My delight is all the sweeter as I am not a fitness freak at all and in fact had the devastating diagnosis of the auto-immune condtion RA (Rheumatoid Arthritis) some 20 years ago. My immune system literally shut down from the age of 17 – inflaming all my internal organs, blood system and joints – with the cells around my joints literally attacking themselves.
Over the years, thanks to a fantastic team of Rheumatologists, some pretty serious medications (including chemotherapy and even gold injections), the brilliant work of several surgeons and the love and care of my family/ friends, I got my life back.
I still have bad days (especially if I am stressed or over-worked) I still have a lot fun but it has to be in moderation! I do work incredibly hard to keep a balance between between living the normal life of a fun-loving, young, single woman and that of someone who has to watch I don’t over-do things.
This is where yoga and Bikram yoga in particular comes in. I trained as a Holistic Therapist (please read my story about this here) some years back and it inspired me to do a course in meditation and yoga too – both fantastically de-stressing and the yoga not at all damaging to my joints.
However, I have now become real advocate of Bikram yoga – a specialised form of ‘hot yoga’ which you do in a heated studio (yes it’s very hot – 105 degrees). It is not physical in the sense of running, gym work or aerobics (which can also wreak damage on your joints) but it is cardio and toning, and just incredibly destressing and cleansing (yes, you sweat buckets!!!).
Thanks to the heat, your joints are warmed and not at risk of damage and it’s therefor great for anyone with back injuries and knee problems. Many of my fellow Bikram yoga bunnies at the excellent Manchester Bikram Yoga (which has two of the UK’s top yoga teachers instructing the classes – we’re very lucky!) are of ALL ages, shapes and abilities – the one thing we all have in common is that we’re reaping the benefits of this very special form of yoga.
So, do give it a try – as my yoga teachers David and Lisa always say, “Once bitten by the Bikram bug, you never look back.” How true. Take care and good luck. To find out more about Bikram yoga and your nearest studio, click here. http://www.bikramyoga.com/