Surreal Interlude

By Jo

To make a change I just thought I’d share with you the menagerie of postures I have been adopting in my Thursday night ‘Hot Yoga’ class.  I hope this will be an inspiration to the other girls in the team to share their own winter ‘cross-training’ stories one way or another, because the winter can be boring enough, and I know some of you are doing strange things with elastic bands which we would all like to hear about.

Since injuring my pelvis I have not been able to do as much weight training as I might this time of year, and as I teach a Pilates class at a specialist yoga, pilates and meditation centre, I thought this was the ideal opportunity to learn a bit more about the ancient art and benefit from the stretchification of the heated studio.

Often the class is taught by a lady who looks rather like Charlie, which is always a bit surreal, having her put me through my yoga paces (?!), but last nights class was taught by Agnetta, so you need to imagine the following stream of instruction coming from a toned, slim, platted blond (presumably Scandanavian?) woman.  This is kind of funny coming from a more ‘traditional’ sport orientated/scientific mind set, but I don’t want you to think I am making fun of it.  Yoga can be pretty fabulous actually, and refreshing if you find yourself overthinking.  So here you go…


“Breathe up to the sky… wrap your left arm under your right arm and lift your beak to the mirror…..Eagle pose….sit down squeezing your thighs…. wrap your left leg around your right knee and squeeze all your joints tightly together….this is good for your joints …lower your body with a straight back and looking to the mirror stretch out your wings…you are flying…..


….Tuck your chin close to your chest and roll down slowly towards the floor rounding your back…keep your hips square keep the pressure on the outside of your left foot and fold towards the floor…  press your forehead into your knee…if your forehead isn’t on your knee you have not even started the posture….. that is the most important thing…squeeze your sphincters…. contract your abdominals…. we are stimulating your thyroid…….


…..Step back into plank and hold…remember who you are practising for…we are practising determination…roll over your ankles lift your hips into side plank….lengthen your arm to the mirror …focus on your middle finger….lengthen your side…you are stronger than you think…come back into plank……on the next out breath out lift your hips into downward dog…….stretch your leg behind you reaching towards the sky…. step through into pigeon………………..surrender your third eye to the mat…..


….We are going to do three Lions so I want you to breathe in through your nose and when you breathe out stick your tongue out as far as you can and make as much noise as you like….here we go…

…….We are going to go into Rabbit so grab your heels touch the crown of your head to the mat with your forehead touching your knees…lift your hips to the sky…..

……We are going to finish with some shoulder bridge because it is so good for you…..again we are stimulating the thyroid…..go right ahead and raise your hips to the sky…if your hands are on your ribs touch your toes overhead behind you keeping your legs straight…only if you can touch your toes on the floor release your hands and stretch to the wall….this is SO good for you…..bend your knees and cover your ears with your knees so you can’t hear anything…use your arms to pull your elbows to close off your ears…shut your eyes so you can’t see anything…give yourself a double chin….tuck your chin to your chest…

And so it was last night that I finished up with my knees cupping my ears and my eyes closed with sweat running off me in a 41 degree heated studio with probably 30 other people trying to do the same.  I didn’t notice them.  I could not hear.  I could not see.  But my Thyroid was on Fire!  This is the way to weight loss.


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