Shape Up For Summer – Part 1

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Team Pride decided it was time to get into shape. This week we feature Gloria Ogunbambo who took on Hot Power Yoga challenge over two weeks to help her get rid of those body hang-ups.

The Facts:
Weight before: 11st 8
Weight after: 11st 3
Body goal: Overall tone
Exercise: Hot Power Yoga
Secret weapon: Zaggora Svelt Melt

When it comes to fitness, I’ve always felt a bit of a fraud. Because of my 5”10’, athletic frame, most people usually assume I must be sporty when in fact, as far as any sort of intense physical activity goes, I’m as lazy as they come. At the risk of sounding like one of those girls, my figure really is down to good genes! This year I finally decided that enough was enough. Out with the coasting; and in with a new leaner, fitter Gloria. And so the saga began…

Day 1:

Individual disciplines have never been my thing – even back at school, I was more of a rounders and netball kind of girl as opposed to a 100m sprinter. Feeling uncharacteristically competitive after weeks of listening to a colleague of mine regale the office with tales of her latest hellish workout, Insanity, I decided to give it a go. After just over a fortnight of barely being able to sit down comfortably or climb the stars without wincing, the universe mercifully answered my cries of pain with a sprained ankle. On the hunt for a lower impact exercise that would still satisfy my endorphin addiction, I settled on Hot Power Yoga – a vigorous form of yoga practiced in a heated studio of 28°C that works on flexibility and strength while also incorporating meditation. I popped over to the Om Tribe Yoga studios in Canary Wharf for my first class with my lovely teacher Annick, who talked me through the class and my expectations from it. For anyone who thinks hot power yoga sounds like a nice bit of stretching and chanting in a warm room – be warned! It’s a lot harder (and more painful) than you think.

Day 6:

Being the only novice in a room full of deceptively slight, lithe yoga bunnies could have been more intimidating, if not for the fact that classes at Om Tribe Yoga are for all ability levels. It took me a few sessions to start pushing through my pain and not revert to child’s pose when my arms started burning from endless downward dog into power cobra repetitions, but by my sixth session not only was my warrior pose on point; but I started to notice that my bum had (possibly) travelled a teensy bit further north, and a firmness in the back of my arms that even Michelle Obama would appreciate!

Day 11:

As physical as hot power yoga is – I’m talking aching muscles you didn’t even know existed and sweat drenched workout clothes – the spiritual element of the class is equally as important. I’ll admit to a touch of skepticism the first time I chanted “Om” or expressed gratitude to the universe for simply being, but as a self-confessed internaliser who finds it difficult to switch off, I’ve started to employ some of the breathing techniques in my daily life when I feel overwhelmed and to positive effect.

Day 14:

As much as it sucks, we all know exercise is futile without a healthy, balanced diet and adjusting mine was tough. My love of food is legendary – so much so that when anyone in the office needs a little quick fix, my desk is their first port of call. I upped my water intake, replaced the Haribos with berries and stuck to turkey and quinoa instead of my usual jollof rice and red meat staple. Not only have I become more firm and supple as a result of doing hot power yoga, but the constant sweats have improved my skin and kept my stress rash firmly at bay.

Hot Power Yoga is £14 per class at Om Tribe Yoga. Packages start from £65,
Zaggora Svelt Melt Refreshing Body Contouring Gel, £35 for 200ml

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