Just when you thought there weren't any other more forms of yoga you could try, and then here comes Loaded Yoga! Warning: Not for the faint hearted! Strap on and load up! Breathe, sweat, and feel the burn with a combination of Vinyasa flow, plyometrics and conditioning, with wrist and ankle weights to seriously maximise your workout. Review: Lily Lipstick
Despite being a yoga devotee, I knew I could count on Gymbox to shake things up with their new class offering for the new season – Loaded Yoga. I’m always looking for ways to vary my practice and challenge myself so the idea of yoga with weights sounded at once exciting and a little terrifying!
With an amazing soundtrack and in a dimly lit studio, Loaded Yoga is not for the faint-hearted and is definitely not one of those yoga classes that you can sleepwalk (pose) your way through. This is an omm-free zone and while familiarity with basic yoga sequences will help, it’s definitely not required to be able to get involved. In fact, if you’ve always thought of yoga as something which is a bit “too easy” to count as a proper workout then this could be the class for you.
Strapping on wrist and ankle weights adds a new dimension – the initial warm-up felt like I was moving through water as my legs and arms adjusted to the weights. As the flow sequence started, the weights totally shifted my centre of gravity making even the simplest yoga poses feel challenging for both my muscles and my sense of balance. Yoga traditionally makes use of just body weight, but adding the ankle and wrist weights makes muscles work so much harder. After unstrapping them at the end of the class I felt almost weightless walking out!
Instructor Ashley took us from a Vinyasa flow sequence, which will be familiar to yogis on to a plyometric series – these exercises were challenging but the 40 seconds sped by as I had to think about both the moves and counterbalancing the weights. Don’t let anyone try to fool you that yoga is a “no sweat” workout, this class definitely will get your heart pumping and, yes, you will be sweating by the end!
The last section of the class took us through a series of twists and stretches, bringing our heart rates back down and going back to the traditional yogic principles of connecting the breath to the poses and allowing us to stretch out our hard-working muscles. The class ended, as with all yoga classes, with shavasana (or corpse pose) which felt very well deserved!
Go on, give it a whirl? Click here for more info.