Thursday, 23 June 2016

Yoga in the clouds

Yoga at nearly 800ft might not be everyone's idea of a good time, but for me it was the perfect way to start my 26th year! My very clever (and lovely) boyfriend arranged it as our anniversary gift (extra "awww" points as it was at the top of the Shard that he first asked me out), but seeing as it was a Saturday morning and I usually teach at least two classes myself every Saturday, the only weekend I felt justified to take off was my birthday. (Don't feel sorry for me, I really couldn't love my job more!). So on Saturday 11th June at 8.15am we ascended to level 68 of the Shard...

These kind of yoga events take place at the Shard (and in other significant London locations) on select Saturdays throughout the year. We booked ours via Virgin Experiences but the event itself is run by Yogasphere. We were therefore a little surprised when we showed up that the event didn't seem overly one quite knew where to queue or even if we were standing in the correct location (we assumed that the array of 50 different coloured lycras indicated we were in the right spot though!). Even when an event organiser did show up it was still rather muddled...we definitely accidentally queue jumped as she turned to our side of the queue first and let us all in, even though the other side had been waiting longer...(it was a complete accident though, I promise!). 

The staff from the Shard, however, were wonderful - they smiled us all the way up to the top and we found the right room with ease. We were lucky to be some of the first ones in,  and so we got top pick of which view we wanted! Whilst the other students filtered in we were lucky enough to have some time to take a few photos of the stunning view. Despite being up there once before it was a huge novelty and I just couldn't get over the excitement that we were about to do a yoga class up the Shard! Lucky duckys! (I'm not sure Chris was so excited!). 

The yoga soon began and I tried my hardest to sit with my eyes closed, knowing the beautiful view was all around me. The teacher opened the class in a rather surprising way...she didn't introduce her name or the class, but opened with a line about getting our collective energy going. I am all for working as one and spreading the love, but this was a little bit of a surprise! I was expecting a class that was accessible to people who were fairly new to yoga - to me this kind of yoga experience is something that people who aren't overly into yoga would do for the novelty factor, or because their girlfriend wanted to do it (sorry Chris!). But this was serious yoga time...

It was a great class, quite difficult, and not overly beginner friendly, but I did really enjoy it (I also got a great adjustment which is always wonderful). The teacher was obviously very experienced and a wonderful yogi, but I did feel a little bad for those who were struggling around me. (I know, I am such a terrible yogini - definitely should have been focusing on my own practice and not what those around me were doing, but it's so so hard to switch off from yoga teacher mode especially when you see people shaking in a dodgy downward facing dog - I just want to help them!). 

After the class there were further opportunities to take a few photos and to grab a goodie bag to take home. All-in-all it was a really wonderful experience and it really was the most amazing way to start my 26th year. But I would say if you're planning to try it just go with a really open mind, and don't worry if you can't keep up with the whole class. Go with a smile and simply enjoy it! (If it all gets too much you can always pretend you're popping to the loo and just go up a floor to enjoy the view!). 

Has anyone else tried yoga up the Shard? Or in a similar situation? I'd love to hear your experiences.

Love & light,

Lucy x

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