FINDING MY INNER CHI
It’s happening. Oh dear lord, it’s happening. I’m in the back of a cab. On my way to a very important meeting… and it’s happening.
It started with a lip quiver (it always starts with a lip quiver). A few sniffles and some tongue-biting later, a solitary crocodile tear trickled down my face. Then came the self-induced blinking fit; a few more lip tremors and finally a violent cascading waterfall, blindly washing away my dignity.
That’s how London won the fight. Honestly, McGreggor v Aldo ain’t got nothing on this. My saving grace? The startled look on my driver’s face- his bewildered eyes scanning me up and down, mind racing on how to fix this unexpected scenario.
Cue Operation Loco-Irish-Chick-Lost-in-New-City (and late. VERY LATE).
‘”Just breathe dawlin’, come on, breathe with me…” he cooed, before launching into a panting exercise I last witnessed on One Born Every Minute.
“10, 9, 8, 7….. you’ve got this dawlin, It’s a wh*re of a city, Landan but you’ll learn to work with it in time.”
And that, my friends, is how I lost my inner chi (albeit temporarily).
I’ve been in London for a year now. It’s been an exhilarating adventure and our love affair continues to blossom by the day. Amid the frustrations of this manic, bustling city (of which there are many- traffic jam related on the morning in question), I’ve met some incredible people who have opened up my eyes to the world around me in a whole new way. I’ve found hidden nooks and crannies in this metropolis that make it personal to me; adding some very special memories to my “life-flashing-before-my-eyes” highlights reel. Professionally and personally I’ve been stretched and pulled and challenged but also rewarded and reassured and inspired. I've struggled and I've failed here but I've also succeeded and conquered - a true Libran, I'm fond of my equilibrium!
Perhaps back home in Dublin there was too much balanace. I lived in a beautiful apartment, had a steady, comfortable job, my friends and family were a phone call away and I had a routine I loved and cherished and possibly took for granted a little more than I realised. In London things are different, although this is far from a woe is me tale - I realise how blessed I am to have the luxury to create a little chaos and upheival at my own choosing. No move to any country is plane sailing, not even when it's only a 50 minute plane journey away from home!
In the midst of "trying to figure it all out," those initial months, I ran myself low of energy and made one of the most important decisions for myself - to take a chill pill. Not literally, but you know how I mean. To take a step back, breathe fully to my lungs capacity and give my head some peace. In a city that never sleeps the only way to do that for me was yoga.
Apart from the odd yogalates class in Dublin, I'd never set foot inside a proper studio before. For years I found it an intimidating space, a practice beneficial to others but definitely not for me.
I couldn't have been more wrong.
I could write endless paragraphs about my personal benefits from Bikram Yoga but we're all unique creatures and what works for one will totally irk and irritate another so I won't preach too much!
I will however say that if you like to SWEAT during a workout and feel completely challenged- this one's a must. For me Bikram is brilliant for releasing stress during class, the frustration of trying to hold poses in sometimes uncomfortable heat for 90 minutes leaving me completely chilled and refreshed post workout. After just a few classes I sleep better, my skin adopts a healthier glow and my muscles are much more supple and flexible than before.
Best of all? At least once every session I burst into a fit of private giggles (they take themselves very seriously in my studio, LOL-ing is a no-no) sending my endorphine levels sky rocketing. It's the perfect indulgence over the winter months - although my loyalty lately has been slacking #sorry
With Lent in full swing, I've decided that instead of giving up anything, I'm going to take up a Bikram Yoga challenge- one class a day for 30 consecutive days. It's maybe a little optimisitic -the most in a row I've managed till now is 4- but I'm ready to give it a good go... lets hope all that heat doesn't make my brains boil!!
p.s Photo is totally "borrowed" from Google and copyright not mine but how about that for some wonderlust?!