With 2017 in full swing, here at House of Coco we’re all for alternative fitness and relaxation methods and with yoga and meditation classes continuously on the rise, specifically to gain a break in bustling cities like London, we thought it was essential we went to check out the new wave.
We sent our Lifestyle Writer, Helena, to The Bermondsey Square Hotel for two new different types of yoga that should be on your wellness radar for this year.
YogaBox or better known as ‘The Yin and Yang of workouts’, the new boxing and yoga fusion classes. The unique workout combines high intensity boxing with relaxing yoga practice to ensure fat burning and relaxation all at the same time. Two specialist instructors come together to teach each parts of the class. I was very confused as to how high energy boxing and calming yoga would be incorporated with each other but the class is more of a yoga-boxing-yoga type of structure. Starting with stretching and a light warm up, cardio and endurance from the bootcamp like boxing and then back to calm breathing exercises with the yoga. It actually makes for quite an enjoyable workout because a 60 minute class burns up to 1,000 calories so you know you’ve burnt fat and made your mind calm and focused at the same time.
The class is taught part by Yoga instructor and part by Boxing professional. Chris Baugh is the professional boxer behind YogaBox. He graduated from LSE and had a promising career before deciding to change his life and pursue his dream of boxing professionally in 2012. Chris practised Chinese Martial Arts from the age of 6 and then took up freestyle kickboxing at 15, before converting to boxing at 19 years old. Now an undefeated professional with a 75% knockout ratio, Chris’ whole life revolves around boxing; coaching, training and fighting. Having spent a total of 21 years in combat sports and physical conditioning, Chris saw YogaBox as a brilliant opportunity to create an innovative new work out.
“When I started practising yoga I realised there was a whole other set of physical needs I’d been neglecting in my own approach, and started using yoga based stretching and postures with my clients,” said Chris.
Bermondsey Square (www.bermondseysquarehotel.co.uk) and La Suite West (www.lasuitewest.com) offer YogaBox classes from £15 per class for a 60 minute session. Please visit www.yogabox.london to book online.
In this age of constant mind-overdrive and a non-stop culture, the ancient pratice of Yoga Nidra is more about focusing on the relaxation of the mind and body through meditation to achieve a conscious deep sleep. Total opposite of YogaBox you could say, but nonetheless even more beneficial for your mental wellbeing. Acclaimed Yoga Nidra practitioner, Stephen Marks, has been practising Yoga for over 20 years. Stephen undertook his teacher training with the shamanic school of Yoga in the rainforest of Costa Rica and he has further qualified with the Yoga Nidra network.He describes Yoga Nidra – or sleep meditation – as the single most important contribution to Yoga in modern times.
I couldn’t help but notice the edge of calm and an out-of-this world stillness when I entered the room, the toasty temperature as well as floating scents of lavender made me just want to curl up into a little ball and fully go into shut off relaxation mode. Yoga Nidra can also help to alleviate health issues through its ability to contain the distractions of the mind, allowing the mind to relax. A deeply relaxing and restorative practice, Yoga Nidra has been shown to offer numerous health benefits, including relief from insomnia, fatigue, diabetes symptoms, stress, anxiety and other mental illnesses.
The class began with making your body comfortable, before embarking on a journey around the body relaxing various parts known as body sensing or the rotation of consciousness. Next, the focus turned to the breath following Stephen’s voice and direction and the subtle and inward observation of the body breathing. After that, the practice moved into the visualization of a forest and integration from the Nidra back into present state. All accompanied by ultimate relaxation sounds, the ideal break away from it all after a hectic working week.
Bermondsey Square Hotel offers Stephen Marks’ Yoga Nidra classes every first Tuesday of the month from £15 per person for a 60 minute class. Please visit www.bermondseysquarehotel.co.uk to book online.