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I tried a hot yin yoga class and here’s what happened…

One of the best ways to become a better tarot reader and alternative therapist, is to try some sessions for yourself. In this blog series, I review my favourite experiences with local spiritual and therapeutic businesses.

Today, I review a Yin Restore class at one Sheffield’s hottest (in more ways than one) new yoga venues, Soul Fire Studios.

Photo courtesy of Laura Rose Creative

Remember winter in pre-lockdown, when the only thing we had to worry about was finding ways to get warm? A one-hour class in a 35-degree-heated yoga studio was the mini-break I’d been craving!

I’d been to yin yoga classes before, but hadn’t found one that stuck. The chilly room at the last studio hadn’t helped. I have bad circulation, so when I found out that the yin class at Soul Fire Studios was also a hot yoga class, it was enough to motivate me to go out on a cold winter’s evening to check it out.

It’s always awkward being the newbie at a fitness class - especially when you go alone. But the instructor, Jasmine gave me a smile and a warm welcome, informing me where to put my things and directing me to the room. She was even nice about the fact I hadn’t brought a pound to hire a mat. Well, who carries change these days?

But even my class mates were lovely. A man kindly offered to pay the mat hire fee for me and a lady I’d walked in with brought me some blocks, before getting her own. I was feeling the positive vibes already.

I’m going to back up here, because if you have never been to one before, I want you to realise just how hot, a hot yoga class is. I somehow thought glasses were a better option than contact lenses. Big mistake.

As soon as I opened the door, I was blind-folded by steam, and stumbled ungracefully around searching for a yoga mat, while peaceful yogis pretended not to be disturbed by me.

Once settled though, I loved feeling the warmth and make-believing I was sun-bathing on an exotic Thai island. Yes - it was that humid!

I usually hate seeing myself in big mirrors at fitness classes, but the room was dimly lit with fairy lights – plus I couldn’t see a thing without my glasses. Combined with the chilled piano music, it was easy to relax and close my eyes as we slowly moved into our first pose.

Photo courtesy of Soul Fire Studios

I love yin yoga because it’s the perfect antidote for our modern, fast-paced, yang lives. According to Soul Fire, “in order to maintain balance and health in life, harnessing both the active and passive sides of our being creates a well-rounded yoga practice.”

Because it is such a slow and introspective practice, it allows you to become mindful of any tightness in the muscles and joints. However, like any mindfulness practice, it’s about noticing (not judging) our limitations.

We started with the soles of our feet together, and the longer I sat in the posture, the lower my knees seemed to melt – or maybe I was just melting!

To me, a good yoga teacher gives their students alternative postures and blocks to use when they are struggling - which is what Jasmine offered for more challenging poses. Afterall, yoga is a practice not a performance.

The thing about yin yoga is, it sometimes feels like you aren’t doing anything particularly strenuous because you are letting gravity do a lot of the work. But when you’ve been in the seemingly-simple sphinx pose for longer than a minute, you start to feel it.

Yin works on the bones and deep connective tissues, and even as you unfold out of the easier poses, you feel big shifts taking place.

Jasmine also kept reminding us to come back to the breath if our minds had wandered – and mine definitely went off-roading down some random country lanes. But after the class, my head had cleared up and I was feeling a lot more relaxed, both mentally and physically.

If you are looking for a more meditative style of yoga that chills your mind and warms your body, this class is for you.

Note to self: bring the yoga mat and leave the glasses at home next time!

Although the lockdown has meant that the yoga studio has had to close, you can still take online yoga classes with Soul Fire Studios.

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