Eight Alternative Yoga Classes to try out
Yoga – the word holds connotations of deep breathing, stillness, meditation and the silent surrounds of India’s mountain tops or colourful Mandalas. Well, this isn’t for everyone. Some people need something a little more fast-paced or intense.
So we asked ourselves, just how strange do yoga practices get?
We did a little digging and found 8 alternative yoga options that you might like to try if traditional yoga isn’t doing it for you.
Trending amongst yoga aficionados, it’s a cross between ashtanga and vinyasa, and is often thought of as the original ‘power yoga’. Developed by Larry Schultz in 1980s San Francisco, the style is meant to be more intense than traditional yoga, with faster more fluid movements and transitions.
Teachers insist that you will quickly catch on and be running through the sequences at full speed in no time at all. APart of the appeal we think is that you don’t have to master each pose before moving onto the next. It breaks a few of the traditional rules making yoga more accessible to everyone.
This takes place in what is essentially an inflatable tent (patented by Hot Pod Yoga), the space is dark, cosy, and heated to a warming 37°C. The class is an hour long and combines vinyasa flow and pilates core exercises.
Stretching and strengthening at the same time. Based in Brixton, Notting Hill and London Fields, the portable studios are also fully equipped to pop up at any requested location, be that at your birthday or at work.
Credit: Hot Pod Yoga
We’ve mentioned Barre class before, as Nancy is a big fan. These classes involve techniques from dance, yoga and fitness. The specific sequences will encourage muscles to stretch and strengthen, leaving you calm and relaxed.
Be prepared to entangle yourself in long and twisting positions.
Boxing turned to yoga, or yoga turned into boxing. Whichever way round it is the aim is to give yoga a more athletic spin.
For boxers, it is a chance to practice breathing techniques and work on balance, flexibility and stretches. For yogis, it is a chance to learn a few boxing techniques and stances.
Total Boxer now train a variety of sporting clubs.
Studies show that the actual act of laughing can make you happy. We know that sounds obvious and silly but bear with us here.
Laughter yoga is designed to be a laugh, it is designed to make you smile, to be good fun. But it still works your core muscles and combines some of the meditative ideologies from traditional yoga. The School of Laughter Yoga has regular meet-ups near the Southbank.
Acroyoga combines partner acrobatics with yoga techniques. It is much more than a flashy form of yoga though. It’s main purpose is to help build real human connection and trust in others.
The positions require a base, a flyer, and perhaps most importantly the spotter. It s more about technique than strength, meaning you don’t need to be a professional gymnast to do these moves.
Antigravity yoga is exactly what it sounds like. Learn to fly at your yoga class. Dangle from silk ropes hanging from the ceiling, whilst moving through a variety of positions and holds that are sure to work your core to the limits.
It may sound daunting to swing from the ceiling doing yoga, but as with anything, the more you do the better you’ll become, and the more you’ll begin to enjoy the sense of freedom that comes from defying gravity.
Yoga is about balance, what better way to advance your balancing skills than by decreasing the stability of the surface you are on.
In the summer months you can try this out in Paddington Basin. The surf board that becomes your new floating yoga mat? Participants can feel free to wear their usual yoga clothing, however wetsuits are available on request, and people who are not entirely comfortable on water can also wear buoyancy aids. Private lessons are available however, in London this one is a seasonal yoga class. No one wants to be taking a tumble in the Thames during winter.