Extra Comment: New Year’s resolution

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Usually rugby training involves being covered head to toe in mud while a 16 stone behemoth runs at you at point blank range for an hour and a half.

Failing that, we are in a gym that resembles the land that time forgot being forced to flip tyres while praying the roof doesn’t cave in.

However, for a little change of pace, when our match was called off one frosty afternoon in December, we single handedly attempted to debunk every stereotype about rugby players in the book.

As a team, we tried what’s known as “Bikram Yoga” - a 90 minutes series of 26 posture in a room heated to 105°F with a humidity of 40%.

On arrival in the Westend studio, the room was filled with the usual confidence and bravado, with most of the boys certain that posing for an hour and a half in a warm room would be no different than a normal Saturday night and therefore a piece of cake.

Just 90 minutes later, Bikram Yoga had chewed us up and spat us out. We left a shadow of our former selves.

Unanimously, we agreed it was without doubt the hardest thing we had ever done.

Previously, when our games had fallen victim to inclement weather , we tried to inject some creativity into our training.

GB Olympian Lynn McAfferty had been out to give us a crash course in handball and some of the team had attempted the “Mighty Deerstalker” - a 10 mile scamper up and down two mountains and through rivers in pitch dark .

Nothing had given us the feeling of pure, unadulterated defeat quite like Bikram Yoga.

For many (and I unreservedly include myself in this category) touching their toes represents an insurmountable challenge far removed from their comfort zone.

At the start, we were warned that during the series of cardio intensive postures, our heart rate would rise to almost 200 beats per minute and that we would begin to feel faint and in such an eventuality we should rest.

Our usual determination and will to win had deserted us and within about ten minutes, every player in the team had been forced to sit and take a short break.

Advocates claim Bikram offers real healing while burning more than 600 calories at each session while allowing muscles to stretch further without any aches or pain the following day.
Converts already include Andy Murray, Serena Williams, NFL team the Pittsburgh Steelers and the All Blacks.

Now, GHK rugby club can be included in that elite list. With two more sessions already booked, we hope, this new year our increased flexibility combined with our new found spiritual enlightenment will give us the edge over our rivals.