On The Mat With Andrea Hassett

Yoga Sweat Birmingham recently celebrated its 2nd birthday with majestic asanas, deep pranayamas and, let’s face it…sweat! A lot has happened in the two years Yoga Sweat has been open. So, it’s only fitting that we get to know the Yogi behind the extremely sweaty, steamed up windows, and take a trip down memory lane where we will reminisce about some of Yoga Sweats highlights and delve into YS’s future Yogic plans.

Hi Andrea! Firstly, congratulations on YS’s 2nd birthday! You must be a very proud Yogi momma! How long have you been practising Yoga for?  When did you fall in love with the Yoga lifestyle?

Thank you! I’ve been practising Yoga now for 14 years, but it wasn’t love at first asana for me! A friend brought me to a local Yoga class and said it was just what I needed to clear my head at that moment in time. To start with, it wasn’t so much the class I loved, but the change in my head space; how everything always seems better after a Yoga class.

 

We know that feeling! Kind of a tranquil lightness and clarity (minus the sore muscles you wake up with in the morning!). Once you start Yoga however, you just can’t stop! What styles of Yoga did you gravitate towards? And what keeps you coming back to your mat?!

I love love LOVE Yoga and I am a great believer that Yoga is for everybody, you just have to find the style that works for you. I love Hot Yoga and Jivamukti! Jiva got me in touch with my spiritual side a little bit more.  I never thought I would chant, but I love it! I feel a real authentic connection with everyone in the room. Hot Yoga is kind of my roots. I love the refreshed feeling I have after class, as well as that familiar deep stretch.

I come back to my mat every day for so many different reasons (usually the Savasana). I like the constant challenge of trying to progress and improve. I love that every day is completely different and I can fall out of the simplest posture. I like how it transforms my state of mind, how I smile in class, feel energised afterwards and actually give myself time out to enjoy savasana, to just be!

 

Feeling the Yogic love, do you have your own practice out of YS? Are there any Yogis that inspire you and your practice?

I have my own practice most days. I try to fit it in whilst my son is napping. My practice changes daily and this is something I can never plan. I can have a vinyasa based practice with high pace music and then it may change the day after to a very restorative practice. Do whatever your body needs and feels at that moment!

ALL Yogis inspire me (I know that sounds cheesy) but it’s true!

 

Not cheesy at all! It’s great when you are inspired by everyone around you. You get this Yoga buzz. Speaking of which, exciting times, YS is now TWO years old! How was the idea of Yoga Sweat born?

Before YS, I was addicted to Hot Yoga, I loved the feeling of pushing yourself in the heat. I wanted people to see Yoga less hippy and more accessible for everyone. I believed you would come to Yoga Sweat to sweat, work hard and feel amazing when you went home. Honestly, I have grown with the studio. I am more open to so many styles of Yoga now. I believe your body needs different things on different days. I love how all our teachers at YS are so individual and you will never have the same class twice. We sweat in ALL our classes, not just the hot ones!

 

Yoga sweat definitely has a diversity of classes and a selection of Yoga teachers, bringing with them a myriad of styles, knowledge and energy. What is it you look for when selecting teachers to be part of the YS family?

Individuality! I admire and love strong teachers who believe in what they do. All of our teachers are so different (and slightly crazy), but I love that! We have a fantastic range of teachers with years and years of knowledge. These guys really know their stuff! I feel so privileged that they share their Yoga at the studio. I do honestly believe we have the best teachers around!

 

Individuality is something everyone experiences when stepping foot into YS. What else would you like all Yogis to take from attending a class (or two) at Yoga Sweat Birmingham?

I would like them to feel the love as soon as they walk through the door. To feel like they are part of TEAM SWEAT straight away. It does feel like such a community, that’s not something I have created, that’s our teachers, staff and Yogis combined. Everyone truly loves it!

 

Yoga Sweat does have this all inclusive Yoga vibe going on! What do you think makes YS unique?

What makes us unique is I never wanted massive class numbers, that’s why we have three studios under one roof. I wanted a mixture of classes for everyone. We have the biggest selection outside of London! We’re also the only studio in Birmingham that offers Aerial Yoga which I LOVE! It’s a great way to shift your perspective. I love being wrapped in a cocoon. I feel like I am just floating. It’s so fun. The only class where there is ALWAYS laughter.

 

Keeping with YS’s uniqueness, from Yoga Raves to Yoga Stops Traffic, Yoga Sweat always has some interesting events going on. Over the past two years, what have been Yoga Sweat’s highlights for you?

Ah! Wow! We have so many! For me it was probably when we did a charity class for Nepal. So many people came along and donated money. It felt amazing that everyone was coming together and helping humanity out. Another is Susi’s Sandwich Army. Every month people bring food into the studio for the homeless. Susi and her army of helpers then give up their Friday nights to help out. It’s moments like this where we become a community and not just a studio, which really touch me.

 

I am sure Yoga Sweat will be creating more memories like this in the future. Do you have any “secret” Yoga plans for YS?

We always want to progress and never just settle. As always, we will continue to add more classes to the schedule. Make sure our facilities are the best that they can be and always keep standards high. We are planning a café to be added to the studio sometime next year! We also hope to branch out into the local communities, so our students don’t have to travel too far to get some Yoga Sweat Lovin.

 

Sounds AWESOME! Can’t wait! We are coming to the Savasana of the interview now. The last three magical questions.

YS in three words…

Energising, loving and SWEATY.

Asana you can’t get enough of…

Probably Trikonasana (triangle pose). Love the stretch!

And finally, Yoga to you is…

A way of life. A meaningful smile and just trying to be the best person you can be!

Namaste!!!!

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