Namaste, fellow Brummies.
Do you think yoga is a waste of time? I did. Until this Sunday. Slightly hungover, I forced myself out of bed at 8am. I had been invited to try my first ever yoga class at Medicine Bakery + Kitchen in Birmingham city centre. Medicine is that special sort of place, combining cafe and gallery, incredible cakes and art. I didn’t realise that you could also take a class of yoga on a Sunday morning. But I was lured in by the promise of free coffee included in the ticket price…
Can’t touch this
‘I’m not very bendy’, I admitted by means of an introduction.
I was also wearing old leggings and an over-sized t-shirt (not quite the sexy Lycra outfits you see on yummy yoga mummies). But it soon became clear that no one cared about costume. There was a laid back vibe, and art work to look at instead.
During the hour-long class, Claire guided the group through meditative yoga, asking us to focus on our breathing as well as bending and stretching.
I soon realised that I have a clicky knee (which continued to echo loudly throughout the gallery). But I also realised that I could let go a little. It turns out stretching your body can make you feel free and relaxed. Who knew?!
I started to enjoy the yoga practice. Although, I couldn’t touch my toes. Nowhere near.
Slow down & de-stress
Towards the end of the class, we began to spend longer in each pose, and it left me feeling more in tune with myself and calmer.
If you feel stressed, anxious or just want to take an hour out of your busy life, I recommend this yoga class.
It’s the ultimate ‘me time’, and asks you to slow down.
You can take part in Yoga Sundays on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month from 9am – 10am. It costs just £8 (which includes a coffee or tea). I recommend booking, which you can do here.
You’ll need to bring your own yoga matt. Claire recommends Yogamatters ‘sticky mats’ (which are very popular with studios and students). They’re £17 and come in a ton of colours.
Charity yoga class: Sunday 7 April
There will soon be a special charity class held on Sunday April 7 at 9am.
“A good friend of mine, Charlie, sadly has a condition called EDS,” says teacher Claire Robinson. “It’s a brutal condition that affects the connective tissue, joints, skin and brain. There is little known about it and little the NHS can provide for her.”
She hopes to raise funds in order to help Charlie travel to Spain for life-saving surgery, as part of her karma yoga commitment.
“I am planning to hold a yoga event at the gallery and bakery to raise money for her. Although this has had such a debilitating effect on her life, she remains positive and strong willed. She is such an inspiring person.”
It’s an excellent cause and a beautiful venue.
The class is an hour long and will be a combination of dynamic hatha sequences and gentle restorative poses, followed by a long, guided savasana. A post-yoga drink from Medicine is included, and homemade baked goods are also available.
Advanced booking is advised and participants need to bring their own mat. All profits from the special class go to help Charlie. Cash donations also welcome on the day.
Chance4Charlie is a fundraising campaign for life-saving neurosurgery in Barcelona for Charlie, a young woman with Cervical Medullary Syndrome a rare and life-threatening complication of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). Charlie’s cervical spine is extremely unstable, her vertebrae partially dislocate, compressing her brainstem when she moves her neck and are at risk of a full dislocation which would be fatal. She needs a fusion of her entire cervical spine to prevent this from happening. The surgery, which is not available for EDS patients in the UK, costs £60,000.