At Yogafurie, we believe hot yoga is for everyone. Student stories is all about hearing why our members love hot yoga. Everyone comes to hot yoga for a different reason, so Student Stories is a collection of what hot yoga means for our members
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.’
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.
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.’
I 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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!
One of our very own Teacher Trainees has started up her own classes aimed towards helping suffers of M.E. and Fibromyalgia
Follow our blog to keep up to date with the progress of her lovely sessions
I have come to learn that teaching yoga isn’t about being able to pull all the most difficult poses or even know all their Sanskrit names. It’s about being able to share your own authentic experience with people in ways that may allow them to experience something beneficial for them.
8 training sessions a week! Why you need to look after yourself when you ask a lot of yourself
When you’re asking a lot out of your body, you need to make sure that you’re giving your body a lot of love in return. As Yogafurie is for all abilities, we do attract students with incredibly high levels of fitness who love to supplement their training with hot yoga.
Femi Robinson has been to over 100 Yogafurie sessions. She focused on building her strength through weight training. Femi is committed to her fitness, you’ll find her breaking a sweat 8 times per week!
Spending time with your loved ones is top priority on your to-do list
With our daily lives getting busier and busier, it’s easy to let spending quality time with your parents, siblings and children slip down your list of priorities. A regular family activity is a great way to make sure that you make the time for your loved ones.
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