First Series: Yoga

My sister-in-law (Fati) asked my sister and I one evening, if we were interested in trying out Yoga the next day. Yoga was something I had never tried before but its concept was something I was slightly curious about. When the opportunity arose I decided why not give it a try? So, I gave Fati my word that I would be there.

The next day the lazy spirit that always tries to convince me to stay indoors (within the confines of my comfort zone), almost got me to change my mind. I started to question things I didn’t think about before giving Fati my word. Things like will the instructor be male or female? Is it a mixed class or an all female class? I hadn’t eaten all day so I started to question whether I was really fit to go for Yoga that evening. After a long minute of deliberation, I banished all thoughts away and decided I would not go back on my words; not to mention that my sister had pulled out of the plans much earlier. I reasoned it would not be good for both of us to cancel.

The Yoga class was taking place at the Sandralia Hotel and was scheduled to start at 6 pm. At the time, I was staying with my sister in Gwarimpa, which is roughly 30 minutes away from the venue. So I booked my uber at around 5:30 pm and arrived at the premises of the hotel a few minutes before 6 pm and a little earlier than Fati.

I did not mind having to wait a while because it allowed me some time to take in the hotel’s Grecian architecture and some other commendable art pieces. 

As I surveyed my surroundings, one particular art piece drew my attention from afar; it was entitled ‘What is Millie?’. I inched closer to the canvas and when I was done reading the scripture on the painting, I felt attached to the art despite its dark and gloomy features. I stared at it for another long second as though the words will magically engrave itself at the back of my mind. 

My legs grew weary so I decided to take a seat by the Piano lounge, where a male Pianist was playing some soft chords. I rested my head against the wall and my mind slowly drifted as I listened to him play. The sound filled me up inside and for a second it felt as though I was in a calm bubble. It was a beautiful moment…a moment that was short lived.

I was snapped out of my reverie when I felt my phone vibrate on my lap. I looked up and found Fati standing in the middle of the lobby with a female friend of hers. After exchanging greetings, we set out for the changing room and changed into our yoga outfits. 

It took us a minute to locate the Yoga classroom and upon finding the place, Fati and I were a bit taken aback from what we found. Contrary to the information given to us, it was a mixed Yoga class and the instructor was male. Nevertheless, we took our shoes and socks off and entered the room as it was a little too late to back down. 

The name of the Yoga Instructor is Banimoh and he is a native of Kogi State.  He asked us ‘beginners’ to find a place and join the rest of the class. I took the empty spot in the front, whilst Fati and her friend took the empty spaces in the back. 

I’m going to be honest, yoga is a joke and not a joke at the same time. I couldn’t stop laughing the whole period of the class, but the workout was a lot more intensive than I could have imagined. I legit had no idea I was signing up for a full body workout. Perhaps skipping meals that day was not the best idea.

Now, I found yoga to be a joke for the following reasons: the names of the moves were killing me; there’s the warrior pose, the angry cat pose, chaturanga and some other names I honestly can’t pronounce but it reminded me of someone speaking in tongues. I’m certain the other Yogis found my laugh to be offensive or downright annoying, but I really couldn’t help it; I even tried biting my inner cheek to refrain from laughing. I mean what more can a girl do?

On the other hand, Yoga wasn’t a joke because I was sweating like a girl that ran 7 laps. I was also certain my body made the shapes of all the English alphabets and some chinese symbols. Just picture your body shaped like the letter q. I was elated with joy simply because I did some things I never imagine I could do but the highlight of the yoga class for me was when we tried the breathing exercise.

Thanks to Yoga or should I say Banimoh’s class, there was a minute in my life that I was able to concentrate on just my breathing and block out every other thing from my mind. My mind was crystal clear and all I remember was feeling the air connecting through the pipes of my lungs and making their way out of my nose. For someone like me whose mind is constantly buzzing with a million thoughts, it was truly the most peaceful moment of my life. I won’t lie to you it was quite difficult at first because it required a lot of mental effort, to block out the music playing in the background and to focus on just one thing, but when I realized I had done it I was stunned and all I knew was that I wanted to experience that feeling a lot more.

It was at that very moment I knew Yoga was something I would be signing up for good in the near future. I needed to master the art of being able to calm and mute my frenzied thoughts and feelings and just breathe and live in the moment. It was a memorable and great experience for me. If you would like to burn a few calories in a fun way, be more flexible or would like to work on your breathing exercises; yoga is something I would highly recommend.  

Another thing I love about yoga is that everyone is allowed to move at their own pace. Although the class is held together, everyone has their own journey and unique challenges. There is no competition & there is no ‘wrong move’. All you have to do is push yourself to your own limit and if you feel you’ve reached that point you’ve done good.

Yoga Instructor ‘Banimoh’ and a Yogi

As you can imagine Yoga class was just like every other class; you have those who try to be all extra and pass comments like ‘this is so easy’, there’s the silent golden achievers, the hustlers and the ones who laugh at almost everything. 


The class lasted for an hour and a half. I’ll put down the details of the information I was able to gather about Banimoh’s class (for those of you that may be interested). 

Price List:

Drop in class – N2,000

Monthly membership – N12,000

Class Schedule & Time:

Classes are held thrice a week: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday .

Tuesday & Thursday classes start: 6 pm prompt.

Saturday classes start: 8 am prompt.

N.B. Thursday classes are for workshops only; Banimoh teaches and explains each workout/poses (i.e their importance and advantages)

Location:

Sandralia Hotel

1 Solomon Lar Way,

Jabi, Abuja

For more information you can contact Banimoh through the following means:

Instagram: @othmanbee

Email: othmanbanimoh@gmail.com

I have also re-posted some of Banimoh’s awesome Instagram yoga pictures for you to see below.

I hope I’ve been able to convince you to give yoga a try, if you haven’t done so before. Don’t get intimidated by the pictures above, if anything be motivated by them! We do not know the limits of our powers and our body’s until we push them. 

Who knows what i’ll be trying out for the first time next time. Be sure to subscribe to my mailing list and you’ll be one of the first to find out!

Caio! x

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