With the twin demands of running his own accountancy practice, and raising two young daughters, Adam’s own health and fitness had been put on the back burner. He had had a much more active lifestyle as a younger man and was a keen runner and rugby player. Knee pain from an old rugby injury, however, was making his favourite activities too painful or uncomfortable to enjoy.
Gradually, Adam’s life became more sedentary, doing less exercise and putting on weight. “At the age of 38,” says Adam “I found myself caught in a cycle of work and family, all fuelled by a diet of convenience food. I knew something had to change but I really had no interest in joining a gym. They’re such dull places with no atmosphere.”
Adam met Sweat Studios owner Kirsty Lowe through work. After mentioning his knee pain and desire to get back into shape, Kirsty suggested yoga may be the perfect solution. Adam was initially reluctant to give it a go. He admitted he had a rather clichéd view of what a yoga class would be. “Bearded men chanting OM, incense, hippy stuff… I’ve really no time for any of that.” Kirsty reassured him that this wouldn’t be the case at Sweat Studios and that Sweat’s classes would be a completely different experience to going to a gym.
Adam’s first session at Sweat was a 7am Hot Classic 60-minute session with trainer Lucinda Memery. “I was quite anxious about taking my first class if I’m honest,” admits Adam. “I was worried about being the new guy, some middle-aged slob sticking out like a sore thumb in a class full of nimble acrobats.”
Luckily his fears were totally unfounded. “I was given such a warm welcome by everyone in the class. I soon realised that everyone there is encouraged to simply progress at their own pace. Lucinda gave me so much support and gentle advice as I started to get to grips with the techniques involved. There has never been any pressure to “keep up” with the more experienced members.” Adam has been simply encouraged to set his own goals and challenge himself. “I have really seen my ability improve week on week.”
Adam was surprised at how quickly he noticed the physical benefits of his first yoga session. “You’re immediately aware of the warm environment and you soon start to raise a sweat. Honestly, it’s a real workout, I felt like I’d been out for a run afterwards.” Adam describes how the effects were felt long after the class had finished. “As soon as I got home from that first class I felt different, somehow I felt taller but looser too. And sitting at my desk the next day, I’m sure my posture was better. I didn’t have that ache in my neck and shoulders that I’d normally have after staring at screens and spreadsheets all day.”
Adam has now been coming to Sweat for over three months. “You can feel it strengthen all those muscles you never normally use. As those muscles get stronger, I like to challenge myself a little more each time; stretching that little bit further, for a little bit longer.” He particularly enjoys taking a morning class at least once a week. “It really sets me up and I feel fresh and energised for the rest of the day.”
Adam, now a true yoga convert, can’t imagine not fitting in a session or two into his working week. Planning to increase the number of regular classes he attends, he is now looking to continue building up his muscle strength and overall fitness through yoga. Ultimately, to take up those sports and activities he enjoyed so much previously. “After my rugby injury, I was always scared to put any pressure on my right leg because of knee pain. But after the third week of yoga, I really felt the strength and support returning to those leg muscles and joints. Now I feel I’ll soon have the confidence to take on more physical activity and start running again. It’s really the yoga sessions that have made this possible.”
“To sum up my experience at Sweat Studios in three words,” says Adam, “I would say friendly, genuine, and inclusive. I’ve always received a warm welcome in every class and the atmosphere is great. The staff seem to genuinely care about you, and the classes are so inclusive. Everyone goes at their own pace regardless of ability.”