From sweat to self-consciousness; here are fifteen lessons I’ve learned from my first (almost) month as a novice yogi with In Balance Hot Yoga, Southampton.
1. During Hot Yoga, you will probably have never sweated so much from such small movements before, and it’s highly probable that you’ll leave looking like you’ve had a bath in your activewear.
2. The above means that you will slide off of your mat multiple times. Downward Dog will become ten times harder. BUY A YOGA TOWEL. It’s an investment.
3. Nobody is looking at you.
4. Nobody cares if you have to do a slightly less ambitious pose because your hamstrings aren’t playing ball, or you’ve not got the hang of balances yet. You’re going at your own pace, just like everyone else.
5. Everyone started to form the beginning at some point; don’t worry about being a newbie. You’re here to learn.
6. Don’t expect to nail everything immediately. Progress is slow. Enjoy it.
7. Equally, don’t expect to be able to keep up the whole time. That’s all part of the progress too. If you need to pause, take a moment in Child’s Pose, and keep trying.
8. For God’s sake, don’t forget to breathe.
9. You’ll soon get used to the ohms and namastes and the names of all the poses.
10. Keep holding the pose for those extra seconds. Or at least try. It’s worth it!
11. If you arrive to class feeling tired, blue or stressed, you’re pretty much guaranteed to leave feeling so much better. Force yourself to go if you have to. That’s the beauty of yoga.
12. Never feel inadequate if you have to use a block or a strap. Do what your body needs you to do, take it slow, and listen to what it’s telling you.
13. Again, nobody cares if you can see your underwear through your leggings, you haven’t shaved your legs, or if you have a few rolls popping over your waistband.
14. Everyone is welcome. Everyone.
15. Just. Keep. Breathing.
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I’m working in collaboration with In Balance Hot Yoga to develop my yoga skills, improve my mental and physical health and challenge myself over the next few months. I have been given free membership in return for recording my journey with them, but my opinions, feedback, and experiences in my posts on here and on my social media accounts are all completely honest and my own, and I will always include the good, the bad and the ugly.