A couple of Saturdays ago (one of those days that requires you to take out both your brolly and your sunshades) 20 of you headed down to the gorgeous new studio Victor’s Lab in Peckham to take part in a Project HB hosted challenge: The Fitness Five!
The idea was to introduce HBs to five new classes they might not otherwise have tried, give teachers the chance to spread the word about their unique style of fitness, and to bring everyone together in a collaborative, happy space to share ideas and meet each other.
I was also keen to get people into Victor’s Lab because it’s not just a fitness studio, but owners Daniel and Radana are creating an amazing space that they are calling “the dreams factory”. In short- they want the space to be used to grow the community and become a hub of fitness and creativity. Perfect match!
Toni Osborne was up first with her arm balancing class. Often in yoga, there’s that pose you watch everyone else do, while you struggle, grunt and inevitably faceplant. Toni was on hand to help everyone conquer the fear of placing all of our weight on our hands and getting our toes hovering off the ground.
Toni was calm and put everyone in a positive frame of mind- hell even if I couldn’t get my toes off the ground during the class, I darn well was in my mind already!
There were some surprised yelps as people managed arm balances they never thought they’d be able to manage, and Toni’s strong style of yoga left everyone feeling warm, flexible and like they had achieved something they didn’t think possible 30 minutes prior!
I did not manage to get my toes off the ground and into side crow. Luckily, honorary HB Daniel was on hand to capture my efforts. Thanks Daniel.
Next up was a quick break and some juice,! Ali Baba Juice in Peckham has set up a fresh juice stall for the event to keep us all quenched, offering veggie-based juices with a little fruit to sweeten, so we didn’t all get completely fructose-hyper!
One of my favourite people, Ida May, was up next! Ida is bringing yoga barre to London, and came to put us through our paces. Lady, I have NEVER felt my thighs burn like this.
Her music was upbeat, she taught in that awesomely cute accent of hers with her whoops and her enthusiastic instruction, and she left us feeling like both flexible yogis and supple, strong ballerinas. Ok, ok, so she left most of us panting, but in a strong, supple, flexible way….!
Time for some recovery! More juicy juice, and a chance to explore the classes that Richard at Aerial Yoga London and Bree from Happy Healthy Hoops had brought down for us to test in the intervals! I present to you- two of the best ways to have fun with your clothes on…..
First up- Aerial yoga!
Richard brought along his portable aerial yoga swing, which shall hereby be renamed the Giant Baby Bouncer.
It was SO much fun, and the bounce that it had over those in his studio in Whitechapel made it even more exciting to fling yourself around on. Many a yelp of excitement was heard from the Aerial Yoga room!
As well as bouncing/swinging/stretching around on this marvellous contraption, we had Bree giving us a hula hoop session during the break.
Let’s be honest- who can resist getting their paws on these colourful, glittery, stripy bits of plastic?! Within 5 minutes of recovering from Yoga Barre, most of the group was busy twirling hoops around their head under Bree’s instruction.
Once we’d had our fill of hoops, swings and juice, it was back to the schedule. Next up was Tabata- taught by Ty from Tabata in the Park. He came in wearing florescent orange and gave us the 20 minute Tabata experience.
A warm up- so far so achievable. And then, time to learn the moves. We’d be doing reps for the 4 minutes in total, and we had to master these bounces, jumps, squats and star-jumps first. Sounds simple! NOT simple.
These pretty easy moves were EXHAUSTING after 2 minutes, let alone 4 full minutes! Ty was great at keeping us focused as we took 10 second rests between the sweatfest, telling us to give it our all – and to make a conscious decision to give this 4 minutes our absolute best shot. It was inspiring stuff. I died of sweat, but it was definitely a happy sweat-death!
Ty also found time for a quick swing – I NEED one of these in my house, I swear!
Our penultimate class was the glamorous, gorgeous, Free Hot and Happy bootcamp! Becky and Nikkita are just wonderful- they are everything that girls fitness should be- fun, easy to achieve with a buddy, hard work but for the right reasons and completely adorable to be taught by.
They’d devised a 30 minute partner workout to get us interacting, helping one another and keeping each other focused.
We also got to thrash around and have a good old don’t-worry-what-you-look-like dance, which you can see on their little video here (and learn about their upcoming booty bootcamp!!)
Love these glam, down-to-earth girls and their teaching style- great way to get fit and keep motivated.
Time for our FINAL class! Now we all knew each other and the ice was well and truly broken, we’d decided to have a lesson in laughter and fun. Project HB is definitely about sweating, working hard and being good to your bod, but it’s also about keeping your mind happy, which in turn keeps you running about, full of energy and remembering to be nice to yourself! And so, this last class from Antidote London was aimed at bringing some playfulness and damn right silliness to the group. Time to laugh at ourselves and let go completely.
What would Beyonce do, anyone?!
Chinese Whispers, and a game that I momentarily missed the explanation of, only to return to the room and see everyone playing chase and pretending to be toilets!! If the Antidote guys are good at one thing, it’s to make sure we relax and don’t take ourselves too seriously!!
Elena kept spirits high until the very end of her class, and it was a great way to end and balance out all of the sweat.
Goodie bags were sponsored by The Chia Company, Coco Zumi, Pretty Athletic, Work Play Bags, Wheyhey Icecream, Pulsin’ and beond, Organic Super Blends and Meridian Foods– which everyone loved as a little keepsake of their day. Thank you for the support, guys!!
I actually lost my voice a couple of days after the Fitness Five- and felt akin to an over-excited child who had had too much fun at a party the previous weekend. I LOVE HOW MUCH THIS PROJECT LETS ME ACT LIKE AN OVER-EXCITED CHILD!!! And I love all of you- what a lovely, happy day.
As always- you rock, bitches!
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