I’ve had back problems for many, many years. Almost for as long as I can remember, it has given me pain. Lots of pain. Often the pain is felt in other places, down my legs, in my bollocks and even feeling like a heart attack. But it’s alway come from my back.
Recently I was lucky enough to have, what for me anyway, was life changing surgery. Lumbar decompression surgery to be precise. It’s a routine operation but it does come with some risks and rather a lot of work on my part to do afterwards. I hate physiotherapy! Until now I’ve always looked on it as being a bit of a cop-out on the part of the surgeons. To be fair -it usually is. But not this time.
The first few weeks after surgery was fucking painful. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. But the general pain subsided to a point where waking up in the morning was almost euphoric! I still have pain, only now instead of it being a 7 or 8 out of 10, it’s a 1 or 2. After nearly 20 years of it, that’s life changing, believe me!
So where does the Hot Yoga come in? I’m getting to that. Now don’t get me wrong, my physiotherapist knows his stuff. I just don’t feel that the NHS give them enough time with their patients to actually be worthwhile. I see him every few weeks and I’m asked how I am and then just shown an excercise and sent on my merry way. I needed more. I’m inherently lazy. You only have to look at my blogging frequency to know that. What I needed was a push! Someone to encourage me to work harder. Going to the gym just won’t do it for me. I do need to strengthen my core muscles. But that is way, way down the line. 18 months down the line at least. I’m still not supposed to lift more than 10kgs FFS!
By chance, I saw a local advert for Yoga classes. They were for the over 60’s and during the day, so of no use to me, but it got me thinking. A little Googling later, and I found Sabina. Her style of yoga teaching was just what I was looking for. Sometimes relaxed, sometimes intense. Always enjoyable and always fun. Guess what. If you fart in her class she’ll just laugh along with you. Awesome!!
Still very much the introvert, I asked my young daughter if she’d join me. Safety in numbers and all that. She agreed and off we went to our first lesson.
As it happened, we were the only two in class that day. Saturday mornings are at Sabina’s home studio. She runs two lessons on a Saturday morning and the first was busy. The second, ours, empty. Perfect! I couldn’t have asked for a better lesson. packed full of gentle aerobics and stretches, moving onto some more advanced poses once we were ready. We’ve been going for several weeks now, and I honestly feel more flexible than I have in 30 years or more.
Finally, we’re at the Hot Yoga part. Hot Yoga isn’t what you’d expect from it’s name. We’ve all seen the naked yoga videos on Pornhub. Or is that just me? I’ll come to naked yoga in a bit.
Hot Yoga is basically just yoga in a really hot room. It’s done that way to make you sweat like buggery and cleanse the body. We were certainly warm.
Photo by Tim Savage
Today, is the hottest day of the year so far. A mini heatwave is forecast and it’s already 27°C (80°F), with temperatures expected to top 33°C. for London, that’s a heatwave.
Sabina joked about it being a Hot Yoga lesson today. And by fuck it was. 7 people in a small-ish room waving our arms around and putting ourselves in unnatural positions. Loved it!
Then it got me to thinking about that naked yoga again. When I practise in the privacy of my own home, I’m usually naked. And why not? What I do in the comfort of my own home is my business. But does anyone teach naked yoga? Once again, Google is my friend. A nosy one, but a friend nonetheless. It turns out that there are many naked yoga instructors in and around London. Several in fact. Some of the listings looked like they might be fronts for other kinds of business but a few really stood out. I just wish I had the courage to give one a go.
Doria Yoga really stood out for me. The way she promotes a body positive attitude just sings to me. Shame it’s all the way down in Clapham, North London. Maybe one day…
Do your body a favour. Give Yoga a try. Maybe if I’d taken it up two decades ago, I’d have never even needed the surgery.
Photo by Cedric Lim
Feature by Photo by Tim Savage