Before I starting working at Bikram Southside, Yoga was an unexplored world for me. Having recently graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in Philosophy, and feeling a deep curiosity for spirituality and consciousness, I was naturally drawn towards the world of Yoga and meditation. However, I had always felt intimidated by Yoga classes, imagining a room full of beautiful, contortionist gurus who would have me looking like an unenlightened couch potato in comparison.
During my first class, all these preconceived ideas – literally – melted away. The heat and intensity of the class made entering a meditative state not only more accessible, but necessary! Everyone was so beautifully focused on their own practice, and I soon realised that nobody gave a sh**t what I looked like. Suddenly, I found myself welcomed into a wonderful new community, with an incredible focus on healing, transformation and growth (and lots of great banter too!).
The intimidation and insecurities I had associated with Yoga turned out to be nonsense. This taught me an important lesson: that by changing the stories that we tell ourselves about the world, we can transform the world we live in. We make up so many narratives about ourselves, about how others see us, about what will happen in the future. It’s all fantasy, until we can slip into the power of the present, and really embody life.
Yoga has helped me understand this on so many levels and has opened me up to new ways of relating to myself and those around me. During the two years that I have been working at Bikram Southside, I have strengthened both my body and my mind. By physically pushing myself beyond the limits of what I believed I could achieve, I have brought resilience, determination and confidence into all aspects of my life.
The emphasis placed on bringing attention to the breath in Hot Yoga and Pilates has for me opened a kind of portal into the self. Breathing occupies a special place, as it can be both a conscious and unconscious process. By bringing awareness and attention to this process, we can bridge the gap between the conscious and unconscious mind. Working in this way with movement and breath, both in the Hot Room and in my daily life, has allowed me to uncover and reprogram negative thought patterns and beliefs about myself and the world, and has given me the power to reshape my life.
Bringing awareness to the breath can carry peace, calm, focus and energy into each moment of our day, helping us dwell more in the present. Yoga has for me in this way facilitated a kind of re-birth into a new way of being.
Through this journey, I have now become a certified Breathwork Practitioner, with the hope to share the simple, but incredibly powerful practice of Conscious Breathing with others. I feel so much gratitude and joy for being a part of such a beautiful community and for the impact this has had on my life. I can’t wait to see where the journey takes me next!