I’m not exactly an Insta-yogi – and by not exactly I mean not at all – but that doesn’t mean I don’t try. I’ll attempt to stretch myself into a pretzel, even though I only just touch my toes, because yoga makes me feel good.
So naturally, after trying (operative word) a load of different yoga classes at Gymbox, I decided to go for Budokon Yoga, which translates as ‘the way of the spiritual warrior’.
Me + spiritual = all over it.
The Gymbox website describes it as a combination of ‘yoga, martial arts, meditation and animal movements.’ I’d already made peace with the fact that I wasn’t going to nail the martial arts bit, but had my fingers crossed it just meant a few Warrior II poses and a healthy dollop of Shavasana.
The rest of it – fine. The meditation part sounded great, giving off the illusion that it would be pretty chill.
Turns out, no. It was up there with one of the hardest yoga classes I’ve ever done, and I’ve stayed at a Cambodian yoga retreat with the world’s most flexible monk (#humblebrag).
The class was lead by Ryan C – a PT, yogi, qualified martial arts, functional fitness and Budokon yoga teacher, and primal movement specialist.
Yeah, he was pretty good at it.
Using a mixture of the usual yoga suspects – think downward dogs and Warrior I’s – and some signature martial arts moves (not even going to pretend I know what they were), the class was way sweatier than I anticipated, and involved a lot of core strength.
If you’re a fair weather yogi it’s going to be hard, but Ryan is palpably relaxed, which is nice when you’re balancing on one leg and your quads are burning worse than a UTI.
Plus, the benefits of Budokon Yoga include improved physical and mental strength, according to creator, Cameron Shayne, who’s definitely not biased.
Despite my embarrassing attempt, it’s definitely worth giving it a go, even if – like me – you can barely hop your feet to the top of the mat.
There were, of course, the showoffs in the class who were flying into every position under the sun. But as Cameron points out on his website, ‘just because you can do a handstand, doesn’t mean you’re not a dick.’
Budokon Yoga classes currently run at Gymbox Holborn (12.15, Monday) and Gymbox Bank (18.00, Thursday)