Ashlea Princehorn performs a series of yoga positions in a 40-degree heated room.
Ashlea Princehorn performs a series of yoga positions in a 40-degree heated room. Contributed

Challenge takes yoga to extreme

THE heat is almost unbearable, and the exercises physically and emotionally challenging.

But it's a challenge that Ashlea Princehorn of the Sunshine Coast is willing to take.

Bikram yoga is a form of yoga completed in a 40-degree heated room while completing a series of yoga positions.

Most people who take on this form of yoga are looking to improve their health, but for Ashlea her reason for getting involved with bikram yoga hit closer to home.

Ashlea is attempting to complete a one-and-a-half-hour bikram yoga session every day for 100 days to raise money for cancer research.

"I am trying to raise money for the Queensland Cancer Council," she said.

"An immediate family member was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer and while I can't create a cure for cancer, I can raise money for research."

While her mother was given the all-clear three years ago, Ashlea has not stopped campaigning for the cause.

She also participates in various Relay for Life events.

"If you look at the statistics, it's something like one in three (people) will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime," she said.

Throughout her 100-day challenge, Ashlea aims to hit the $5000 mark.

So far, through the Everyday Hero website, she has raised $900, but she is hoping for more.

"Everyone has been really supportive, and everyone at work keeps asking me about how the challenge is going," Ashlea said.

"I am halfway through, but I am really hoping that I can make the $5000 mark by the end of the challenge."

To keep motivated and update friends and family about her experiences throughout her challenge, Ashlea is also keeping a daily blog, recalling how she feels and the changes she is seeing in her body.

So, at day 60, how is the challenge shaping up?

"I was talking to some of the ladies who had done this challenge before me and they said that the first 60 days were the hardest," she said.

"And up until today, my body hurt and I was feeling generally fatigued. But today is day 60 and I can honestly say that I feel fantastic."

Despite this, Ashlea said that the challenge had been trying at times considering the mental and physical strain it placed on the body.

"Of course there have been emotional times throughout the journey, given that it is a test both mentally and physically, but I am so glad that I decided to do it," Ashlea said.

"People don't realise the benefits that come from doing bikram yoga.

"It can improve people's quality of life."

To donate money to Ashlea's cause, head to her Everyday Hero website.