Looking over my out-stretched leg that was trying desperately to reach the back of my head, while swinging an arm out to a steady 80s beat, I caught my friend’s eye and we giggled. It was hard to keep a straight face; there we were, in a seedy basement club on a Tuesday night, noses plunged into a carpet that had probably absorbed many a spilt drink on rather different nights, trying to maintain a yogi state of mind while swinging our arms in snap-like movements to Madonna-esque music. This, ladies and trannies (there was at least one in attendance), is Voga; one of London’s newest after-work activities.
Voga first hit London in the unlikely venue that is the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club in November last year and was the brain child of Juliet who formerly trained as a Yoga instructor before pursuing a little more oomph. It combines the 80s dance style of ‘voguing‘, pioneered by Madonna, with the mind-balancing art of yoga. Juliet is an impressive lady with washboard abs and a TV-show smile. It’s clear that she believes in what she’s doing and tries hard to diffuse this through the class.
In case you were wondering, my friends and I didn’t quite embody the ladies in the picture in all their spandex glory, but we did come awfully close.
While the club venue may seem akin to holding a bake-off in a rugby field, it merely adds to the novelty of the outing. I’m sure Juliet wouldn’t be offended for long in hearing me say that the key to enjoying a Voga session, is to not take yourself, or the class, too seriously. However, I do feel that this, coupled with the hefty £12 price tag (for London drop-in class standards), does lend it to be a bit of a one-off thing. Ideal for the likes of me, but perhaps might not lead to a very self-sustaining business model once the hip crowd have had a go.
Since I visited, two new venues have been added to the menu in the North of London – go here to have a look which suits you best.
Go for fun – you will stretch out your muscles and have that satisfaction of trying something a little less ordinary. Then check back here, and I’ll find something else for you to try – or better yet, watch out for Disco-lates coming to a bunker near you!