It’s billed as “a class to inspire confidence, spark your creativity and encourage experimentation”. I love that Gymbox’s yoga offering is structured so that every class is accessible for beginners, but that can result in the less adventurous among us not moving past a rudimentary routine. The point of Namaslay is to push your practice beyond the familiar.
We start with the usual sun salutations and flows to warm up and mobilise the body, then focus on building up the strength and flexibility to tackle three particular poses which will change each week. The class I tried focused on Side Crow, Flying Lizard and handstands so our flows incorporated lots of intense core twists and shoulder and arm strength exercises.
Hannah Moselhi, the instructor is enthusiastic about “putting the play back into yoga and giving people the time and space to have fun with it, to experiment”. No one has ever accused me of being fun (Tough, funny and good at grammar: yes. Fun: no.), but I try. She emphasises strength throughout the class, but fear of falling is what’s really holding back my Side Crow/Flying Lizard/handstand potential. Still, I’m happy to work on the twisting and, as Hannah puts it, “getting used to stacking ourselves upside down.”
“It’s not about getting the perfect pose – it’s about the journey and challenging ourselves,” she says. “I want to give people the opportunity to be creative and explore the fun acrobatics side of yoga.”
The new poses we’ve not-at-all perfected are then integrated into a short flow at the end for a harmonious conclusion to the class before the Savasana.
Class creator Jessica Parkinson explains, “I wanted to create a class that would give people the confidence to walk into any yoga class and feel like they knew what they were doing, could forget the outside world for 45 minutes and leave feeling stronger, more relaxed and more confident!”