Be sad, forget, forgive and restore

A story by Marie

My yoga journey started I think back in 2009.  Yoga was something I had always wondered about throughout my younger days, but nobody where I was brought up did yoga, you only ever saw it on the telly. Like most I suppose, in my teens and early twenties I had gone through the keep fit fads of the time… aerobics, step classes, running, water aerobics, numerous celebrity videos, power walking, zumba, circuit training, indoor and outdoor. The list goes on….

I was never a team sport kind of person unlike my brothers who were champions in our house, picking up trophies and medals galore.  I was never a “sport billy “ unlike my brothers.  I wasn’t competitive, preferring quietly to do my own thing.

In my head I was a frustrated ballerina. I was always amazed at their physical strength and beautiful physique but their poise, balance, elegance and ability to hold themselves in these amazing positions for a period of time always amazed me.  It was a gorgeous pipe dream but being the completely wrong shape I knew this was something I was NEVER going to be able to do, there was no real commitment or longevity to all the above exercise regimes. …But I knew I was supple, could stretch, and had good strong legs like my wee granny.

I was always health conscious probably due to my nursing background and believe I had a responsibility to care for my own health physical and emotional and my spiritual wellbeing.   Don’t get me wrong; I have my moments of over indulgence and being bad, I have a busy family and social life. However there must be something else out there that suits this body thinks me…..

Yoga became part of my life in 2008 when I started going to a local class firstly to satisfy my curiosity.

I am getting older, less inclined to go to full on mental gym classes and competing with the lithe younger members of my local gym just did not appeal. “ Okay, what next, am I trying this yoga or what?”  So I did and loved it.

For the next 4 years I never looked back.

Going to yoga twice a week became a ritual, it gave me solace and time to be me and reorganize my busy head space and thank goodness it did.  I was about to endure what was about to become the most emotionally traumatic time of my life.

A period of overwhelming sadness and loss … terminal illness then bereavement of my dear sister in law,  physical and emotional exhaustion with travelling and caring,  guilt at not being there to help with family needs, loss of my job,  divorce, and a devastating betrayal and loss of trust involving a person I love and people who I thought were friends.

My anxiety levels were reaching fever pitch and I was struggling to find a way to manage and cope with the desperation and black fury that was swallowing up my life.  Yoga guided me, allowed me to dig deep and ground me, acknowledge how sad and raw I felt as a person, allowed me to cry like a baby when I left the class.  Afterwards I did feel uplifted and able to face the day.

Then the classes stopped… leaving me lost and broken.

Until I think it was one August day in 2014 I was out and picked up the Sheffield Star, opened it and there was an advertisement for a new Hot Yoga class opening in Sheffield. I am unsure exactly what the ad said but I will always remember seeing the photo of Anne Marie and Koreen in a pose outside the studio and thinking how cool they looked.  And I am thinking I bet they really KNOW how to do proper yoga. Am I doing this? Am I going to bite the bullet and go to one of these classes?

So I did…. After getting parked somewhere on one of the side streets, as I had no idea where I was, I walked into the class.

That first visit was the beginning of the road to recovery for me.

The immediate thing I remember was the heat, god it was hot in there, the steam running down the windows, the aromatic smell… and Anne Marie welcoming me and being so kind and making general conversation with 2 or 3 people that were waiting around, getting themselves organized.  I felt quietly excited about doing my first class, it never even crossed my mind that I might struggle, not keep up, or just not be able to cope with what lay ahead in the studio.  She was so reassuring and positive. In that moment I knew I was coming back. And this was before I had even planted myself on my mat! After that first slow sun salutation, I was hooked.

Hot Yoga Sheffield provided me with a safe place to come and go and be sad, forget, forgive, believe, re-establish my self belief, restore my sense of self and yet continually challenge myself physically, emotionally and spiritually. It has made me realize my own strength of character. Help me find purpose, calmness of mind and heart and tolerance. But more importantly for me, help to let go of the negative and destructive emotions that were going to destroy me. I think the best way for me to honestly describe it is that I felt like a wounded child the day I walked in and Hot Yoga were the outstretched warm, welcoming arms that wrapped around me and held on tight helping me heal.

I keep coming back for all the above reasons. I love the diversity of the yogis, everyone matters, the lack of competitiveness except with yourself. I now feel the dark desperation is subsiding and being replaced with positivity and feeling uplifted.  

Those arms are slowly letting me go and I am now saying bring it on,

I’m ready, I’m getting better in mind and body.

I listen intently to each teacher’s yoga message but again one class recently that I attended one message has now become a particular mantra for me:

“Yoga is about cultivating detachment….” I am embracing the changes, letting go of the past and living each day in the present. And am thankful for the beautiful people and things I have in my life.

I love the after class chatting, trying the juices, watching people come and go, reading the literature that is lying about the desk, looking at the products for sale.  It’s a good place to just be and thank you for helping me rebuild my firm foundations, relationships with others but more importantly with myself.

Lots of people ask me “so what is hot yoga” ?

My answer “go and try and see and experience … it will  challenge you, it’s hard but it will fine tune every aspect of your life as it has mine.”

Yogi love to all xxx