It seems there’s a new trend: Make it through my class, without quitting, and you’re good. And no, this time we’re not talking about hot yoga.
We’re talking about a new trend coming from London: Hardcore yoga instructors. It’s people who ask you things like “Are you in your own class?” if your flow doesn’t look quite right.
When we lived in London we could witness a weekly event (Saturday, 7am to be precise) called British Military Fitness. It involves people who are working (or have worked) for the army and are lowering themselves to tell people like you and me how to move. You don’t have a name, you have a number (think: “Run faster, number 10!!!”). They even shout at you from up there when you’re down here, trying to complete the number of push ups required. Not that I know any of this from own experience. My husband and I were watching what was going on in the park across the road – from our living room, while sipping coffee.
The curious thing is that there’s a huge waiting list. People pull all strings to get a place at BMF.
Reading about the new trend of ‘hardcore’ yoga instructors left me with a similar feeling of bewilderment. Apparently the waiting lists are veery long, and people like Pippa Middleton and Kate Moss swear by these instructors and their style of teaching.
Encouragement sounds like this: “Carry on, it gets easier, so you will be able to do it by the time you are 64.”
This is what Stewart Gilchrist may say to you in class. Another famous instructor is Mercedes Ngoh who astonished the world by posting a yoga video of herself just before birth (and just after!), including fancy inversions. I felt dizzy watching – but was intrigued nonetheless.
Now here’s the funny bit: I practised with Stewart Gilchrist back in 2006 when he was teaching at my local gym in London (imagine!). I loved his determined way of teaching, I loved being challenged, and I liked how he would get you to do anything he had set his mind on for today’s class. It felt like I was making lots of progress. But then – this was ten years ago, and my life and my body have been quite different back then.
What’s your take on this?
Do you like being pushed to give your best or do you prefer a calmer, soothing class setting?
I’d love to hear your comments!
Read an article about the trend here.