Back in May, as I researched “best yoga studios in London” I came across a list of 15 cool locations, each with impressive facilities, innovative concepts or brilliant teachers. Still, the studio that really intrigued me was ChromaYoga: it offers yoga combined with light and colour therapy, where each class has a colour aligned to its “vibe”. For instance, red is for dynamic classes, and blue for relaxing sessions – read here more about this innovative method.
I registered for an orange FLEX class, which was a workshop-style session focused on building strength and flexibility in a certain part of the body. This time, the emphasis was on flexibility in the lower part of the body, legs and hamstrings, required to enter into hanumanasana, the full split pose.
I arrived at the studio well in advance and observed the facilities: small practice room accommodating 8-10 students, white walls, no windows, ambience light and a constant vibrant background sound (felt like being in a cave… in the positive sense). The mats and props were nicely set and the room felt very inviting. It struck me (again) how it’s quite common in London to use props – and plenty of them!
Dijana was our teacher for this class, and she kindly introduced herself and the concept before kicking off. We did not start with meditation, but rather with some fascial training (dreadful, as always…) powered by the fascia ball. We massaged the soles of our feet, and our lower back by the wall. Painful as it may be, it’s really the best possible prep for hem string stretches, I must admit.
We warmed up with sun salutations and vinyasa flows for the first part of the class. It was an intermediate level flow, which included side planks, twists and balancing poses. I was definitely shaky after a Saturday night out, but I think the full moon destabilized me the most 😛
The vinyasa practice was focused on strength building, which may seem counterintuitive in a flexibility-building class. But Dijana gave us some very good advice on this: we should strengthen as much as stretch the body part we are working on. This will prevent injuries and ensure sustainable practice.
That is also why we took our time until we got to the “peak pose” of the class. We prepared the split with props next to our hips, and descended in the stretch slowly and carefully. It was mindful, careful, safe practice. What I really appreciated about the class was how Dijana engaged in a dialogue with us. Especially when we tried out the split, she checked in to see how comfortable we felt, how we perceived each side of the body, and where we struggled most. I felt looked after, and that was the most important thing.
After class I found out this would be the last class taught in this concept, as Dijana was off for 5 months to live in the mountains of Europe. Needless to say, I recommended the Swiss Alps – best of the best, of course 😉 – and shared my hope to return and practice with her when back in London.
There’s lots of different colours in the ChromaYoga spectrum – hope next time I’ll get the chance to experience them all! ♥