Thursday, 30 June 2016

The Solo Project #4 – Do a new gym class

Yoga Hero Leeds Vinyasa Flow


It seems this project has taken a bit of a back seat in recent months, but what can I say? I’ve just been crazy busy for a while.

I’ve been getting back into going to the gym recently as the summer months are reminding me how uncomfortable it feels after gaining a few pounds and slacking off on the cardio. I know, I’m sure that’s a delightful image. But now I have new targets in sight as I’ve signed up to the Leeds Abbey Dash in November and in all honesty, I want to just feel better. To feel fitter, stronger and quite frankly, less like a sloth. Oh and most importantly? I want to feel happier.

I decided to head down to Yoga Hero on Leeds Dock for a yoga class on a sunny Sunday morning and it’s the first time I’ve tried Vinyasa Flow yoga. I have done bits of yoga in the past, but this is the first ‘proper’ class I’ve done and I made the conscious decision that I wanted to go it alone. Yoga is very much about channelling the mind and going into a class with a bit more anonymity allowed me to achieve that detached feeling I wanted. Whilst yoga is brilliant for posture, flexibility and strength, my aim was to have an hour whereby I was switched off from all but the class and to leave feeling mentally stronger.

In this class in particular, there were about 12 of us and only 2 people arrived together so taking a mat and not engaging seemed like the most natural thing to do. Unlike during more strenuous gym classes where you all feel very much in it together to survive high intensity training, there is more focus here on individuals going through the motions and actually enjoying the class rather than surviving it.

I mean, I’m sure there are people out there who absolutely love HIIT, but I’m yet to meet one.

Arriving alone didn’t make me feel self-conscious and unlike at my gym where you have to arrive 10mins early to get a spot near the back then stand around awkwardly wishing you hadn’t left your phone in your locker, at Yoga Hero, it felt more natural just to be sat there. It’s always a bit awkward when you go to something new as you never know what the etiquette is, so I did the natural thing of copying the woman next to me who looked like she’d done it before.

Being somewhat curvier than your average yogi, I expected to feel self conscious during the class when in actual fact, throughout the class I found myself unaware of everyone around me as we went through the movements. Whilst yoga can have a rep for cliquey women wearing head to toe Lulu Lemon, there was none of that at this class. I don’t know whether that’s the case at every class, but this one felt incredibly welcoming to beginners like myself.

From my experience, I’d definitely recommend yoga as a class to try when wanting to do something on your own. It’s an opportunity to find the headspace you crave and yet still leave knowing that you have worked your muscles and strengthened your body. Now I’ve been to one class, I plan to try and make it every Sunday as I think that it will allow me to end each week feeling more together, in preparation for the week ahead.


What do you think? Have you tried yoga?
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