Bikram Yoga in Leeds.
*Originally posted May 8, 2016
SATURDAY WITH MICHELLE
After hosting a fun show at on Friday night at the Jongleurs Leeds I woke up bright and early on Saturday morning to take the 9am class from an amazing teacher called Michelle and then taught the 11am class right after.Bikram Yoga Leeds is a beautiful studio. I was told it opened in December and Vicki the owner thought of everything. The facility is perfect. The dressing rooms are huge, the showers are impeccably clean. There is an area for people to sit and relax after class and on the wall are the pictures and bios of Paramahasan Yogananda, Bishnu Ghosh, Buddha Bose, and Bikram Choudhury. When you sit and sip your complementary tea in that little corner of the studio you feel surrounded by yoga history. Because you are. The hot room itself is on a self regulating heating system that seems to keep it at a perfect temperature. There are full length mirrors spanning two walls, and the back of the studio has windows over looking a little street in Leeds. I was pretty much sold on Leeds as a place by the studio layout alone.
Michelle, my teacher for that day, is a former cop turned yoga instructor and the woman knows her shit. She is energetic and teaches the postures’ form impeccably. Specifically getting in and out of a posture. She’s not someone who just went to Teacher Training and stopped her education there. She told me after class that she’s also gone on to take courses in anatomy and how it pertains to yoga and her extra knowledge shows. I learned a lot taking her class and I had a break thru. My hamstrings are finally opening up and I was able to tough my head to the floor in Separate-Leg-Stretching-Pose! Yippee for me! It hurt like hell in a good way. Michelle stayed around to take my class at 11am. And told me how much she loved my New York accent. I love her Yorkshire accent as
much as she loves my New York accent. Although I still have trouble believing I have a New York accent. I grew up in Ohio and lived there till I was 18. I did live in New York for ten years and now over here people constantly tell me I have an accent. I don’t hear it. Maybe ten years of living in New York I developed one. If after ten years of living in England I develop and English accent, I might have to move back to Ohio to undo all the linguistic damage.
I was really inspired by Michelle’s auxiliary knowledge and when I get back to London I want to crack open all those anatomy books I’ve bought but never read. Michelle also owns and designs her own line of yoga clothes called Silhouette Fitness Clothing. The woman does it all.
SUNDAY WITH BERNADETTE
I showed up on Sunday having eaten far too much at the complementary buffet breakfast at my hotel. I can’t help it. When there’s a free breakfast and no one to comment on how many hash browns I’ll eat, I go nuts. I showed up for the 11am class a little out of breathe from the brisk walk and a boulder in my belly. (I left the hotel a little later than I planned). I was greeted by a woman who could only be described as pure joy. Bernadette is 61 year woman who wore a red top, red lipstick, and a red flower in her hair. I want to be like her when I grows up. When we came to standing she told us to “Look into the mirror and see our comic child.” It’s when she said that, I though to myself, “This is going to be awesome.”She delivers the dialogue in such a rhythmic way she sounds like she’s singing. And sometimes she does sing. In Standing Bow Pulling Pose she broke into a version os Supercalafragileisticexbealadotious where she sang how are spines became “Super Novas” I pushed myself hard in her class despite the belly full of potatoes. I even touched my forehead to the floor again. The whole 90 minutes I was smiling, I couldn’t help it. Bernadette’s energy was infectious.
These past few days of yoga have been a lot of fun and feel like I’ve found my groove again. I feel like the first few weeks of this challenge, I was reminding my body how to do yoga. Then I had a few days where everything closed up. Now it feels like my body is opening up in a way that I can push myself deeper in the postures and find more movement and flexibility. As we know, the body grows and changes in many ways so it’s very possible that it all goes to shit tomorrow. But today, I feel great. And I like yoga again.