I’ve been working for a yoga charity for five years - so I’ve been to a lot of yoga classes in my time - and this was one of the nicest ones I’ve been to.
This class was beautifully put together and run, and felt a lot shorter than its 75 minutes. Brittany, the teacher, is likeable, knowledgeable and kind, and guided us through a sequence that felt complete, rigorous and satisfying. She offered sensitive and appropriate modification, was encouraging without being at all patronising, and had a friendly, calm and professional manner.
This is a hatha class, which means that yoga poses are set up quite precisely and then you stay in them for a while. The challenge comes from holding a position and building strength rather than moving a lot from pose to pose (as you do in vinyasa and ashtanga classes). I find this style of yoga a bit more relaxing and grounding than other types because of this stillness and concentration involved, though it still feels like a pretty strong workout and it’s as much a mental challenge as a physical one.
This class had just the right amount of “yoga chat” for my taste - we were invited to set an intention for the class and do an Om together, which is nice, but there was no talk of chakras or prana (which can be very alienating) - ideal! This accessibility was also evident in the poses. We were frequently encouraged to modify to suit ourselves, and there were clearly people in the class with an extremely advanced practice, but I was never made to feel bad about having to hang out in child’s pose for a while.
If I had a criticism, the room was very hot (not the studio’s fault - it was a boiling July day! - but bear it in mind if you’re sensitive to heat) and possibly a little crowded for comfort. I’d also point out that this is not a beginner’s class. You’re expected to be familiar with the poses and able to modify them. I found this really empowering and felt it let me get exactly what I needed from the class, but it did take a little bit of knowledge. I’d say if you’ve been doing yoga regularly for more than a couple of months you’d be fine.
The class left me feeling great - physically very comfortable and balanced, and like I’d done a load of work, but not too exhausted to enjoy the rest of the day. On my bike ride home, I smiled at like 5 strangers, and I never do that. Thoroughly recommended, this class is a perfect start to the weekend.