I’ve always loved the idea of yoga and have tried on many occasions, to perfect my tree pose. The trouble with yoga is sometimes it can all seem a bit scary and a little daunting, especially when you’re in the same room as pros contorting their body into positions you have little hope of ever emulating.
When I was invited down to the Hot Yoga Society’s Big Weekender I was understandably a little apprehensive. The big draw for the weekend was the American yoga instructor Jessamyn Stanley. Fully expecting to see a gymnast in the making, I was pleasantly surprised by the picture of Jessamyn; curvaceous and proud -and the atypical yoga instructor- doing an impressive back bend, legs akimbo. I was intrigued and I was definitely going.
I ran down the spiral staircase in my frenzy into an oasis of tranquility and composure. I quickly checked in with reception and stowed my shoes away in the cubbies before, being given a quick tour of the facilities (I was running a little late, so I’m sure it is usually more extensive than the time allowed). I tip-toed into the studio to be confronted by a Mona Lisa smiling Jessamyn; sitting at the head of the studio with a reassuring aura of calm, as we all tittered about taking off our socks and such.
The studio itself was nothing special, but vast. What was particularly special was the instructor and I think that at Hot Yoga Society that’s the point. They don’t pummel thousands of pounds into floor to ceiling windows and smoothie cafes, but into bringing in the best of the best.
Jessamyn talked to us about what was important to her about yoga and what we should be concentrating on in the session, ourselves. Forgetting about how well others around us were doing, or not doing and just being present and letting go of any internal anguish. I have to say that it was most probably the most grounding session I’ve ever had. I constantly found myself smiling as I moved from pose to pose and listened to her words of wisdom. The hour sessions swiftly turned into an hour and a half and when she finally called time, I was so chilled that I could have slept on my matt for days. It does seem a bit gushy to say but that is how I genuinely felt. Pure and complete contentment. I left in the most positive state of mind and even as I’m writing this weeks later; still can’t help but smile. Highly recommended!