Yogi Wonderland: alternative yoga classes from disco to hip hop
PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 September 2017
Bored of traditional yoga? There's a world beyond your well-worn Argos yoga mat, and it's a world of disco lights, hip hop tunes and ultra-challenging weights
Bored of traditional yoga? There’s a world beyond your well-worn Argos yoga mat, and it’s a world of disco lights, hip hop tunes and ultra-challenging weights.
What’s best is that it’s all on your doorstep. Get ready to rethink your downward dog.
If you fancy an Instagram-worthy workout, this is it. Glitter, spandex and disco-inspired cocktails make Disco Yoga the fun activity that it is. Sarah Hunt heads a Vinyasa class peppered with Donna Summer, Jackson Five and Chic (all spun by an actual DJ) which will do more to get you ready to go out than a disco nap ever would. Hunt says: “We’ve had such incredible success at festivals this summer – disco yoga is the perfect pick-me-up after a night of partying and sleeping in a tent. We had four hundred people attending a class once!” Disco Yoga has a residency at Trapeze in Hoxton – for £16 you get a super-fun workout and a cocktail with fellow disco yogis.
Classes run for an hour on Tuesdays, prebooking is essential. 89 Great Eastern Street. discoyoga.uk
Chi Kri Hip hop yoga
If you think yoga and hip hop belong in different worlds and shouldn’t mix, you’ll have to get yourself to one of Neil Patel’s classes and be prepared to change your mind. As a rapper and a yogi, Patel has perfected the art of seamlessly blending yoga power moves with break-dancing to achieve maximum levels of effort – and maximum results. The combination of yoga and hip hop is not as random as it may first appear, says Patel: “For me, whether it was writing raps or meditating, practising yoga or creating hip hop musicm it all came from the same place: the heart and soul.” Plus, the balance and co-ordination needed to do yogic sequences at speed requires great calmness of mind – and yes, that can be achieved even with Jay Z or the Notorious B.I.G. blasting out during a lotus pose. “Students were a little surprised by the soundtrack at first but then they saw how it helped keep their timing in the sequences and they liked it,” says Patel. You’re going to break a sweat, and it’s going to be glorious.
90-minute classes take place at The Church of Ascension, The Avenue, Wembley Park every Monday at 7.30. hiphopyoga.co.uk
Think leotards, Madonna and fierce yogis and you have Voga. Created by Juliet Murrell, it promises to “answer the cardiovascular demand that ensures healthy heart and expressive soul. It’s a fabulously fun way to get fit, toned and flexible, burning calories whilst strengthening mind and body.” In other words, if Vinyasa leaves you wanting more, yet you can’t face a session of Bikram, Voga might just be the best thing to happen to your workout: the creators say it’s designed for “those who like the idea of yoga but want a cardio workout without losing the holistic benefits and focus.”
Voga has swayed the masses from Paris to Barcelona and Mallorca, but its HQ is at London’s Hoxton Hotel. houseofvoga.com
Do you feel a tinge of disappointment when you leave a yoga class with perfectly dry workout clothes and not even so much as a hint of a sweaty brow? Then Loaded Yoga is the class for you. Even experienced yogis should take a second to mentally prepare for it, as it includes strapping weights to ankles and wrists before embarking on a fast-paced Vinyasa sequence which makes every pose at least doubly challenging. A reviewer said: “With an amazing soundtrack and in a dimly lit studio, Loaded Yoga is not for the faint-hearted and is definitely not one of those yoga classes that you can sleepwalk (pose) your way through. This is an omm-free zone!”
You’re guaranteed to feel the burn, you’ll definitely sweat, and, as a bonus, once you shed your weights you’ll waltz out of the class feeling light as a feather. Win-win.
45-minute classes take place at Gym Box around London. gymbox.com/classes/loaded-yoga