08/05/2017

Strike a new pose

The Evening Standard

By Kate Wills In Lifestyle

Colour me happy

What is it? Using colour therapy, aromatherapy fragrances and curated soundscapes, a Chromayoga class is an immersive, sensory experience. The studio is bathed in a coloured light, and all the poses, scents and sounds are designed around the healing properties of that hue. So their signature 90-minute Pink restorative class uses rose-tinted light, acupressure, essential oils and relaxing sound frequencies, and you sip a melatonin-rich cherry juice at the end. Dreamy.

Why is it good? A whole <spectrum> of benefits. Chromayoga founder Nina Ryner says the colours have a “healing effect on body and mind” while the scents and sounds “drive energy, aid breath work, release muscle tension and encourage relaxation”.

Who will like it? Anyone suffering from SAD, too much blue light or just wants more of a multi-sensory experience on the mat.

Where is it? Chromayoga, 45 Charlotte Road, Hackney (chromayoga.co.uk)

System of a Down-ward Facing Dog

What is it? If plinky whale music and Tibetan sound bowls aren’t your thing, maybe a Heavy Metal Yoga class will shake up your chakras. Poses are the standard yogi fare but with a metal twist, so expect to do “rock on” signs with your hands instead of peace fingers, and a spot of air guitar to “mobilise the shoulders”, or a crowd-surfing back-bend. And it’s all done to a soundtrack of hardcore metal tunes, which – as you’d imagine – is quite, er, engaging.

Why is it good? Even if you’re not a Metal Head, the raw power of Destroyer 666 certainly gets the adrenaline going. According to the website, the intensity of the music “improves strength, releases tension and helps participants hold poses for longer”. Well it worked for Ozzy Osbourne.

Who will like it? Anyone who has Pantera on their gym playlist, or is more Bat out of Hell than Bikram.

Where is it? Gymbox, 71 Lombard Street, Bank (gymbox.com)

 

Dial-a-drishti

What is it? In the same way that you can now get a massage, a manicure or a Meat Liquor delivered to your door at any time of day, new app Yogi2Me sends an actual yoga instructor to your house with just one tap. Enter your postcode, select your style of yoga and pick a teacher (watch introductory videos of them to check you like their vibe), and as if by magic, a mat-toting yogi will be at your door at a time of your choice. Or they can meet you in the park if it’s ever sunny enough.

Why is it good? Whether you want to break down one tricky pose or just move your practice to the next level, a 1-1 class provides unbeatable attention. Classes start at £65 but if you want to save bucks, team up with friends for your own mini yoga retreat (in your living room).

Who will like it? Newbies who feel intimidated in a big yoga studio or time-poor types who can’t always make it to classes.

Where is it? Download Yogi2Me at iTunes.

 

Can I HIIT it?

What is it? If you spend yoga classes craving a bit more burn, HIIT Yoga gets the sweat pouring and the blood pumping. Classes start with a standard Vinyasa flow, then take a drastic turn into high-intensity bursts featuring burpees and explosive squats, with the whole sequence repeated at intervals to really get the adrenaline going. Suddenly chair pose feels like an actual sit down.

Why’s it good? “HIIT Yoga is the best of both worlds,” says Sasha Green, co-founder of HIIT Yoga. “The High Intensity Interval Training effectively burns fat in a short period of time, increases your endurance, and boosts your body’s metabolism, while the yoga improves your flexibility and range of movement whilst reducing stress.

Who will like it? Cardio-addicts who think child’s pose is for wimps.

Where is it? One Ldn, Chelsea and pop-up events (Hiityoga.co.uk)

 

D-I-S-C-Om

What is it? Groove is in the heart centre at a spandex-clad DiscoYoga class. DJ Darlo is spinning Diana Ross, Barry White and Donna Summer on the decks, while “yoga diva” Sarah Hunt (clad in a sequin jumpsuit, natch) gets the dynamic Vinyasa flow sequence sliding, with an occasional dance-off in the mix. Stay after class for a shimmy and ‘superfood’ cocktails, like the Tequila Sun Salutation. We’ll have none of your green juices here, thanks very much.

Why’s it good? “The uplifting music, the dance moves and the sense of being with a like-minded community satisfies your soul and leaves you smiling and laughing,” says Jonny Unknown, co-founder of DiscoYoga. Oh and the cocktails have chia seeds in them – so they must be good for you.

Who will like it? Disco-lovers who don’t take themselves – or their yoga – too seriously.

Where is it? Trapeze, Shoreditch and The Century Club, Soho (discoyoga.uk)

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