15 July 2015

Al Fresco Yoga with Secret Urban Escape

What better way to celebrate the (few seconds of) summer than an al fresco yoga session, accompanied by some soothing live music? Followed up, naturally, by a super healthy breakfast to set you up for the day.

When I was invited by Secret Urban Escape to a press and blogger yoga class, I accepted at once. I'm useless at yoga (I can't even touch my toes), but I was going through a testing time (more on that later) and desperately needed some relaxing indulgence. And I'm never one to pass up a tasty breakfast.

And then I saw who else was going - big #fitspo blogger types, the kind who post their workouts, superfood breakfasts and motivational exercise quotes on instagram all the time. That's when I panicked. I tried to calculate the last time I actually sweated for a reason other than an uncomfortably humid commute, and cringed when I realised it was upwards of five months ago.

Regardless, I was on the tube, commuting from Southgate to Putney at half 7 in the morning, leggings on, ponytail up and inwardly hoping I didn't make an absolute idiot of myself. And, breathe...

Before I get stuck into my experience, I should probably talk a little about Secret Urban Escape, as it's a truly awesome initiative. The team - Iris and Tash - offer healthy lifestyle pop-up events at various London locations. The idea is that the location of the class remains secret until one day before the event. In my instance, the session was held at the rose garden in Hurlingham Park, and I was provided with the exact co-ordinates (and a phone number in case I got lost!). 

I loved the location, especially as Tash and Iris had added little touches to make it feel homely and welcoming. Plus, equipment - in our case yoga mats - were provided, so all you had to bring was yourself!

Although we were situated in the shade, at the tender hour of 9am it was already around 27 degrees celsius. The temperature then steadily rose in the hour we spent stretching, twisting and planking (or in my case, wobbling and collapsing). Suffice to say, we definitely felt the burn, and as most people who have taken yoga before know, it's easy to build up a sweat and get your heart-rate up.

The class was taken by Tash, who is herself a Vinyasa yoga teacher. To my relief, the class was suitable for all levels of experience, with easier and more challenging options depending on your ability. Of course, it was just my luck to be sat next to the gorgeous Chessie King, who outdid us all with an oh-so-casual handstand towards the end and some impressive flips!

When it all got a bit much for me, I tucked myself into Child's Pose (best/easiest pose ever), and took advantage of the meditation at the end, where we all dozed off to the soothing tones of Kate Lister and friend on acoustic guitar. Bliss.

L-R: Kate Lister, Tash & friend

Afterwards, we made ourselves comfy on the blankets and cushion set-up. Iris pointed towards some extremely photogenic porridge and little bags with personalised tags, which contained all of our breakfast goodies. We hydrated with organic raw coconut water from Mighty Bee, which is absolutely delicious. I never used to like coconut water, but now I'm definitely a convert. I could have consumed two or three!

Our personalised bags, complete with breakfast goodies
 Photogenic coconut porridge, courtesy of Well & Happy
Mighty Bee Raw Organic Coconut Water

In addition, we had snacks from Nudie, Urban Fruit (I love love LOVE the mango pieces) and Coyo yoghurts. We also tucked into some odd-smelling, but surprisingly yummy "Yoga Balls" (which looked kind of like this).

Secret Urban Escape is a fantastic hybrid of exercise and indulgence, introducing participants to interesting, inspiring workouts and niche, healthy food and drink brands. I adored the session, which was, admittedly, challenging, but very rewarding. It's also lovely being in the company of people who care so deeply about their health, and I saw a wonderful side to the fitspo community, which has had a fair bit of stick in the past. It was very much positive and empowering, and I encourage anyone who fancies a quirky work out to give these guys a go!

*I was a guest of Secret Urban Escape, but all opinions are my own. Also, a huge thank you to Tash and Iris for being wonderful hosts!

1 comment

  1. Wow. This looks so interesting, I want/need/must do this! Great post!

    Kirsty | blessedby



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