If you follow Fitphernalia on Twitter, you’ll have seen on Wednesday I announced the launch of Summer of Sweat – a series of heavily discounted pop-up fitness classes in London, courtesy of the ladies behind Lunges & Lycra. (If you don’t follow Fitphernalia on Twitter then lesson learnt. Get on it – @fitphernalia).
I was lucky to get offered a coveted spot at the first session – Stand Up Paddleboard Yoga. I tried SUP for the first time a few weeks ago and got on well with it, so I was up for taking it to the next level. Turns out, the next level feels about five levels harder though…
The class was held at Paddington Basin – the end of Regent’s Canal just behind Paddington Station (where Active360 have a base). Sounds scummy, but it’s actually a lovely spot. And it was another epiphany about just how many un-London things you can do in London. An hour after finishing work in a high-rise office, I was padding barefoot down the water’s edge.
After clambering onto boards and paddling on our knees out into the water, we rested the paddles on the boards to get cracking. The brill Jen from Pure Yoga Zone eased us in with seated poses. But even basic moves like spinal twists and pigeons set the board rocking big time. And the extra work needed to stablise it meant that planks and bridges became pure torture – in a good way, if you’re a ‘no pain no gain’ type.
The only downside of doing it on a British canal, fully clothed (instead of in sunny California in a swimming cossie) is that you’re seriously averse to falling in. So I didn’t push myself to try positions where I felt really unstable. Probably a wise move as one of my classmates did meet a watery end.* But given that California is some 5,000 miles and £600 away, it’s a good compromise. And as we lay down on our boards for the final relaxation, getting carried along by the water and staring to the sky, I felt like I’d discovered another of London’s secrets.
Summer of Sweat is running until the end of September, with upcoming classes including parkour, trampolining, and training like an Olympian. So if you’re a Londoner or holidaying here sign up at summerofsweat.co.uk.
*I should clarify, she didn’t die. She just got wet.
VITALS: summerofsweat.co.uk, @summerofsweat; lungesandlycra.co.uk, @lungesandlycra; active360.co.uk, @active360; pureyogazone.com, @PureYogaZone