For those that don’t know, there has been a LOT of yoga in my life recently. When I first moved to Basel I joined a yoga class and I used to go three times a week. It was one of my treats that I gave myself and I loved it. It was a small class and I quickly became friends with the teacher and the other regulars. Then with the arrival of my gorgeous little girl I switched to pre-natal yoga where I met yet more wonderful people. Post baby I had quite a bit of a break from most exercise apart from walking with the pram, the obvious carrying and all other exhausting baby related activities.
Then there popped up a Bikram Yoga place in town and one of my pre-natal yoga buddies (Belinda) highly recommended it to me. She was full of wise recommendations, so I gave it a go. It took about 10 sessions to really get into it, but I was soon hooked. When I got my office in town in Basel (rather than working from home) I took the plunge and invested in a 6-month unlimited membership. As on my work days I would be working 10 hours or so, taking a 2 hour break for some yoga was a bit of a no-brainer. I loved the heat, I loved the 90 min long classes and quite frankly I loved how it made me feel about myself. Not only did I tone again and remember that I had tummy muscles, it was really good for my self image to be staring at myself in a mirror for so long in what amounted to not much more than a bikini.
Fast forward to moving back to the UK. One of the first things I did with my Bikram buddy Karen was check out if there was a studio in Sheffield. I was so happy to find Hot Yoga Sheffield, it wasn’t a Bikram studio, but one which was still hot and with a range of different classes. I had got used to my standard Bikram class, but I didn’t realise how much more in love I could be with Hot Yoga. I quite quickly signed up for my New Starter Special and just loved all the teachers, the range of classes and the new accents of the teachers.
As I continued to go when I could (the change of earnings hit me quite hard moving back and it wasn’t always possible that I could go as often as I liked) I ended up signing up for a posture clinic one weekend about 9 months ago. It was a great way to spend a whole weekend that I had to myself without Maia and after the rush of work I often have in the lead up to Christmas. It was at this weekend that I spotted an invitation for Energy Exchangers at the studio. They were looking for Juicers and cleaners in exchange for unlimited yoga. I swear, I almost begged them to consider me. I’m so glad I was given the opportunity I was to become an Energy Exchanger, it was both humbling and meditative taking 4 of my precious hours to clean a space that gave me so much calm, grounding and peace. In exchange, I have become a familiar face and part of the Hot Yoga Sheffield family. So much so that I have upgraded my Energy Exchange status. I am now the Studio Photographer and will be moving my home office to their new Studio that will open in the new year. Exciting times.
With my new role I have been taking photos in classes for the studio that have been drip feeding into their social media avenues. I must say, the novelty of seeing my photos anywhere never grows old. I can flick through Linked In, Facebook, and now Instagram and see my photos being used for profiles etc. It’s the same when I go into clients houses and see my art from their sessions up on the wall. It’s uplifting and beautiful. I often stop and think – oh how pretty before I remember that I took that photo. Amazing.
The journey is only just beginning too. In fact, tomorrow I start to train with Collins & Barth School of Yoga to become a Kids Yoga teacher. I’m floating about the possible option of my oferring Private Family Yoga classes too. Something to do on a rainy day together in your own home or a sunny day out in the garden. It’s so good for everyone, it really is.
With all this yoga I want to offer something new. I’d like to take some photo sessions for yogis. Not so they can show off what they can do, but because I think being a yogi and practicing yoga brings a beautiful sense of calm and I think that especially if you have some photos taken of you out in nature in some yoga poses it can not only empower you to know that person in that photo is you, it can also have a domino effect on bring you back to that feeling of calm that yoga gives you. I’d like to offer one lucky person a chance to win a Yoga Photoshoot including the option of a piece of wall art at cost (no profit to me)!
My daughter was treated to a Private Yoga class with three of her friends for her birthday. They loved it:
This is me on the very last day of the 30 day challenge in July this year. I totalled 46 classes over the 31 days, which came to 56.5 hours of hot yoga! I was feeling amazing at the end of it. You can read more here.
Win photos of you out in nature in some of your favourite yoga poses:
For extra points, spot the two pairs of boots (above) that a naughty lab cross (below) moved around from behind a tree!
Contest Rules & Disclaimer
Terms & Conditions: Yoga photo session to be taken near to me. This could be in Sheffield or when I am visiting over in Basel. There will probably be some walking/driving about to get a few different locations, so expect to be with me for 1-2 hours. Ideally it will be taken close to sunrise or sunset for some golden light magic. The shoot must be taken within a year of it being drawn and offered. Included will be up to 20 different images delivered via a digital link to an online album. One picture of your choice can be ordered as wall art in consultation with me and you can purchase at cost (optional, but advised).
WINNER : Hilary Jones