A newer, more challenging version of the A list’s favourite exercise is now available in Ireland. Keen to emulate my inner Miranda Kerr, I tried a 90 minute class to see what all the fuss was about.
It’s hard to believe that Bikram has been around for over 20 years, but then again, Ireland does tend to be light years behind places like Los Angeles and London in terms of fitness trends.
Developed by Michele Pernetta, Fierce Grace is a new system of yoga, based on elements of hatha, Bikram and Ashtanga. Fierce Grace essentially amalgamates a series of five different classes in one session, incorporating many of the core poses and principles that yoga lovers will already be familiar with.
The extent of my own experience with yoga was a couple of classes in my local GAA hall several years ago, but I’ve always admired the skills and dedication of ‘Yogis’ and the associated lifestyle. So when the opportunity to try out a Fierce Grace class in the Boss Hot Yoga studio in Stoneybatter, Dublin 7, I was ready and willing to allow myself be converted.
The team behind Boss Hot Yoga, Linda Condron and Sean McNamee, understand that yoga can seem like an elite form of exercise. Refreshingly, they cater for everyone from the complete novice to those whom ‘Downward Dog’ is second nature.
“Yoga is sweating out your up-tightness...it’s being nicer..it’s being able to bend down to tie your shoelaces comfortably. Buddhas, incense chants and mudras won’t get you there. We won’t Om you,” the studio’s manifesto reads.
For an hour and a half, Fierce Grace allows you to leave your worries and stresses at the door as you focus on moves that open the hips, strengthen the upper body and tone your core.
In a studio that is heated to approximately 45 degrees (side note: don’t wear instant false tan) every inch of my body was engaged and challenged, while my mind simultaneously relaxed and mellowed.
Following my class, I felt lifted and re-energised and my skin noticeably had a glow. After a full day in the office, it was a joy to switch off mentally and think only about what my body was attempting to do. There is a lot to be said for the therapeutic benefits of a yoga class - usually I resort to lacing up my running shoes or a few rounds on a punching bag, but this was a different kind of stress release entirely.
Boss Hot Yoga Studios are located in Dublin City and Maynooth and are open 7 days a week, offering morning, afternoon and evening classes.
For more information on class times and locations see www.bosshotyoga.ie