Summer may be drizzling by, but you can embrace the balearic vibes in our new Ibiza Yoga Retreat class. Words: Mollie Millington.
I hate to admit that I've never been to Ibiza. Almost everyone I know has, including my friend's one year-old daughter. Now that I am in my 30s, the thoughts of sunning on the beach with a cocktail in hand are a wee bit more appealing that partying all night long (not by much though). Luckily, you can do both in Ibiza. Since I'm not able to get my toes in Ibizan sand this summer, I thought I would try out the new Ibiza Retreat yoga class at Westfield Stratford.
The class is evidently popular with members as the floor was nearly filled when I arrived. Members were very friendly, moving their mats out of the way to give me some space, and sharing their yoga blocks. There was a faint beachy aroma in the air from a diffuser, the lights were set to a reddish orange, and the temperature in the studio was warm. Add washes crashing and a beach bonfire and you might be reminded of your last trip to Ibiza (or a future one).
From the online photos of the class, I had 'sunset' stuck in my head for a setting. I assumed the class would be very chilled out, with slow sequences and lots of breathing technique. Turns out, the class is quite different than that. The music is amazing with a great beat and seamless flow. You can listen to the mix by resident Gymbox DJ Paul Heron below. The yoga was to tempo (a bit faster than I was expecting), with a nice progression of difficulty as we warmed up, and then focused more on our practice towards splits. I found the instructor's directions easy to follow, which was important as the column in the middle of the room made a bit tricky to see her at times. Luckily, there are mirrors on one side of the studio, so I could use those if I needed help with a pose.
The day I went to this yoga class, I'd had had a really tough day at work, and was looking forward to a relaxing class. I felt calm and tall as I left Stratford for home. It pushed me to the upper limit of my ability, but not so far I was worried about falling over at any point in the class (yes, I have done that before). The details put into the atmospheric design of the class was great and I hope Gymbox invites me back again soon for another brush with Ibiza.
Follow Mollie @PTMollie