I come from a background of high intensity, high impact exercise – with a love for boot camp, basketball, running, squash and the odd pump class thrown in for good measure. Basically anything that gets me hot and sweaty, thighs burning and puffing like a maniac – sign me up! I love the feeling of accomplishment at the end of a hard session, the trembly legs and and aching abs. Enter yoga. Chanting. Eyes closed. 90minutes. Chatarunga? No colourful runners? It’s a whole new world that I admit I’ve never been 100% comfortable with. Despite this, the physical and mental rewards of yoga are ones I can’t ignore and lately I’ve become determined to embrace my inner yogi and give it another crack. Plus, the old calves are need of a decent stretch.
Doing a bit of research, I came across Tara Stiles, a “rebel” yoga instructor who has carved out her own controversial niche and yoga style in New York . She believes yoga is not an elite club, and focusses on the physical benefits of practising. Which means no chanting, a chataranga is called a pushup, and her classes are $10. Sold! Inspired to find something similar in my home town, I spoke to a friend who recommended Yoga Pavilion in Artarmon, Sydney.
So after work that day, I pulled on my brand spanking new yoga singlet and wandered into the beautifully designed space that was Yoga Pavilion. Our instructor Alanna was young, funny and relaxed. I started with a Hatha Vinyassa class that ran for 1 hour, we got to play around with headstands and attempt the crow pose (success!). There was bit of “ommmming” at the end of class that wasn’t too bad, and I found myself absorbed throughout the poses.
Class one – done! Alanna also runs Anti Gravity yoga classes (see pic above), which seems to combine yoga poses with flying around like a vampire and swinging from the roof. Fun right? Stay tuned for class two.
Namaste High five!