This week looks as follows:
Monday: work from home in the morning, travel to Manchester in the afternoon.
Tuesday: in Manchester all day, travel home to London in the evening.
Wednesday: work from home in the morning, fly to Dublin in the afternoon.
Thursday: in Dublin all day, travel home in the evening.
Friday: Admin in the morning. Lunch with my Mum. Afternoon off.
Saturday: Friends hen-do.
Sunday: my birthday!
As you can see there’s not much time available for exercise, but somehow I need to get some done because on the weeks where my travel levels are high my mood tends to be more unstable, and excercise helps with this.
At the weekend I planned out my training plan for the week based on the half-marathon training plan Steve and I are doing. This week I am meant to complete:
- 1 x 30min cross-training session
- 1 x 30min easy run
- 1 x interval run (4 x 6 mins challenging with 2 mins recovery each time)
- 1 x 10Km long run
But I want to also keep on top of my 10 yoga classes a month intention. May isn’t looking great so far (see attendance below), and with lots of travel it becomes even more difficult!
So with just a small amount of planning I travelled with my running and yoga kit to Manchester and made a visit to the Bikram Yoga Manchester studio! In the 7 years I have been practicing I’ve never really had the confidence to go into an unknown studio to practice before.
The studio was just a 10 minute walk from my hotel. It was in the basement of a building which had an industrial feel to it with exposed pipework and the like, and is still very strongly Bikam influenced. This is something that has definitely been declining in the South; with the word ‘Bikram’ being removed from studio names and alternative yoga methods added to schedules.
Here though, it was like I remember Bikram yoga used to be. The teacher wore a headset microphone, stood on a podium and stuck rigidly to the dialogue; just as Bikram Choudhury asked.
The room was hot, but with perfect levels of air being pumped in. The wood laminate floor was marked up so students knew where to position their mats allowing everyone equal view in the mirrors.
Basic studio etiquette was enforced with mobile phones being turned off at the reception, no shoes beyond the reception either and no items to be bought into the studio other than clear liquids. No books, no phones, no chatting; just how it is meant to be.
That discipline with Bikram yoga means that you are only focussed on yourself and your breath. Having no distractions mean that when you start the practice your mind is not wondering off to the last page you were reading or the last email you sent. You get to experience 90 minutes of moving meditation.
I miss that unadulterated Bikram yoga.
I put myself in the 2nd row, not wanting to be a front row wanker in a studio I was visiting, but it turned out that no one went into the front row and so inadvertently I was it!
This actually turned out to my advantage as my anxiety about being in the front row, made me really focus of my breathing so I could have a strong practice. I had a great class. It was a week since my last one, and the first since the half marathon at the weekend, and it felt bloody brilliant! I felt strong in all the postures and paced myself just right.
I’m back in Manchester next week so am planning on returning, and may even try and visit a studio in Dublin when I’m there this week too.
I didn’t get to bed till late but wanted to try and get my 30 minute run completed before breakfast this morning. My internal monologue was flipping between a run and the cross training session as I would much rather not have to run 1st thing, but also I realise that the longer I postpone the run the fewer days I would have left to squeeze all the runs in this week!
I took it easy, a slow run and only did 3Km as I didn’t have 30 minutes to spare because I had spent too long faffing about. Yet, I did run and I feel like this week has started really well.
But, I’m tired, and it’s only Tuesday night. That said I am happy to have found the confidence to practice outside of my normal studio and for that to have been such a positive experience. I feel blessed to know that I can have this yoga wherever I go, whenever I travel.
I just have to make it a priority.