Sunday, 6 November 2016

Holding out for a (yoga) hero

Yoga Hero Leeds Skyline Sessions
crab pose


Yoga is one of those things which I’ll dip in and out of. I’ll think to myself that I need to get some headspace, head to a class, remember how hard it is and it’ll be another few months before I go back. Not surprisingly, it’s one of those past-times which takes one hell of a lot of perseverance before you end up being #YogaGoals and doing head stands and practice really does make perfect.

Despite it being one of the hardest physical activities I’ve ever tried, I still really enjoy it, even though I’m far from doing any impressive poses. I enjoy that it truly immerses you. It’s not like when you’re in the gym and checking Whatsapp between sets or running down the street with an app telling you how far you’ve gone, it’s all about getting lost in a moment and testing yourself.

I've been to Yoga Hero in Leeds a few times and they recently partnered with Social Independents (check out their Facebook here) for a whole new venture. Social Independents is working on a load of different session with local companies which are all about fitness and well-being as part of the newly launched 'Skyline Sessions' (full deets here). So it's not just yoga, there's loads going on.

I was actually invited to the Skyline Sessions press night and couldn't attend, but when I saw that this session was going on, I booked myself a place anyway. As it coincided with the 'Wonder Weekend' at Trinity, they also partnered with them which was pretty cool.

The session I attended was £25 and 3 ½ hours long. We started in Trinity, outside of the Apple store for a Rocket Yoga warm up session which lasted half an hour. I must admit, doing yoga in a shopping centre at 9:30am on a Saturday morning was something that concerned me a little. Whilst I’m a fairly out-going and confident person, the thought of the general public observing my downward dog didn’t fill me with a warm fuzzy feeling to say the least. However, after reminding myself that anyone watching is looking at the group and not individuals, I began to feel considerably less self-conscious. It was difficult to think of anything but the sequence we were doing anyway – as it was so cold, we just had to keep moving.



yoga mats in Trinity Leeds


After this, we headed to the City Exchange building which is where the ‘skyline’ bit comes into it. On the 6th floor there is a massive space which Social Independents has taken over for the Skyline Sessions, that has incredible floor to ceiling windows and you can see all of Leeds from there. The views are breathtaking and it’s strange that it’s so peaceful when there’s a massive city that is buzzing with activity just 6 floors down. At City Exchange, we went through another yoga session which I really enjoyed. I found it testing but our instructor Holly is brilliant – she really understands that everyone is at a different point so gives everyone options to suit their ability. As someone who has only done a few classes before, this is really important to me and it made me feel really comfortable. After the class, we all sat down together to have brunch which was a really lovely end to it.



Leeds Skyline


yoga mat and bricks


There’s definitely a bit of a stigma around yoga that really doesn’t represent what it’s like. I know so many people who will do it in their living room but wouldn’t go to a class as they’re expecting a certain stereotype of person to be there or that everyone will be really good and they won’t be. It’s so false, especially in the case of Yoga Hero, as in every class I’ve been to, everyone has been so welcoming and it really is designed to suit all abilities. Yogis, much like runners, are all too aware of what it’s like to start and because they love it, they want as many other people to love it as much as them. It’s such a lovely community and if you’re in Leeds, I can’t recommend Yoga Hero highly enough.  
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