We’ve all seen those crazy-looking people, heads tucked in, bums waving in the air, wobbling as they try to hold the pose. Yes, everyone looks stupid when they do yoga, but it is supposed to be good for you. Experts cite everything from health benefits such as reducing stress and alleviating headaches, to increasing spirituality – if you believe in that type of thing.
Aerial yoga, east London
Unlike your usual ground-work yoga, this version sees you hanging suspended from the ceiling with your weight supported in a harness. It might sound incredibly unnatural, but it means you feel weightless, which apparently helps achieve deeper stretches and greater flexibility while building core strength and developing good posture. It also makes the poses easier to accomplish. We dare you to do this class with a bunch of mates without breaking out into fits of giggles.
Benefits: Alleviates muscle tension; stimulates release of happy hormones; improves concentration.
Where: Aerial Yoga, 30 New Road, Whitechapel, E1 2AX
How much? £12 per class or five for £50
Bikram yoga, Soho/ Victoria
Twist and shape into 26 different postures in a room heated to a sweltering 41C. The sequence is scientifically designed so that it works every muscle, tendon and ligament in your body. Each pose is done twice during this 90-minute sweatfest. Girls, don’t expect to walk out of the room ‘glowing’, you’ll be drenched from head to toe. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids after to avoid dehydration.
Benefits: Loosens joints; improves muscle elasticity; promotes detoxification; boosts energy levels.
Where: Threeways House, Bolsover Street, W1W 5DW; 1 Vandon Passage, SW1H 0AS
How much? £16 per class or £130 for 10 classes to be used within six months
This class is a fairly recent addition to yoga, but be prepared for it to be deeply physical. As well as unusual poses, there’s an element of spirituality to the process, with the emphasis on differentiating between mind and consciousness. Far out.
Benefits: Improved flexibility; increased awareness; reduces stress and anxiety.
Where: Blue Cow, 7 Moorgate, EC2R 6AF
How much? From £13 for a 45-minute class, £65 for a five-class pass
Yin yoga, Marylebone
Bring a pal along for the ride, as you’ll need support for this class, which fuses yoga, acrobatics and Thai massage. Expect to merge asana (yoga positions) sequences, partner acrobatics and therapeutic flying. Don’t worry if you think it sounds too complicated, beginners are welcome. And you’ll also put massage into the mix, which means those aches and pains will be smoothed away.
Benefits: Improves flexibility; works on trust issues; strengthens the spine.
Where: Indaba Yoga, 18 Hayes Place, NW1 6UA.
How much? From £12 for a 45-minute class.