As a mother of two young children, making time for myself is very low on the never-ending ‘to-do’ list of paying for school dinners, buying gifts for the ridiculous amount of class birthday parties, and keeping on top of the growing mountain of ironing.
Don’t get me wrong, I do have time for a quick 30-minute online HIIT workout before the kids wake, but the days of spending hours down the gym and relaxing in the jacuzzi post-workout have long gone. So, when an invite came my way to spend more than two hours at a Yoga Brunch at a rooftop location in Manchester, I made sure that it wouldn’t be missed, ironing or no ironing.
On a Saturday morning which coincided with World Meditation Day, I sauntered down an eerily quiet Oxford Road (students obviously enjoying a lie-in – something I can only dream about these days) with my coffee and yoga mat. I already felt like a little weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
I arrived at the Hyatt on Booth Street West and was whisked up to the 18th floor and met with the most amazing views of the city centre and the surrounding hills. It was a perfect place to spend the next few hours.
The Yoga Brunch had been organised by Jodie from Feather and Rock who greeted me with a warm welcome and made me instantly feel at ease. I was treated to a delicious glass of elderflower juice before setting up my mat with a bunch of friendly-looking people. Jodie took us through about an hour of yoga, which included some lovely breath work (Pranayama) which instantly made me forget about some of the stresses of the week gone by.
I found myself easing into most of the positions (which she demonstrated well) and switching off from my daily world and enjoying the moves and the stunning views. Before I knew it, the hour of down dogs, wild things and a few birds of paradise (I was pretty impressed I could get into this position) was over and we relaxed into a 15-minute meditation accompanied with cosy blankets.
Jodie came round and gave us all a little foot rub and head massage. I flinched as I think my body had gone into some sort of relaxed/meditative state, which I usually struggle to achieve. Then, the meditation and yoga practice drew to a close and everyone looked so peaceful and content, as we made our way over to an amazing spread of Chia seed puddings, smoothies, Chai Lattes and fruit kebabs.
I got chatting to a few women who, like me, talked about how precious and rare this time alone, practicing Yoga, was for them too, but how welcome and cherished it was. I left feeling energised, nourished from amazing food, and grateful for the opportunity to attend such a lovely event with a wonderful teacher like Jodie and a great bunch of people.