You’ve heard of goat yoga, naked yoga and ‘doga‘ (dog yoga). But, with the ever-rising popularity of yoga, there are even more combinations of yoga with almost anything you can think of. Although I’m a firm believer in the joys of yoga on its own without any other kind of thing thrown in, it cannot be denied that these varied yoga combos sound like they could be INCREDIBLE fun, really interesting, and just a little bit loopy.
So make this February a ‘try-something-new’ kind of month, and check out one (or all) of our top ten weird, wacky and wonderful types of yoga. Me, I’m off to Yoga Disco – just try and stop me!
1. Boxing and Yoga
Yoga and boxing are not the first two things that you would put together, although you can see how yoga would complement boxing. This particular hybrid is catered towards those who are more naturally drawn to boxing and adds the positives of yoga into this mix.
Described as a ‘fun, powerful, yoga-based training system’, boxing yoga cuts out a lot of the traditional aspects of yoga, such as the philosophy of yoga, the chanting, and the Sanskrit terminology and highlights the strengthen and stretch element of yoga. It says that it ‘offers fighters a considered approach to explore coordination, body awareness and correct posture alignment’. The combination of the two leading to a reduction in injuries and a healthy body and mindset. So if you enjoy throwing those punches and want to do so with a yogic mindset, head on out to North London to try it out.
Where: Total Boxer, Unit 21, Cranford Way, London N8 9DG
2. Dance and Yoga
When done properly yoga is as beautiful to watch as dance. In fact, it is a kind of dance – an expression of our innermost feelings through the movement of the external body. When done properly, that is…
Yoga and dance are natural bedfellows, and teacher Stella Stathi certainly thinks so. She has founded JourneyDance, a way of freeing people from their fears and inhibitions and truly expressing themselves through yoga. Through her class she says people ‘reach deep into ourselves, find that which hinders our progress and take it out, dance with it, challenge it and let it go’. The structure of the class begins with listening to the sound of group chanting, moves to grounding warm-ups and culminates in large, expressive movements to free the spiritual body.
Where: Evolve Wellness Centre, 10 Kendrick Mews, South Kensington, London SW7 3HG
3. Colour Therapy and Yoga
ChromaYoga is a multi-faceted new take on yoga which adds colour and light therapy, sound therapy, and scents into the mix. This multi-sensory experience is a radical new take on being absorbed by the senses. Taking into account how the over-saturation of blue light adversely affects the brain and its circadian rhythms (the natural waking-sleeping rhythms of the body), ChromaYoga conducts classes lit by different coloured lights, such as yellow or green to stimulate or relax different areas of the brain. The yoga sequences are designed to link into the colour theme, as well as a specially formulated soundtrack AND a bespoke essential oil, for a 360-degree feast for the body AND the senses.
Where: 45 Charlotte Road, London EC2A 3PD
4. Disco and Yoga
Disco Yoga is for the new generation of young people (sadly not me) who work hard and want to play hard but in a mindful and yoga-tastic way. So if you like disco-dancing, and/or yoga, then this sounds like it could be your perfect night out.
Aimed at those who want to socialise as well as get their groove on, each Disco Yoga session starts with the option to “glitter up” followed by an energising class set to disco classics to re-boot your soul. This is followed by the ‘superfood’ cocktails, offering ‘health and beauty benefits’ (assuming you don’t have too many to get a hangover the next day).
Where: Trapeze Bar, 87 Great Eastern Street, London EC2A 3HX
5. Flying and Yoga
Okay, not actual flying, but you’re suspended in a silken hammock from the ceiling. Aerial Yoga uses all the same principles of a yoga class, but the yoga hammock supports the back, allowing maximum decompression of the spine, so it’s especially good for those who struggle with back pain. When you’re suspended, the stress on the joints is alleviated and poses take on a ‘weightless’ quality.
The other effects of being suspended in mid-air are that poses become more accessible, allowing for a greater range of movement.
Where: The Wilditch Centre, 48 Culvert Road, Battersea, London Sw11 5BB (plus 3 other venues across London)
6. Heavy Metal and Yoga
Are you a goth? Do you have an Iron Maiden T-shirt tucked away in your wardrobe? If this is you, then you simply have to try Doomyoga – spelt Do.OmYoga – you see what they did there? These yoga classes are centred around a deep connection to powerful music. The intense music acts as a driving force encouraging you to get in touch with your inner strength, as well as complimenting the slower pace of the practice, with the aim of releasing tension. It’s also about sustaining postures for longer while being distracted by the music. Check out the different music genre options and get ready to lose yourself in the music, the moment…
Where: Hackney Coffee Company, 503 Hackney Rd, London E2 7SR
7. Journaling and Yoga
This is a pretty unexpected combination, but the woman behind this movement is nothing short of unexpected in all she does. American yogi and inspirational speaker Jennifer Pastiloff won’t fit into any box and her workshops, entitled, ‘On Being Human‘, are a combination of: ‘yoga, writing, letting the snot fly, sharing out loud, and an occasional dance party.’ Which, apart from the snot, all sounds like an amazing experience. Catch her at a one-off workshop in London while she’s on her world tour.
Where: One-off workshop, Sunday 2 June 2019: 2-5pm @ Lumi Power Yoga Ltd., 121 King Street, London, W6 9JG
8. Psychotherapy and Yoga
We all know that when we commit to our regular yoga practice, it’s not only the body the benefits, but also the mind. This combination of yoga and psychotherapy with chartered counselling psychologist Dr. Sarah Davies takes this fact and formalises this relationship in a Western style. Its unique approach is to understand that an individual yoga session can be a mirror to how we relate to the struggles we face in our daily lives.
This individually-tailored, yoga-based therapy can work really well, especially for those who ‘feel stuck in intellectual, analytical or cognitive processes in traditional sit-down talking therapies’. Find out how your yoga practice can be a way in to develop self-awareness and your limiting beliefs.
Where: 1 Harley St, Marylebone, London W1G 9QY
9. Acrobatics and Yoga
Acro-Yoga does what it says on the tin. It combines asana and acrobatics in a safe and exciting way. There is no previous acrobatic experience or ability needed, just enthusiasm and a willingness to try something new. This beginner class introduces partner yoga, assisted inversions, therapeutic and acrobatic flying! You don’t need to bring a partner with you however, just turn up and give it a go.
Where: 18 Hayes Place, Marylebone, London NW1 6UA
10. Swimming and Yoga
Founded by medical anthropologist and mother of four, Françoise Freedman, Aqua Yoga is mainly aimed at pre-natal and post-natal mothers in order to prepare and repair their bodies pre and post-baby. Bringing together the benefits of yoga in the supportive environment of water makes so much sense, as being in the water reduces the strain on joints and bones, calms the mind and slows the breath. In water, the element of connection, the mother is able to bond more effectively with her unborn child, as well as to her own body.
Aqua yoga can also be very effective as a form of yoga therapy as in water even people with restricted mobility can increase their movement in relatively short sessions.
Where: Various locations in and around London