For some reason at 6.50 this morning I had the somewhat unusual need to get out of the house and do some exercise. Somehow, just minutes after reading a tweet about artistic yoga, I was on my bleary-eyed way to test it out.
My still-dreamy mind was concocting all sorts for what artistic yoga could possibly mean. I imagined paintbrushes and canvases, dance moves and music. I envisaged poetic movements twinned with instructions to “now, lift your leg behind your head and paint a tree…”
Artistic yoga claims to work on ‘flexibility, strength, cardiovascular endurance, agility and coordinative ability by combining ancient yogic techniques with modern cardiovascular-training and stretches’ and all of this was without a paintbrush in sight!
Being one of just two students in the class had both plus sides and drawbacks. The positive was that I benefited from the instructor’s guidance more than usual while the negative came when my body decided it was time to shake like a leaf while holding one of the poses. The instructor told me to just let it shake; only highlighting my recent lack of yoga practice to my fellow classmate who happened to be a daily student in the practice of artistic yoga.
Unfortunately I couldn’t tell the subtle differences between artistic yoga and any other yoga class, but I have it on good authority from my colleagues more familiar with yoga, that they can’t tell the difference either.
This may come as bad news for the teachers of this practice, but there are ways to get around this like adding some artistic flare, perhaps some glitter and ribbons or at the very least renaming the exercise to dispel confusion. Would I go back? Yes, even if only to qualm my morning flurry before work.