Oh what a beautiful morning!
Every Thursday I teach a morning class at Glow Yoga. This morning, when my alarm went off, I was enjoying the most wonderfully sound sleep. The alarm therefore was not particularly welcome, but being a creature of habit (and knowing that I can’t just leave my yoga students lying on a mat teacher-free!) I crawled out of bed and begun my Thursday morning routine.
This consists of stumbling to the bathroom to wash my sleepy face, pull on my leggings and yoga top before creeping to the kitchen to humour my stomach with a measly child-size portion of cereal. I struggle to eat so soon after getting up but if I don’t I’m absolutely starving halfway through class so I eat just enough to take the edge off and not so much I don’t have time to digest it. Then it’s back to the bathroom to brush my teeth and take some vitamins before pulling some shoes on, grabbing my already-packed bag and heading out the door to catch the tube to Covent Garden. I usually make it from bed to pavement in 27 minutes… but who’s counting.
I aim to reach the studio by 7.10am so that I have a little time to prepare before class starts which consists of a quick gossip with the lovely girl/s on reception and chucking my bag into a locker before heading downstairs to the studio. Immediately what always hits me when I first walk into the practice space is the beautiful feeling I get just being in there. Glow Yoga is Europe’s first infrared heated studio and as I arrive the studio is just starting to reach its desired temperature; not too hot you overstretch and injure yourself, but warm enough to loosen the muscles and help you sweat a little bit once you get moving. Not only that the room is also lit beautifully with ambient lighting around the edges and SAD (seasonal affective disorder) lighting to one side of the studio resulting in you always getting your dose of Vitamin D no matter what the weather! One minute of this and I’m really awake and appreciative of my little alarm!
At 7.30am on the dot I start my class – Core Flow. I don’t like to start even a minute late because I know the majority of the people in this class have somewhere they need to be afterwards and as a teacher my aim is to help them to focus solely on their practice for an hour without worrying that their class might be running over even by a minute or two. Yes it’s nice to think that you can forget the world while you’re on your mat but in reality, and especially in the London pace, it’s just not possible and I believe we should work with that and not against it. Life is about balance and balance is better when there’s less stress!
The class starts with 5 minutes of warming and lubricating the joints so that they’re fully awake before we move on. Then it’s straight into some flowing sequences all focused around working the core strongly. For me the Core Flow class is a wonderful chance to really activate the mid-region of the body and is a fantastic addition to a regular yoga practice as the stronger our core the better our practice overall. There’s quite a lot of yoga-influenced movements and core conditioning work – I want people to leave feeling strong and like they’ve really started the day warrior-style, ready to take on the world! We close with a a few minutes of slower movements, some still focused around the core and some not, before moving into a short savasana – long enough to calm the breathe and body and not so long that people get too comfortable, after all I want people energised when they leave the room!
If you don’t have a regular morning class already then I urge you to try it out. At first you may have to battle your alarm demons but I promise that the fight is worth it and once it becomes habit you’ll wonder what all the fuss was about! Morning classes tend to have a real feel of community about them as everybody knows that reality awaits them afterwards and the people in the room really want to be there. When you leave you’ll leave refreshed, calm, energised, feisty and positive. I can’t think of a better way to start the day!