So, what exactly is immersive yoga?
Forget chiming bells and incense – the new yoga trend sweeping London’s coolest studios is as modern as it is effective. A new-age approach that harnesses the power of music and visuals to supercharge your savasana, immersive yoga is putting a 21st century spin on a typically traditional workout.
Unlike anything you’ve tried before, these classes create multi-sensory experiences that involve sight, sound and sometimes scent and taste. And according to Nina Ryner, the founder of ChromaYoga (a Shoreditch-based studio where classes are organised by colour to support the circadian rhythm), these kinds of sessions are the next big thing in the fitness world. “A truly immersive environment allows us to completely detach from the outside world and eliminate distraction,” she says. “It also stimulates the brain and allows individuals to be more present in their yoga experience.” In short, think yoga in an IMAX theatre – it’s all about the music and graphics for a dose of pure escapism.
Got you. Who’s it for?
Everyone and anyone, especially if you struggle to switch off. “Immersive techniques allow the brain to access a state of relaxation which otherwise might be tricky in a more commercial or out-dated setting,” says Ryner. Still struggling to get into yoga? With more focus on the atmosphere instead of the individual, an immersive class may be just what the doctor ordered, especially if you tend to find yoga studios intimidating. At the same time, those looking for a genuine (and science-backed) mood boost should head down to ChromaYoga. There, you’ll find blue sessions to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and energy slumps as well as red classes to boost metabolism and circulation.
Where else can I try a class?
While ChromaYoga is well worth a visit (even if only for an Insta-shot with the rainbow mirror), FLY LDN, a stone’s throw from Bank Tube, also comes highly recommended. Here, classes take place in front of a 30ft cinematic screen with vistas of lakes, mountains and crashing swells. Plus, with classes ranging from dynamic and endurance-building to slower-paced flows, there really is something for everyone. Studio Society in West Hampstead also offers immersive yoga and spin classes while those after a slightly more trippy experience should try Do.omyoga, where sessions are set to psychedelic music to enhance the mind-body connection. Also keep an eye out for Sweat & Sound events, held regularly across the capital, where it’s all about the live music and sense of community.
Have a life-long ambition to nail that headstand? It’s also worth noting that immersive yoga can help deepen your practice and take it to the next level. As London-based yoga teacher and founder of The Human Method Nahid de Belgeonne explains, “An advanced yogi is an immersed yogi. In yoga it’s not what you do, it’s the way that you do it. The physical practice is just one limb of yoga – there’s so much more to be had if you allow yourself to look beyond that. A deep practice is all about a more present state of being.” We’ll see you on the mat.
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