This yoga class is a nourishing, calming and fun hour and a half, set in a beautiful, new, little yoga space in East Oxford.
The class was Hatha yoga, which is mainly slow and relaxing but with a couple of challenges thrown in. The class were varied in ability, and Rachel took the time to find out about everyone and offered thoughtful modifications throughout. This would be fine as a first ever yoga class, as well as a regular practice for more experienced yogis.
Wild Honey, a new organic food shop and yoga/community space, is a lovely place to practice yoga. There's a small studio behind the shop, and a chillout space with water and sofas behind it. The studio is clean and pretty naturally lit in the daytime by skylights. As the class went on, the light above faded so by the end of relaxation, we were in semi-darkness. Beautiful!
Rachel's teaching style is imaginative and fun, with a lot of emphasis on play, experimentation and responding to your own body. We practiced a couple of extremely cool transitions/exercises I hadn't come across before - I actually had fun working on side plank, which I normally hate, because it is basically just holding yourself up on one arm, but this approach made me feel really strong. Rachel is not an instructor - she's a teacher. I feel like in this one session, I really learnt a couple of things. There is also a hefty meditative element to the class, which was a great counterpoint to the more play-based teaching. We started and ended with seated meditation, which made the practice feel really calming and like it was a space apart from everyday life.
This is a really deep and lovely yoga class - the kind of yoga that helps you make friends with yourself and your body. I would especially recommend it for anyone looking for a yoga class to help with any mental health issues, or who feel like they're struggling for any reason. A weekly yoga class can help so much if you're feeling a bit lost. I love this, but do bear in mind this is not just a stretchy fitness class - if you want to get in, get a sweat on and get out, this class might not be right for you.
The hour and a half went by like a shot and I was actually disappointed when it was time for relaxation. Afterwards I felt calm and happy and like someone had oiled all my joints. I'm definitely going back. Really wonderful.