Drum & bass and yoga are, admittedly, not two phrases that I would normally put together. In many ways, they seem completely opposed - just talkingabout yoga relaxes me, whilst ‘drum & bass’ brings to mind late nights in Fabric avoiding sweaty men. So, whilst I was aware that this last feature wouldn’t be appearing in class (thank God), I was interested to see how the two concepts would be combined together.
As it turns out, Drum’n’Bass Yoga combines HIIT and yoga to create a class that not only stretches you out, but gets you burning fat at a rapid pace. It does this all to the soundtrack of (surprise!) drum & bass – though, as I discovered on showing up to Callista Nurse’s Covent Garden class, it was a lot less club-night than I expected.
Having fought my way through the dreaded combo of tourists and rush hour traffic, I was relieved to enter the studio that evening and collapse onto my mat. Callista calmly talked us through the structure. We’d be starting and ending the class with yoga, whilst the middle section would be HIIT focused. She then switched on the music, and I was pleasantly surprised. It was drum & bass for sure, but somehow…peaceful? The beats were moderately paced, and I began to really unwind as we went through our first vinyasa.
I’m not somebody who goes to yoga much, but when I do I’m always reminded of how relaxing it is. Stretching out in downward dog, I made the mistake of letting the synchronicity of the overheard lights (flickering between a calming blue and pink) and the cinematic music lure me into a false sense of security. It was only when Callista began adding fast pulsing movements into our yoga that I remembered the HIIT section that would soon be upon us.
Sure enough, at roughly 15 minutes in, the music increased in speed, the lights turned to a dramatic red and Callista told us to start doing mountain climbers. As we worked our way through an intense, fast-paced circuit, I began to understand the importance of the music; it was definitely helping to keep me focused and motivated. After a few more minutes of witnessing, in horror, my own sweat drip down onto the mat in front of me, the music blissfully slowed and we went back to our yoga sequence.
But this was only a brief respite – within minutes, our second HIIT session had commenced.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t well and truly aching by the time we finally finished the HIIT workout, music and lights becoming more soothing as we did so. Callista began to lead us through our finishing yoga sequence, which doubled up as a nice stretch out. As we went through cobra, reverse triangle and a warrior one based flow, I couldn’t help wondering whether someone had invented a yoga-pose Top Trumps. But these thoughts didn’t last long. My breathing slowed as I sank deeply into each stretch, and once again I began to relax.
Finally, we were instructed to go into my favourite pose, savasana: aka, lying flat on your back. For five minutes we chilled out to a soundtrack of sedated beats mixed with birdsong whilst Callista lead us through some gentle mindfulness. I was grateful that, whilst the class had incorporated an intense workout, we were still ending with a focus on relaxation.
Before I knew it, the class was over and we were all leaving, looking equal-parts sweaty and serene. Whilst I was in no doubt as to whether I’d had a proper workout – the state of my hair was evidence enough for that – I left feeling calm and restored; a slightly surreal experience given that I’m usually your typical angsty Londoner, running around the tube giving death-stares.
Whilst Drum & Bass Yoga may sound like an impossible combination at first, the ethereal playlist flows perfectly, and provides the ideal backdrop for yoga and HIIT sequences that melt seamlessly into one another. If you’re looking for a good stretch and the chance to burn some calories as you do it, all whilst listening to an epic soundtrack, then this class is definitely for you.