Last Monday I went to Hip Hop Yoga – say what? Hip Hop Yoga at Hackney House in Old Street, is exactly what it sounds like – yoga to a hip hop beat. I was downward dogg-ing to Snoop D- o – double G, (ahem, Snoop Down Dog I should say) and ‘doing the jiggy’ to a Tribe Called Quest.
This was my second attempt to go to the session after, the previous week, Google maps took me to Hackney House in Hackney Central by accident. In a bizarre turn of events, this Hackney House, a hair dressers, was hosting a yoga class for the evening, which oddly was being filmed for a TV show on event spaces, and was followed by a live gig. I started the night doing a Vinyasa and ended it drinking red wine next to the hair dressing sinks watching a band. Bizarre.
Anyway, the Hip Hop yoga class last week, at the actual Hackney House in Old Street was decorated with fairy lights and Christmas trees. The session was essentially a regular hour and a half yoga session but incorporated some ‘jiggy’ into our Ivengar flow, and set to some banging hip hop beats. The space was also mirror-free. This is not unusual for a yoga studio, but made a welcome change from many gym studios (and hair dressing saloons) I’ve practised in before.
Emily was a great instructor, relaxed and funny, encouraging us to do ‘dirty hip hop faces’ as we did crescent moon pose –much to the bouncer’s amusement. During the goddess pose we were asked to turn to our neighbour and tell each other, ‘you’re juicy’ (actually not as cringe-inducing as it sounds).
I practise yoga a fair amount, and found the class to be a good work out but also easy to follow. We moved between poses at a good pace, with a decent build up and cool down at the end. The all-important Shivasana or corpse pose (the bit where you lie down at the end) was a blissful ten minutes long. Looking around the class, I felt that everyone was able to keep up, and Emily was good at demonstrating different poses depending on your level.
Hip Hop Yoga is huge in the States. The Insta-savvy Y7 Studio in the birth place of Biggie Smalls himself, Bedford Struveysant, in the New York borough of Brooklyn, founded the movement. The staff of tattooed instructors brand themselves, ‘a tribe called sweat’. They practise a Ghetto Vinyasa and #flowhard. Y7’s ‘Sweat Drippin, Beat Bumpin’, Candlelit Yoga’ style, has seamlessly arrived in Shoreditch thanks to the brilliant people at Good Yoga Life. I’ve been to many of their sessions in East London, and always found their classes fun, friendly, and the instruction consistently to a high standard.
Hip Hop yoga is brilliant fun, and an excellent work out. For the £15 price tag, it’s a good night out and there is a free dessert bar for everyone at the end. I’m allergic to nuts so I couldn’t enjoy that, but it’s a nice added extra. The price is steep for one session, even for London, but the novelty of working out to some of my favourite old school tunes, made it worth it. I’m glad I made it to Hip Hop Yoga, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, uplifting work out and a banging start to your week. Namaste bitches.