Member of the month: Kalitza Thomson

Kal 2

 

When did you do your first hot yoga class and where? 

My daughter dragged me along to my first hot yoga class 4 years ago in the West End of Glasgow where she was a student at Glasgow university. She had been raving about it for about 6 months before she finally persuaded me to give it a go. Although I had played competitive sport both at national and district level as a youngster, running along the beautiful coast of East Lothian had been my main focus over the last 20 years. However, I was becoming increasingly aware of my lack of flexibility, stiffness in my lower back, pain in my knees and I couldn’t even touch my toes.

What did you think after your first session and why did you go back? 

OMG so hot! but I was absolutely hooked. I had been to yoga a couple of times in the past but hadn’t enjoyed it at all, however hot yoga is completely different. The whole first session made me feel nauseous and the room was constantly spinning. Listening to the dialogue with no distractions (apart from the sweat!) helped me to concentrate on the postures and the mindfulness aspect, which has become so important to my practice. I realised in that first class that my strength was poor but this would be a great way to improve. I knew by the end of that first class that I would be back the following day and just wish I had found hot yoga earlier.

What is your occupation and hobbies? 

I run my own educational resources business which in theory should allow me to set my own hours but in reality is a 24/7 occupation. Any spare time I have is taken up with family, friends, music festivals and cycling round this beautiful country of ours.

What benefits physically and mentally have you received from doing more yoga? 

Improved strength which has helped my flexibility. Having played sport and exercised all my life I still had no upper body strength so hot yoga has been a revelation. Due to childbirth I’ve had problems with my back for 20 years with constant pain, stiffness and muscle spasms. Doctors and physios couldn’t help but hot yoga has. My back muscles have realigned with my core strength improving. On the mental side of things I have come to love the concentration needed to be in the moment, only thinking about the current posture and nothing else – it’s an amazing feeling at the end of a class to realise that all other distractions have been left at the door ( I’m starting to sound like Jack lol).

Have you managed to encourage any others to try hot yoga in your family or your friends and why did you recommend it?

All my family and friends have to listen to my constant bleatings of the benefits of hot yoga, and I’ve managed to convert a couple of friends. It’s very easy to recommend something that works. I am now pain free, more flexible, stronger and therefore happier. My eating habits have also benefitted from joining Jules’s healthy eating month – something I had never really focussed on before.

You've tried hot yoga, TRX, hot core and power yoga at HEAT: tell us what you like about these classes and how they benefit you? 

I love them all. Hot core and power yoga have improved both my upper and lower body strength – I can now stand up on a locked out leg and can even plank – both of which I found difficult when I first started. The strength aspect of yoga has in turn improved my flexibility in hot 26. I love the mindfulness side of the 90 minute hot 26 and get to as many classes as I can.

Do you think you will be doing hot yoga for the rest of your life? 

Absolutely! Hot yoga has become a way of life. Although I live 35 minutes away I have never had to cajole myself to come and would come every day if I could. The possibilities are endless.