When we were planning the sixth edition of Turin Epicurean Capital, we imagined our guests might welcome a nice vinyasa to stretch and relax, what we couldn't imagine though was to get struck hard by the heat wave.
So basically, being outdoors was a hazard: the air blowing felt like an oven baking the pizza we had for lunch after the second talk-show.
Luckily, we could use a fresh lawn in the shade and enjoy the early evening breeze tunneled in the De La Salle Collegio San Giuseppe inner courtyard.
Lucia Hannau prepared an easy yoga session aimed more to relax than to challenge our bodies because at 44C - 111F nobody could have endured a whole yoga class.
We started slowing down our breath, being present in the supporting bones of our bodies: the sitting bones, the shoulders and the head.
After setting our intentions, we all moved into table top and stretched out our wrists, fingers and then our backs with a series of cats-cows, threads the needle and spine curving poses.
At that hot temp plus high humidity rate, the smallest movement made us sweat and the water in our bottles was as hot as a cup of tea!
A series of downward facing dogs and planks followed, with their matching cobras, upward facing dogs and chair poses. We could feel our sweat drops running down along our spine and the soft breeze blowing through our hair.
The standing poses leading to tree were particularly challenging as we all felt exhausted and couldn't focus to stand up in peaceful balance. While the wide fold forward pose was welcome with cheers as it nicely opened our lower backs.
As the minutes went by, breathing in and out became soothing, our hearts stopped racing and by magic, upon Reine Bouton's suggestion we found ourselves in pigeon pose to release the hips - and let our worries go.
We worked on the hips and toes a bit to spread them and open them and we closed this TurinEpi19 hot yoga class Turin like Hanoi-style with Ardha Matsyendrasana - Half Lord of Fishes pose to enjoy a final stretch before releasing everything in savasana - the relaxation part with guided meditation.
The guided meditation Lucia had prepared was originally about food, but due to the extreme heat, we ended up walking on the shore, stepping in the sea and staring at the point where the blue of the sky melts with the green of the ocean.
We stepped back out of the water to look at the seashells; we picked a sea snail shell that we washed in the sea, before sitting down on the sand, closing our eyes to breath in the scent of the ocean and using our left hand like an hourglass.
We got lost in the colors of the sand grains and in the white of the sea foam; we got back inside our body through the blue of the sky and slowly slowly we reactivated everything and came back to our present.
We thanked for the privilege of our yoga practice despite the initial weakness of our bodies and surprise surprise: we all left energized and ready for the cheese tasting at Latteria Bera!
All visual materials by Alberto Bonis