11 Things I Learnt At My First Voga (That’s Yoga + Voguing) Class
1. Voga is a mixture of Yoga and voguing.
It is so much fun.
2. It’s held in a nightclub.
The sign reads “Cash Only: No credit unless your mother is over 100 years old.” The flyer reads: “The rave for folks with kids”.
Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club has been an East End Working Men’s Club since 1953. It’s mainly a nightclub now, so it’s strange to be working out on the floor where you were dancing the weekend before.
3. It is secretly glam.
Though there might be carpet on the floor and chairs pushed to the sides, the instructor, Juliet brought her own Missioni (!!!) lino for us to put our mats on, an a disco ball shone across the room.
6. Juliet, the instructor, used to work in the film industry.
Juliet was an art director and set designer, working in film and photography (she worked with Johnny Depp for a Vanity Fair shoot, she told BuzzFeed). It was during a research trip to India that she became interested in Yoga. She took an intensive course, and quit her job to teach Yoga full time.
7. Voga is inspired by the film Paris Is Burning.
“I studied History of Art at Uni, and watched Paris Is Burning then”, she told BuzzFeed. “I watched it again recently, and thought “that’s like Yoga!”. So in November 2013, Voga was born. The class incorporates classic Voguing moves, like hand performance, mixed with traditional Yoga moves.
8. It’s relaxing to have something to concentrate on.
Previously, when I’ve done Yoga (especially Hatha Yoga), I’ve found it hard to relax – focusing on breathing only makes me focus more on the thoughts whizzing around in my head. Juliet agrees – “my husband used to go to Yoga and find it stressful to be told to relax. Hatha is brilliant for your flexibilty, but sometimes you’re wound up and want to focus on movement, rather than being told to relax.”
9. It’s a really positive space.
There were about 15 people in the class, and everyone was laughing throughout. Juliet continually shouted “YOU LOOK GREAT!” and encouraged everyone to only work to their own level of fitness.
10. It’s a good workout.
I normally do Pilates, and was left a little sweaty-faced after the session. I slept incredibly well, and my legs were stiff climbing the stairs to the office this morning too.
11. It’s coming to city near you, soon.
Juliet told BuzzFeed, “I’m planning on expanding it outside of London this year, to cover all of the UK. And in February I’m taking Voga to Rio in Brazil for a month. In March, I’ll be in a Tango club in Buenos Aries in Argentina.”