Category: Being a woman

Making my peace with Bikram Yoga

I’ve got 5 more classes left on my Bikram yoga pass and I’ve been fighting and fighting and fighting with myself, with what I want, with what I can do and how to fit everything in but I’ve come to the decision that this is the end. For now.

I took my first class in 2009 in Leicester with my husband and I have been an addict ever since. On our first class, we put our mats right next to the mirrors as we thought that was the back of the class! After getting used to the shock of the heat, I remember feeling at peace and being so calm with the first breathing exercise and then being able to continue with the rest of the class so well. I’ve had two breaks since 2009, when I had both my daughters. Before then, we had been trying for children but had been unsuccessful. However, within 3 months of starting Bikram yoga I became pregnant. Coincidence? Maybe? But I am convinced that there is some good in Bikram yoga that no other form of exercise I have done has.

This September, after doing yoga for the longest stint yet of 2 years, I’m going to have to take a big break when my oldest daughter starts school. Maybe if I was so dedicated I could find time but with the school runs, the early morning yoga is out and evening yoga depends a lot on work. After having my second daughter I suffered a lot from backaches and just general aches. The backaches still comes and goes but definitely feels better after Bikram yoga. The general aches have more or less disappeared. The peace I felt in my first classes is elusive but I do feel a lot calmer and happier after a class even if it’s for a short time.

Yoga in general has always been a big part of my life and I do intend to carry on with yoga at home. But for now and to all the Bikram yogis:

Namaste x

“That stress you’ve placed upon your shoulders is going to crush you. Get rid of it. You don’t need to be perfect. You don’t need to have it all together. You don’t need to please everyone. Place that heavy burden on the ground. Throw it out into the sea. Expel it from your being. You will be lighter in mind, body and soul. You have to learn to say no without feeling guilty. Setting boundaries is healthy. You need to learn to respect and take care of yourself.” – Unknown

It is NOT a male dominated industry

Girl Power!

“If you want to change a whole people, then you start with the girls. It stands to reason: they learn faster, and they pass on what they learn to their children.” 
― Terry Pratchett

“who runs the world… girls” Beyonce

girl-quotes-about-girl-power-793

Now this is something that is extremely close to my heart. As someone who is constantly around strong, balanced, talented, brave women on a daily basis I recently saw a promotional picture for an Asian event. I am inspired by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Mindy Kaling and other strong women to make a difference, The promotional picture featured not even one female face when females are heavily involved with the event.

Why is this?

I put this question out onto social media and a number of people came back to me saying ‘it’s because the British Asian Music Industry is a male dominated industry’.

This infuriated me because I don’t…

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My top 5 Inspirational women

1. My mum
There’s so much I could say about my mum and everyone’s mum is special but my mum single handedly raised me, survived a divorce, and has now taken over my granddad’s business.  And there’s never any fuss about it. It’s almost like a given for my mum that, ‘This is what I need to do’ not like ‘Wow, I’m doing this!’, although everyone else does it for her.

2. Gig Payne – My dance teacher
I’ve been dancing for a long time.  Some of it forced, some of it liked, and lots that I wanted to do but didn’t have the time but I’m so glad at 18 I met and was taught by Gig Payne.  She got me interested in Bharatnatyam, a deeply traditional Indian classical dance and she pushed me past my physical and mental boundaries.

3. Margaret Thatcher
I know she’s not everyone’s favourite but in a world where women are still fighting to be treated as equal, to be a prime minister in a ‘man’s world’ is an achievement.

4. Oprah Winfrey
At one point I used to be addicted to her talk shows. I’ve read her biography and she is another powerful woman who has achieved so much from such humble and difficult beginnings.

5. Madhuri Dixit – Bollywood actress
I think anyone who has ever danced from my era (does that make me sound old?!) and watched Indian films will have her as an idol at some point in their life. She is such an accomplished dancer and an amazing actress. Whenever, I was feeling fed up and didn’t want to do another dance practice, just thinking of her would be enough to inspire me to keep going. Plus I met her on an airplane and got her autograph.

There are so many inspirational women in this world and now, at this stage of my life, being an accountant and a mum, I find that there are so many success stories where women have made ‘it’ including Sheryl Sandberg. But the ones above are the ones I have admired as I was growing up and have had an influence in my life.