Amy Burton reflects on her 30 Days of Fierce Grace Yoga. How far has she come and what did she think after that very first class?
So my first 30 days at Fierce Grace are nearly up so thought I would review it once more and add in a few more things I have learnt during this time, some ponderings, as well as a review of the other classes at Fierce Grace that I have tried.
Essential things to note about Fierce Grace Yoga:
- The teachers at Fierce Grace. I have not had 2 classes with the same teacher yet but every single one has been good. In almost every class there is someone that is new, and every time without fail the teacher has helped them individually and made sure they are okay. Equally I always notice them giving encouragement to the most advanced people too. It’s good that no one gets forgotten and they will motivate you whatever your level.
- Yoga kit… GET IT RIGHT. Most leggings are see through, including a lot of sport ones. I am a bit paranoid about this now after doing an entire class with a red polka dot thong staring at me, and have now taken to checking each pair before I go. I have to say though I forgot the other day and when I got home found that I had mine on inside out with my label hanging out the back, so yes I definitely looked like an idiot in that class! Anyway I have discovered that Sweaty Betty does a range of yoga bottoms that are marked clearly 100% opaque! I am getting down there this weekend and putting an end to attractively bending over in front of mirrors in order to see if I can see my knickers…
- Be responsible for yourself. Since beginning hot yoga, a couple of people have told me to be careful when practicing it, due to the heat making people push further than they should be able to and winding up injured. I have thought about this loads and come to the conclusion that I believe you have to take responsibility for your own practice. You should listen to your body, and don’t be reckless with it. I hate being injured and not being able to workout, so I always stay fully aware to not push myself too far too quickly. If you injure yourself I don’t think you can fully blame the heat – you also have yourself to blame. I can feel my flexibility and strength increasing slowly but I want do so safely, mastering the first steps of each pose before going on to the next. So just be careful and sensible about your approach…
Your towel. My old beach towel is fine but on some of the poses you can slide around a bit so I got a hot yoga towel from Amazon that promised to be non-slip and ultra-absorbent. It is ok. It is definitely absorbent and the perfect length to cover the whole yoga mat perfectly – which I really liked… but it is still a wee bit slippy. It’s not a big deal though and I do prefer it to the old beach towel.
- Drink up and drink electrolytes. I’ve taken to popping a low calorie electrolyte tablet into my water bottle to help replace the good stuff you lose when you sweat a lot. Sweating is great but you do lose some vital salts and minerals so doing this just helps to replace them. They’re not energy tablets though – just a little assistance to help keep your levels right.
- Time it well. Morning classes seem a bit quieter if that is something that appeals to you.
The Fierce Grace Yoga Classes (Amy tried them all!)
Classic 39: described on the website as:
“Our traditional hot yoga class.”
This is a 90 minute, 39 pose class, and it is more closely aligned with my (limited) experience of the traditional Bikram class. The Bikram system is 26 poses, so this class offers much more variation and also incorporates some more familiar classic fitness moves like a little bit of ab work which is fun. Also – and for me this is so important – the disciplinarian attitude I had experienced at other studios previously was, once again, not at all present at Fierce Grace. The teacher was kind, and the atmosphere so much more relaxed. There is no music in this class – but I’m guessing that is to be more in-keeping with the traditional hot yoga sequences. Overall, another really enjoyable class, the Fierce Grace is still probably my favourite so far but I would not hesitate to go back to a Classic and for those used to the Bikram formulae this will probably be the most familiar.
The Fix: described as:
“The condensed version of everything with some added surprises. This is a super-charged 50-minutes designed to get you fitter faster.”
So I went along to this for an 8am class and I just need to emphasise how awesome I felt for the rest of the day! As it says in the description this is a much shorter class and, therefore, it does move faster; although I still felt comfortable at the pace despite still being very much a newbie. However, I think maybe it would be good to have done one of the other classes before this one, so you have a little familiarity with in all. I think I actually sweated slightly less in this class… don’t get me wrong.. I still sweated plenty – but just maybe a small pond’s worth rather than a small lake… I loved this class and it is so perfect for when you just cannot fit in 90 minutes, in The Fix you feel you leave with more time on your hands and an equally thorough workout.
Core: described on the website as:
“A deep, slow class designed to open you and de-stress you on every level. An intense warm up prepares you for long, deep floor stretches to realign, resolve and release.”
This is a 75 minute class which is aimed at those that are either beginners, folk with injuries or for those who simply want a less strenuous class and a great deep stretch. We both found this class relaxing and it was actually really refreshing and helpful going back to basics with some of the poses. Whilst I would never dream of even calling myself an intermediate level, I did find this class a little slow. I enjoyed the stretching and still felt fab afterwards, but I think the extra challenges and pace of the other classes are more for me, but this is definitely a personal thing as this is a busy class and I have seen that they are introducing more Core classes into the summer timetable due to popular demand.
So in conclusion…
I am definitely still a fan and will definitely be renewing my pass after my 30 days! One day you never know I may be good enough to write a review of their 5th and most advanced class ‘Fierce aka The Beast’ whilst wearing hot pants and sporting my washboard abs…but not yet….