by guest author & freelance writer Hazel Slade
As I head into my last week of the 40-day Hot Yoga challenge, I have to start by telling you about something I overheard.
While waiting to head into a class I was listening to a woman telling one of the teachers (or guides if you prefer) how she had already finished her challenge… ages ago.
And, as if I wasn’t wowza-ed enough by that statement, she then went on to say how she was still going strong and using her stickers to finish someone else’s challenge.
I know it is not good to earwig, but I just thought the fact that this ‘mature’ woman – who I am guessing is an experienced yogi – was storming her way through this challenge while someone at her junior (namely me) was only just making it over the finish line.
It just goes to show, there is no age limit on yoga.
Now, when I say I am only just making it over the finish line, I don’t mean I am finding the classes hard or unenjoyable – completely the opposite in fact. It is more that to fit in the required classes 30 I am having to do them right up to the very last day possible… Squeezing the last one in on the Friday the challenge ends.
This actually has more to do with the fact that I have just returned from a long weekend in Queenstown, than the difficulty of fitting five classes a week around my everyday life. But, still, unlike our friend – who I am sure has at least 15 years on me – I am only just making it to the end.
But what an end it will be.
In the final week of my challenge I decided to spice it up a bit by attending the Mantra & Meditation Course with Adhyatma – one of many of the varied course held at the Wellington studio. This four class workshop (held every Monday and Thursday for two weeks) looks at the subtle, healing and transformative practice of Nada Yoga – the yoga of sound.
In this interesting course I will be learning about chakras (those energy centres of the body we hear so much about), how mantra and sound purifies, balances and awakens each centre, Yoga Nidra techniques and Swara – the chakra toning scales.
I have never done anything like this before, always imagining myself falling asleep in a meditation class after a busy day in the office. But after more than a month of intense yoga, I found quite the opposite.
The yoga has seen my concentration improved 10-fold and, although, I have only done one of these classes so far, the gentle change from hot, active yoga to cool, still mediation is refreshing and vitalising – just the boost I need to get me through my last week.
Apart from that, there is not much more I can tell you as I head towards the end of this wonderful journey. My feelings are very much mixed. I am glad to be finishing and glad to know that I will make the distance. But I will miss having that extra incentive to head to the mat five times a week. Now I will just have to rely on my own dedication.
Only time will tell how often I will practice when the challenge has finished… I am not sure I will make five times a week, but I know I will not be able to go back to just once or twice. The effects this challenge has had on me physically and mentally are too great for that.
For now I am just concentrating on the last mile of this marathon.
The finishing posts are in sight and from here they look great.
More on Hazel Slade:
Hazel is a freelance writer who believes that the written word has the power to move mountains.
Growing up in England, Hazel spent many years working as a writer and journalist, before bringing her love for the written word to New Zealand.
Hazel discovered a love for all things Yogi almost five years ago while living in London, but she has never undergone such an immense undertaking as the 40-day challenge.
She’s hoping to combine her passion of yoga and writing for a truly enriching experience for both herself and her readers.
More on Hot Yoga’s 40-Day Challenge:
Held twice a year, a Hot Yoga 40-Day Challenge is a personal commitment to 5 yoga classes a week with 5 minutes of quiet time each session. A daily green smoothie and attendance at special Hot Yoga events expand the Challenge experience. Students discover the power that comes with a sustained yoga practice. Check out Hot Yoga’s website to find out when the next challenge starts.