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Friday, 22 August 2014

Review - Hotpod Yoga

I've always believed that yoga needs to be a blissful, somewhat unworldly experience. A much-needed break from the mundane, a welcome moment of escapism - a rejuvenating end (or start) to hectic urban days.

This is why I was intrigued by the chance to practice my wobbly warrior pose at Hotpod Yoga's brand-spanking new 'Pod' nestled high above the city on a quirky East London rooftop. 

For me yoga needs to feel special. And gazing at pink-hued clouds floating around the hazy London skyline was a truly enlightening yogic experience indeed...

I became a fan of Hotpod yoga a few months ago when I tried one of their famed heated classes in Notting Hill after work one day.

I was invited to join a gaggle of lithe-limbed girls in an enticing inflatable studio, which was comfortably heated to a pleasing 37C - to aid flexibility, warm the muscles and boost circulation. 

As soon as I stepped foot in this warm (slightly womb-like) sanctuary I started to feel at ease. 

Soothing spiritual music cooed seductively from mini speakers, miniature candles twinkled mesmerisingly on the floor and the evocative waft of sandalwood from burning incense sticks washed over me in a delirious haze, coaxing me to release my tangled maze of negative thoughts and let go of the day.

With the wonderful Charlie Morgan

Like all of Hotpod Yoga's classes, this one taught invigorating vinyasa flow, which focuses on breathing, toning and correcting body alignment. The hour-long session was everything I craved - energetic, reviving and seriously stress-releaving.

Bali-trained Charlie Morgan led the class with expert instruction and a warm heart - the perfect combination for a yoga instructor in my opinion.

The heat enhanced the whole experience for me and was not at all uncomfortable like Bikram Yoga (i'm just saying...).

Back to the rooftop pod....

With pleasant memories of my last Hotpod experience still in my mind, I yelped with joy when I was invited to try out the company's brand spanking new rooftop pod, joyously nestled high above Netil House. 

This sky-skimming setting is a stone's throw away from London Fields - the leafy hangout of ridiculously tight jean-wearing hipsters who act like they are 'proppa East Landan', when really they hail from somewhere hearty and middle class like Norfolk. 

I took my fellow yoga blogging buddy Katie Poole, who writes an entertaining blog which goes by the merry name of Bending and Booze - a fabulously frivolous celebration of all things yogic...and boozy.

We arrived rather naughtily, frazzled and ten minutes late but were (thankfully) not met with judgemental stares or any form of mocking from the lovely teacher, Catherine Weston - who was instructing the class with a laid-back tone of voice that instantly calmed our flustered selves.

The class was perfect. Strenuous enough to feel the burn in a satisfying way (oh yeeeah) yet sublimely relaxing due to the striking view of the glorious urban landscape in front of us - shrouded in the subdued rays of the evening sun.

I will definitely return.

Nobody touch meh!

At Hotpod Yoga's swanky rooftop launch party

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