure.

I enjoyed IT generally. It was technically interesting, and I met some great people. But my heart was never in it. I was interested in movement really, and this came out as a love of martial arts which I studied and taught. But then I took a very nasty knee injury in a Judo class. I could no longer practice: all I could do after that was swim and practise Yoga.

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The Flexibly Challenged Yogi

Something that has always bugged me when I try to convince people to come to a yoga class with me is when they say, “I’d be no good at yoga, I’m not very flexible.” To which I’d reply, “neither am I!” I’ve always had short hamstrings (probably not helped by my historic love for outdoor running and lack of enthusiasm for a cool down). I also have tight hips (can’t think of a good reason for this – too much TV watching perhaps?) I also have a slight anterior pelvic tilt which basically means my bum sticks out a bit, probably caused by too much sitting.

flexibly challenged

Ten months ago, I decided to train to become a yoga teacher. I’ve always loved how yoga keeps me physically fit and calms my mind down, so I thought ‘why not?!’ So day one of yoga teacher training arrives: as you can probably imagine, I was bottom of the class in the flexibility ratings. Surrounded by a sea of bendy Wendy’s, I was facing a tough uphill struggle to be able to keep up with the others and do all the poses ‘correctly’. Luckily Ed, our wise trainer, told us, “There is no correct pose. It’s not about touching your toes. That may come with practice, but it’s about staying with your breath and being in the present moment.” Well, this was music to my ears! I didn’t need to look like all those super bendy girls on Instagram; where I got to in each pose was perfect for me (even if it was on top of a mountain of
blocks!) I also learnt that it’s incredibly unhelpful to compare yourself to others. So I stopped worrying and just tried my best.

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How hot yoga significantly helped me improve my running

A student of our hot yoga wrote us a testimonial about how hot yoga has helped her significantly improve her running and it’s worth a read!

Running

Firstly, I am no athlete. I love running but I run for myself, I have never competed (except with myself). So I run for fun, to try and beat my times and for the bling (medals). Over recent years I have tried to challenge myself a bit more in relation to speed, distance and endurance but I remain “average” in relation to performance.

I started coming to Yogafurie for one reason only – the heat. In March I did a 30 days for £30 at Yogafurie in preparation for my attempt at the Marathon Des Sables. All I wanted was some acclimation training. I had done a bit of YouTube yoga previously and found I quite enjoyed yogafurie’s hot yoga as well as the heat. In April I did the MdS.

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What Are The Benefits of Hot Yoga?

What are the benefits of Hot Yoga? Are there any?

A recent newspaper article declared that Hot Yoga is no better for your heart than regular Yoga. The article is flawed however: it focuses on just measures around heart function and in Yoga or Hot Yoga, we always try to breathe full, calm breaths. This breath style activates our parasympathetic (relaxation) response. Instead of getting stressed by the effort, we learn to ease into it – and that’s a useful skill, fully transferable to many other life situations. Naturally, here isn’t a big change in heart measures! We’re calming the heart down all the
time. Looking at heart measures is an ill-informed approach to quantifying the effects of Hot Yoga.

benefits

If no one is claiming that Hot Yoga is a cardio workout, then what are the benefits? I recently blogged about a natural substance called heat shock protein. The interaction between Hot Yoga and heat shock protein hasn’t been explored in a clinical or research setting, so my blog really just discusses what I found out from a literature search. Still, it makes interesting reading! So, is there anything really quantifiable?

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Project W.A.S.H, Running the Half Marathon and Raising Money for Charity

A dedicated Yogafurie Student, James Walker, is running the Water of Life Half Marathon! With your help he hopes to build a rainwater harvesting tank in a rural village in Kisoro, Uganda.

The water tank will reduce water stress for a community of over 100 people. It will capture and store rainwater to provide a water source which would otherwise be miles away.

The area “suffers for water”, and it is the job of children to walk miles over mountainous terrain to fetch it and carry heavy 20 litre jerry cans. This means they are often late for school and arrive exhausted. With your donations we can build this simple water solution and reduce water stress to this villagers and their children!

project w.a.s.h

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