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Try out yoga with a twist…and a flying kick. Budokon is a combination of conventional yoga methods,...
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When Wahanda were invited to visit Evolve, a new Wellness centre on their open day we couldn’t resist, and opted to try out new style of yoga Budokon. A favourite among Hollywood’s elite including Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox to name but a few, we fancied ourselves as yoga bunnies. Having already made a stab at Hatha Yoga at my local gym, I thought myself as abit of yoga pro, however I soon found that was far from the truth...
Close to South Ken tube station, when we arrived at the centre we were greeted by the reception staff..who seemed to be a little confused who we were, to say the least! Despite having spoken to the PR staff via email, there was obviously a lack of communication. Despite this, matters were quickly resolved and we were given a quick talk on the practice of Budokon, with which we decided to go for it...
The centre itself was bright and airy, all white walls and perfect minimalism it gave an impressive first impression. The centre boasts three yoga and Pilates studios, two treatment rooms and a community seminar room, yet the centre felt intimate. To add to the feeling of zen, when you arrive please be aware that you must take your shoes off...so make sure your wearing nice socks that day!
For our Budokon Yoga class, we practised in one of the yoga studios, a little on the small side the benefit being that the classes will never get too big, around the size of six to eight people.
Our instructor was the crème de la crème of Budokon Yoga, the UK’s leading teacher Ryan Carldon-Miah obviously an expert in his field we felt we were in very capable hands.
The class started off easily enough with some stretches, touching our toes and making sure we were limbered up before the exercise class began. For those of you, who have practised Hatha Yoga or yoga before; don’t let this fool you at thinking you are at an advantage. Budokon yoga is a dynamic form of yoga, emphasis on dynamic. A mixture of martial arts, yoga stances and meditation it is intense and challenging, certainly not for the fainthearted as we soon discovered. Surrounded by professional yoga teachers, (one doing the spilts right before us) we soon found ourselves out of our depth.
Basic yoga stances like the downward dog, usually static and gentle, are incorporated with martial arts actions so the movements become dynamic and flowing. For instance, the “downward dog” becomes the “dancing dog”, where you start off with pose of the downward dog, (feet and hands on the floor, body forming a V), but then you lift one arm and turn sideways, supporting your whole body with one arm.
As the class went on, the stances did get more difficult and dynamic, however Ryan was always at hand to help at us when we were struggling, (which we did a lot!) helping and encouraging us to carry out the moves.
Towards the end of our 90 minute session, we began to incorporate the moves we had learnt with martial arts; this was the part I loved. A chance to reveal your inner child, we leaped around like leopards and crawled across our mats as gorilla’s-it did get a few titters from the class, but personally the child in me loved it. A bit of fun to round off the class, I definitely would do more of Budokon if they included more of the martial arts side, and less of the grizzly hard to hold body positions.
We finished off with some meditation, a chance to relax your body and mind after all the hard work you’ve put your body through. When we were told to lie down and relax- believe me there was no hesitation!
Asked to close our eyes, and breathe deeply I soon drifted off into tranquillity. With relaxing music and Ryan reading us a poem it was easy to relax, my only premise being that you could hear the goings on of the outside world which did disturb my relaxation. Also it was a shame that the lights could not be turned down, as this would have made the meditation more soothing.
Afterwards I was left feeling rather exhausted, but strangely at the same time rejuvenated. My otherwise stiff body straight from the office, was left feeling stretched and limber...It was only in the days after that I began to ache in places I didn’t know existed! When asked, if I would do it again, I think I would give it another go in a less intense class (for beginners ha-ha) as it certainly was more exciting than Hatha Yoga, and I did quite enjoy the martial arts element.
To sum up my experience, I would warn those who do not exercise regularly to try something a little less stimulating and intense, like Hatha or Iyengar yoga, which is more gentle and is good for beginners.
Whilst for those of you who want to be challenged and fancy a fresh breath of air in their exercise routine, go for it! But don’t say I didn’t warn you....
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