The Alternative Workout

11 Sep

Mention yoga to anyone and images of poised women in serene positions, eyes closed, breathing peacefully, may come to mind, or likewise, someone contorting their body into a position no one ever thought realistically possible. What probably does not spring to mind is a darkened room of mood lighting, a DJ at one end and a group of brightly-coloured-lycra-clad people dancing around like lunatics waving glow sticks in the air – however, this is what The Future Sound of Yoga is all about. Yoga to music and not just calm, tranquil soothing sounds but a gradually increasing beat until high-tempo techno dance tunes are blaring out of the speakers.

This is what Shan, Sophie, Nicky and I decided to do with our Friday night and despite a few reservations about what the freestyle dance section of the class might involve, we went along and went with the flow – quite literally. The class started out quite as you would expect a yoga class to start; everyone on mats, breathing exercises and then a few sun salutations and downward dogs later, the mats were pushed aside, the upbeat tunes kicked in and the rave began. Twenty minutes later, a much hotter, sweatier but invigorated group of people returned to the mats and the tempo was brought back down with some more relaxing music. Certainly not the most conformative style of yoga we’ve ever tried but probably the most fun – it beat any night out in a club where instead of dodging drunk people on the dance floor, we were encouraged to meet and greet are yogi comrades while jumping about and trying not to be too self-conscious. The latter took a bit of time and a shot of something strong might have gone down quite well beforehand but the dimmed lights certainly helped and soon there were no inhibitions; everyone looked as mad as the next person.

While I recovered on the Saturday morning, James took himself down to the bay to take part in a Stand Up Paddle race: 2.5 km stood on the board, paddling against the wind round a set course. It was the first time he had entered a race, although he said it was more a group of people paddling with a goal, rather than an ultra-competitive paddles at dawn type affair. Having said that, he was pretty pleased to zip past a few of the other competitors and not to fall in either (the water temperature is still a little of the cold side!)

On Sunday we decided to check out the Royal National Park, south of Sydney – absolutely beautiful. We took a walking trail along the coast, which meandered over the cliffs and back along the beach – the perfect way to walk off the long, boozy, birthday lunch we’d had the day before with a group of friends but also to enjoy the amazing weather at the moment.

So while we can all sweat it out in a gym and pound the pavements on a run, we’ve tried a few alternatives and been preserving our knees this weekend – and for James, its still all about his knees!

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