I asked Carly Wilkinson, the girl boss behind Project Hot Bitch, Bella Kinesis ambassador and my Yoga for Every Body partner in crime, about her Yoga story for this months 'Why I Yoga' interview.
How did you first get into Yoga?
My first ever class was in 2003. Looking back, it was probably restorative, and I didn't enjoy it. I didn't venture into a yoga studio again until 2012, when I wilted and died in a Bikram Class. I tried 3 subesquent classes and hated them. I crept back to Bikram in early 2013 with a whole new frame of mind, where I committed to doing nothing but letting the goodness in and the sweat out. It felt fabulous, and I felt high by the time I'd finished that 90 minutes. Upon reflection, I was probably dehydrated, but man it felt good! I've been a hot fan ever since, but all types of yoga have their palce in my life now.
Why do you keep coming back to the mat?
It keeps me humble, keeps me calm, and is one of the only things that makes me feel truly still and present, even if just for a fleeting moment half way through class. I've suffered from anxiousness my whole life. On that mat, I am a body, with breath, not beating myself up about things I did in the past, not worrying about things that I can't predict in the future, I am just me, connected to the essense of what makes me human on this mad planet.
What's the most positive effect that practising yoga has had on your life?
It's made me accepting, mainly because it brings me into the present moment and grounds me, I think. It helps relieve the inevitable stress that London so often dumps on your doormat, and it makes me stop and focus on my body, and my breath and brain inside it. Quite simply, it strips back all the crap, removes self-doubt, and makes me accept myself for one short, focused hour of the day.
Which style of yoga do you love the most?
I like it hot and fast, but sometimes, I know my body is absolutely crying out for some restorative. My favourite is when you almost get into a bit of a trance in a warm space and when your body is completely in sync with your breath. I feel like nothing can interrupt my flow right then!
Which pose gives you the most grief?
Wheel. I used to be able to do these in a heartbeat when I was young, and now my puny wrists feel like they're going to snap and my rib cage feels like it's going to rip open. It also annoys me how I can't just go into a wheel now when I fancy it- I have to do like an HOUR of work before my body's ready, and even then I might get 5 sweet seconds in before I collapse. It's my nemesis!
What is your favourite pose and why?
I love a tripod stand, just because the day I did one by myself I almost cried upside down! It takes a while to get into it, and I often need a wall, but I love the feeling of all the blood rushing to my brain and my little feet waggling in the air. I quite like the view of the world upside down too!
What's your favourite savasana tune?
Something by Bonobo- a good funky, hypnotic beat that doesn't distract from the pose in hand. Definitely anything but some cliched chanting dude, warbling all over my rest time.
For fitness inspiration and fun events follow Carly on Twitter and Instagram @Projecthotbitch