It’s 7.30am and I’m trying to remember what a plie is supposed to look like. Our incredibly serene teacher Lizzie is calmly instructing us through a series of elegant ballet positions, all of which make my muscles shake. The bead of sweat trickling down my back indicates to me that I’m probably not going to be a ballerina when I grow up.
Nevertheless, this dabble with Hot Ballet at Yotopia is an utterly glorious way to start the day. Gentle yet challenging, we flow through a mixture of ballet poses, barre (without the barre) yoga poses, and mat Pilates work. It’s like a poised, rather classy mash-up.
The class fits about 15 and there’s enough room to move freely. The temperature is warm and inviting rather than the kind of heat that turns trying not to faint into a competition. It’s a gorgeous cocoon to bask in, especially having come from a chilly London dawn. Everything about this class makes you smile and feel peaceful.
Except maybe the second set of leg pulses is like a world of pain in this yummy haven of temperate, gentle flow. My inner thighs start to feel a searing heat run along them as I raise and lower, raise and lower. One glance at our smiley cute-as-a-button teacher Lizzie and you forgive her. Just.
The fact that the class was graceful and low-impact doesn’t mean your heart isn’t racing for most of it, it’s going like the clappers, trust me. I guess this is partly down to the warm room, and I partly down to using your own body weight as resistance. Essentially- don’t be fooled- this workout is pretty intense. Add to the fact that you feel like you’re preforming at the Bolshoi, it’s unlike any class I’ve taken previously, not even a pure ballet lesson!
Floor work, lots of tiny pulsing reps, and a fair few ballet postures were the main ingredients of this class. I felt like the intensity hit just the right notes for an early morning start.
I was also delighted to see a couple of middle-aged men in the class- good on them, and an indication of the fact that despite the ballet element (which I assume appeals more to women), Yotopia is an inclusive sort of place that doesn’t leave anyone feeling intimidated; which for a central London yoga studio is a great accolade. Good on YOU for creating this welcoming sort of place too, Yotopia!
Talking of location- It’s a 4 minute walk from Covent Garden Station (don’t forget it’s exit only for 2015), meaning I stumbled out of the changing rooms (hairdryers but no plugs for straighteners) and straight into the centre of our wonderful city at 8.30am.
Serene, graceful, warming, lovely. Get your hot ballet on and start a grey wintery day with a slick of sweat and a smile worthy of the stage!