I’ve always been someone that needs to keep active.
And I know how that makes me sound (somewhere between basic bitch and pretentious preacher). But it’s true.
When I’m committed to any form of exercise – be that competitive dance, long distance running or pole dance – there has always been a direct correlation between the sweat I’m shedding and my state of mind.
I dig the endorphins. I crave the heavy beat of my heart against my tired chest.
When I moved to Australia, it’s no surprise that this all took a backseat. As I adjusted to a new way of life (so vastly different to my time in Italy), it became all too easy to sit back as one day slipped into the next. The moment it hit me that, actually, this next step really wasn’t going to be without its struggles, I fell into a lethargic pool of indifference… it was easier to shut down and pass from moment to moment carelessly than to admit my time here demanded some serious effort on my part.
Now this isn’t to say that I would just sit in bed watching Netflix from Dusk till Dawn. I was still out there. I was still living it.
But an important aspect of me was missing. I became lazy, sluggish. My weight fluctuated as I passed between forgetting to eat entirely and simply devouring anything that was close and easy. My anxiety hit a peak as I found myself fixated by other people’s opinion of me.
People that really, really didn’t matter.
None of it mattered, really.
It was only for a few weeks, but it felt like a lifetime. I was losing myself, gradually and then all at once.
And I’m not going to sit here and praise to the high heavens that Bikram Yoga came along and changed my life. That with one class everything was resolved. That it’s the be all and end all of inner peace.
No. I’m not going to make you endure that.
But what I will say is… it is, without doubt, the most effective form of exercise for mental and physical health I have ever taken part in.
I’ve become one of those girls I’ve always raised an eyebrow to. You know the type. Who gushes about it to anyone who listens. Who makes it her day’s goal to recruit new class members. Who doesn’t bat an eyelid flashing the cash at that seriously cute new yoga outfit (yet turns her nose up at hairbands that cost more than $2).
Because here’s the thing: when I’m in that 1 million degree Torture Chamber, I feel… well, amazing. Nothing else matters when you’re in that room. The sheer concentration needed to push through those 26 postures whilst you try not to be blinded by your own sweat completely takes over any stresses, any tension, that you’ve been feeling. The meditation allows you to dispense of it all. It’s nothing in comparison.
And best of all? It makes me feel BAD-ASS. And it makes me feel STRONG. I’m gaining muscles in places I didn’t even know existed. Every class I am managing to push myself further and further, my flexibility going far beyond my dancing days. I am so committed, and that dedication feels unbelievable.
I am already seeing my body changing. I am already feeling it changing.
I am proud to admit that I am well and truly bitten by the Yogi bug.
This commitment, this structure? It’s transpiring in everything I do. I am finding myself totally focused on my work (a big bonus being in the early stages of running my business!) but able to switch off with ease. My mentality has taken a 180 degree turn for the better. I am more positive. I am proud of everything I am doing. Uninterested in the mindless whispers of others.
And I’m so excited to keep working on this sexy new relationship.
My must-have Yoga products:
This stuff is a MUST, especially for the sweat drenched madness of Bikram Yoga. An Aussie brand, Detox is a purifying spray, formulated with Australian grown organic lemon myrtle… aka, it smells all kinds of delightful. It kills odour causing bacteria with just a couple of spritzes, leaving your mat fresh (rather than reeking of wet dog).
I couldn’t live without this stuff – it saves the hassle of having to wash your mat EVERY DAMN DAY and I’m kinda all over the smell. Love x 1,000.
Check out their website here.
Created by a 20 year Bikram Yogi, Onzie wear “blends the best of traditional yoga wear with modern innovation and a touch of whimsy.” Basically? They’re stuff is gorgeous. Get out the plastic kind of gorgeous. But not only that, it’s the best clothing I’ve found in terms of function and flexibility for Bikram. Now hurry up payday… I need me some new kit!
Browse their range here.
Without question, I finish every single class with one of these bad boys. It’s made from 100% natural coconut water sourced from young green coconuts in Thailand and tastes UNREAL after 90 minutes of profuse sweating. You know? Kind of a bit salty… mmm. Yeah, I’m all over that.
It’s easily the tastiest (and healthiest) coconut water on the market… plus, it goes AMAZINGLY in breakfast smoothies!
Read more about the company here.