Guest Blog written by Sara Barnes

This week’s Sculpt & Tone class showed me that practicing yoga doesn’t always get easier – you just get more determined to get the poses correct, listen to your breathing and make the most of an intensely focused session.

Backtrack a few days and I could hardly move my arms and upper body, but my legs felt really good.  I’d been rock climbing at The Roaches for the first time in about 15 years.  Questions flitted through my head as we walked up to the base of the dark rocks: had I done enough physio over the last seven months to give me enough upper body strength? How would my newly aligned legs cope with the flexibility and strength required to get up the route? What if I slipped and bashed my shins against the rock – was my skin and flesh thick enough to avoid exposing the titanium plates?   Two hours later and two easy routes under my harness, we were strolling back down in brilliant sunshine, my head in the clouds! I’d rekindled my love for rock climbing.

So… with the thrill of having been strong and flexible enough to climb, I was really looking forward to Tuesday’s class – and my aches and pains had subsided, helped by some open-water swimming in Crummock Water.  But a few minutes into the class I was brought back down to earth!  My left leg wouldn’t quite straighten as much as I’d hoped and this hampered some standing poses, throwing me off balance quite often. It was nigh on impossible to ‘softly bring my left foot forward and place it by my hands’ – more of an awkward shuffle, push, shuffle!

We did a lot of core work, which I need, but it was difficult to get everything right all at the same time: balance, core, breathing… you could tell everyone else was dealing with this too in their own way – the atmosphere in the room was one of intense concentration and determination. It was with audible relief that we reached the end of the session and allowed our bodies to finally relax for a few minutes – quieting our thoughts, releasing the tension in every fibre.  As usual, after yoga I felt a couple of inches taller, more supple and awake!