CHRISTMAS YOGA PARTY

yoga party
Me in festive red, the setting (complete with drifts of fake snow), and my friend and I rocking The Christmas Tree pose

Novelty jumpers, fake snow and the (Christmas) tree pose. It can only be one thing – a Christmas yoga party!

Earlier this week I reported on how Christmas fitness parties have become “a thing” this year. I see this is a sign of a) the growing trend for “event-fitness”; b) how close knit the communities at clubs are these days, with the rise of the #fitfam; c) how swapping a night out for a workout is now considered a legitimate move.

Anyway, I LOVE all things novelty, so on Friday night I went along to the Christmas Yoga Party at Kelly Brooks Yoga in Clapham. I’d met Kelly on Twitter (how very millennial of me) and she invited me to join in the festivities. So I roped in my friend and off we went, clad in suitably sparkly gear as per Kelly’s instructions.

Kelly’s classes are held in a hall in an estate in Clapham, which from the outside is not remotely glam. (I had to ask some yoofs with tinnies if I was in the right place. They laughed at the mention of yoga. Ahem). But inside Kelly had transformed her cute, little studio into a winter wonderland – with festive decs; a Christmas tree; a projection of falling snow; and a Santa hat, personal card and party poppers on each mat. Exactly the kind of attention to detail that I rejoice in. Really, I do.

The class was set to a Christmas playlist and Kelly re-named common yoga poses to give them a festive spin: ‘The Tree’ became ‘The Christmas Tree’, ‘The Triangle’ turned into ‘The Star’, ‘Rocking the Cradle’ became ‘Rocking Baby Jesus’, and the backwards roll (I don’t know if this has an official name?!) became The Snowball.

In between sequences we did improv dancing around the room. Yes, this kind of thing does make me cringe. But it always, without fail, gets you laughing and chatting to everyone. And when someone slipped on a pile of fake snow and stacked it, the class descended into brilliant, unabashed silliness. My friend’s yoga mat was soon covered in the stuff (which is like soap) so that she was slipping and sliding all over it. But that summed up everything I loved about the event. Yes, the postures were challenging, but overall the class laughed in the po-face of holier than thou yogis.

We finished the event with mince pies and mulled wine and all the warm fuzzy loveliness that Christmas is all about. And for £10 for two and a half hours (and a Santa hat to keep) it was a bargain.

It’s a while since I’ve been to a “local” fitness class. And it reminded me why they’re so brilliant. There’s a special kind of warmth and endearing charm to them that can go missing anywhere ultra-trendy or in a big chain. And when you get a lovely instructor like Kelly – genuinely dedicated to making her event unique and memorable – you come away getting a lot more for your money.

My friend and I left vowing to hunt out a kooky, under-the radar fitness class to try out every month. Any you recommend local to you? Let me know in the comments below.

Oh, and check out Kelly’s 10 Fun Festive Yoga Poses on her blog to get into the Yuletide spirit at home.

VITAL STATS: kellybrooksyoga.com, @KellyBrooksYoga

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