Over the weekend I was lucky enough to be invited to attend the launch of the OM Yoga Show in London's Alexandra Palace and there's nothing i like more that a reason to visit London and sample some of its finest Fitness and Yoga instructors on any given day of the week. So I packed my bags, my best Yoga wear and headed for the airport. It promised to be a totally Yoga filled weekend as i also was getting a chance to try Blindfold Yoga for the first time ever!
I left a blustery Dublin on Thursday morning bright and early and landed in London just an hour later, time enough to check into my hotel, the NH Kensington, freshen up and hit the Tube for a bit of a wander around Covent Garden. My first stop was DECIEM (The Abnormal Beauty Company) where i picked up some fantastic organic facial oils, a bit of a mooch around the shops including listening to soul-surging set from the on-site Violin Quartet in the Courtyard of Covent Garden, before getting back on the Tube again. This time i was bound for Notting Hill.
The Private Yogi studio is located just above the restaurant, with hard wood floors and soft lighting, it was just what i needed on a Thursday night. Our Yoga Teacher had left a blindfold on each of our mats and the candle was lit in candlelight, i knew we were in for a very special practice.
We were taken through a full and vigorous practice by our Private Yogi teacher for the first half of the class, and then it all changed. We were asked to place our blindfolds over our eyes and to attempt Warrior 1 and Warrior 2 ......suddenly what had seemed easy-peasy just 10 minutes previous, was incredibly difficult.
My brain didn't trust my body to do what it has been doing for over 15years of Yoga practice. My brain reached and raved, trying to hold onto control of the situation without sight and then i realised, by letting go of control and giving into the movement of these simple poses i could take my practice to a whole new level.
Being blindfolded as a Yoga Teacher is a hugely rewarding experience. You're no longer the leader in the room with years of experience under your belt, you're a novice again. You are back in the position of the student and are forced to feel your way (literally) through each asana.
I highly recommend every Yoga Teacher try this! The seated poses are fairly easy, its the standing one's that will really challenge you and your yoga practice. Our teacher was warm and generous with her instruction so she calmed down any nerves once we were blindfolded and standing, with step-by-step instruction and guidance on posture, adjustments and breathing.
I really was blown away by the whole experience and putting the challenge to all my Yogi followers to try it. Book a class with The Private Yogi in London or try the below at home to build your strength for your next trip to London so you try it in person then
Book with the Private Yogi
The Private Yogi now have a Thursday night residency in Pamona's and will be hosting themed Yoga Workshops like the above every week. They have a really exciting Halloween themed class coming up this week - you can find more information by visiting their website The Private Yogi
The Private Yogi will be holding weekly classes to raise money for the Royal Institute for the Blind so all class bookings will be for a good cause.
Home Practice: Blindfold Yoga
Recreate it at home by following your warm-up sun salutations with some simple exercises, placing a scarf or a blindfold over your eyes,
Now that you're warmed up with a Blindfold try these 3 postures, slowly, carefully and remember to breathe!
PLANK TO DOWNDOG: Lift from Plank into DownDog. Take 5 breaths. Back to Plank. And repeat 5 times
WARRIOR 1: From Plank, rise up to Warrior 1 by taking your right foot to the front of the mat, windmill your arms up to standing, hands outstretched overhead. Now that you're standing, 'feel' your way into the pose by mentally checking if your feet feel aligned? Do you outstretched arms feel straight? Are you hunching your shoulders? Are you placing equal weight across both legs? Is your front knee perpendicular to the floor?
WARRIOR 2: Now draw your hands down so they are now outstretched, parallel to the floor. Your weight should be evenly placed in both feet. Are all your toes on the ground? Are you hips square and facing to your 'open' side? Again are your shoulders relaxed? Now see if you can windmill those hands back down to the floor, either side of your foot. Take your foot back into plank and flow through your Vinyasa and back up into DownDog.
Now repeat on the other side.
Let me know how you get on, email firstname.lastname@example.org