In advance of Whitespace’s free open day on Saturday March 18, Alicia Babaee tried out yoga at the Stony Stratford studio for her latest ‘Alicia Approved’ column.
I’m one of those people who never sits down. I dream of snuggling up on the sofa with a good book or soaking in a candlelit bubble bath, but never find the chance.
If I’m not racing around after a toddler, I’m at work. If I’m not at work, I’m writing my column. If I’m not writing my column, I’m cooking, food shopping, socialising, cleaning … you get the picture.
So when Whitespace Yoga & Wellbeing Studio (whitespacestudio.co.uk) asked me to try yoga, I snapped up the opportunity. If nothing else, I’d get some ‘me time’.
On went the stretchy yoga pants and off I headed to the beautiful Stony Stratford-based character building that Whitespace inhabits.
The second I opened the door and breathed in the calming aroma of incense, my hectic morning melted away.
Shoes come off at the door and the quiet, relaxing atmosphere envelopes you as soon as you walk through the welcoming little entrance.
Sessions are first-come, first-served, so it’s best to arrive early, although they do their best to accommodate everyone.
There are herbal teas and cold drinks available to buy (plus books and yoga gear) and, with friendly receptionists and the spa-like ambience, I can think of far worse ways to while away 15 minutes.
I’ve done the odd yoga class in the past, but it had been a while.
There are more than 50 classes a week but, for my first, I decided to jump in at the deep end with Vinyasa Yoga Flow.
I was warned that it’s a more dynamic class than many, so I was a little apprehensive.
I shouldn’t have been, though, because I loved every second! Sara, the teacher, made me feel welcome and comfortable and gave the open-level class easier or tougher options to choose from.
I left feeling relaxed and restored, but I very much knew I’d done a workout – my aching muscles wouldn’t let me forget!
I tried a range of classes. Hatha Flow – a series of sequences with lots of body awareness and precise alignment – was great.
I also really enjoyed Recharge and Restore – a chilled out, nurturing session with slow movement and a focus on breathing.
In fact, it was so relaxing that I (embarrassingly!) fell asleep during the meditation at the end. Apparently it happens a lot, but it did make me laugh.
I also did Yin Yoga, which focuses on the connective tissue around the joints, and I very much fancy Ashtanga, the most dynamic and physically demanding type of yoga, but I’ll wait until I’m a bit fitter for that one.
I was genuinely blown away by how great Whitespace is. I left every class with that sense of calm and wellbeing you have when you leave a day spa, it felt so good for the soul.
If I can get that a couple of times a week from a quick yoga class, I think I’d be mad to give it up.
Whitespace Yoga & Wellbeing Studio is holding an open day on Saturday March 18 with free classes all day. There’s something for everyone, even the kids. Register online now at http://www.whitespacestudio.co.uk/register-book
This article was first published in the March issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. You can read the full digital edition by clicking here.