Two months since we left London. We left behind the stress, the crowds, the tourists and the bloody tube. But we also left the abundance and possibilities that the big city brings. Finding a yoga class in London is trivial, in a small town outside London – not so much. Not for someone so new anyway.
As you know I started doing my yoga teacher training(s) and I need to try as many classes and teachers as I can – not only to get hours of practice in the bag, but also to learn tricks and ways of explaining poses.
And, right on time, a new Hot Yoga studio opened up in Ware, the town right next to Hertford. The owner offered 4 free classes (and I think there’s still an offer available) for people who want to come and try different classes and teachers. So 4 days in a row, I made myself available for yoga classes at the Hot Space Yoga studio.
And because the owner has another studio down in Cheshunt, she shared the upcoming event with us too. I registered because it is of course a great way of networking, not just of enjoying yoga.
Once you’re outside London it’s a good idea to have a car. We debated a lot, and decided against buying a car (if we do however, it’s going to be electric!). We rely a lot on trains and running. So I got to Cheshunt station and jogged the 3k distance to the studio. But it was a joy! The path was mostly through the Lee Valley Park, beautiful place for nature loving people.
Morning session – Hips Flow
We had a warm welcome from Paula and Erin, our teachers for the day and we started with a presentation. The whole day was focused on opening the hips, so Paula gave us a talk about why teachers say in yoga classes that the hips hold emotions and what’s the effect of a hip opener class. She also did a small demonstration of the hip joints anatomy to explain why different people have different ranges of motion, not due to flexibility but bone structure.
The presentation was followed by a 1h Yoga session – lots of seated postures to warm up the hips and a few versions of lizard pose to test both our flexibility and our strength.
Lunch break – Food and feet
We had vegan food consisting of salads and brownies! What a combo, right? Delicious food and light enough to be able to exercise after. After a bit of networking, we had a 30min presentation from Cheryl, who talked about the importance of taking care of our feet. She did a live demo on a volunteer – cleaned and pampered one foot. The difference looked funny :):).
Afternoon session – Yin Yoga for Hips
Erin started by explaining what Yin Yoga is and what are the rules and concepts. In Yin you hold a pose for a few minutes, so you need to find that perfect spot where you feel the stretch, but it’s not too hard to stay still.
Here’s something that really stuck with me. In Yoga classes we often feel frustration because we can’t go as far as we want. We ask too much from our bodies and we try to do what we want, not what the body wants or needs. One way to avoid this and keep positive during your class is to dedicate your practice to someone else. And you want to send all your positive energy towards that person, so you won’t do anything to trigger pain, discomfort or frustration.
During lunch time I got a message that one of my friends is in the hospital. Of course I got worried but I knew he’s in good hands and there’s nothing I could do. But when Erin talked about dedicating our practice to someone else, I thought of my friend and I did that. And it worked. It was positive energy rather than my usual efforts to stretch myself to the limits.
Among the poses in the class there were dragon, dragon splits, frog, camel – pretty much stretching the hips in all possible directions.
The whole session, presentation included, was 2 hours. But it was SO GOOD.
It was a really good day and I recommend it to anyone. Just take a day off for yourself. Away from stress, responsibilities, chores. Yes, a week in Bali would sound better, but sometimes all we can do is a day. And that’s enough. And if you only have an hour, take that too.