Yoga at the Design Museum

Yesterday was another yoga first for me: I did yoga in the atrium of a museum. To be specific, the Design Museum in London. It’s a beautiful building with many interesting angles and lines and the yoga was really enjoyable.

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The Design Museum atrium is just small enough that you can hear the instructor and the live piano accompaniment (!) but big enough to accommodate the roughly 60 yogis  without feeling crowded.

I don’t know how often the Design Museums hosts yoga classes. Yesterday’s class was certainly not part of a series but they have hosted yoga in the past.  If you visit the booking page you will see photos from a previous yoga class. It’s stunning how the bodies formed such beautiful imagery – a design if you will – within the Design Museum. In a sense the yogis became a piece of performance art.

I would love to see the see photos that they took of yesterday’s class – at one point we were doing Lion’s Breath with out tongues out and I definitely heard cameras clicking….

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The Yoga

To tell you more about the format of the class and yoga, I’m just going to quote the description of the event as taken from the Design Museum website:

Start your morning with a 60-minute energizing vinyasa flow yoga practice hosted by Equinox. Designed by Adam Husler to build strength and flexibility, the session will feature slow flow sequences combined with breathwork. The session will give you a chance to open the habitual tightness in your body, ready for the weekend ahead. Set against the inspiring backdrop of the atrium, the space will be filled with the majestic sounds of live pianist Karim Kamar.

Close your practice with a short grounding meditation, enhancing body awareness and enabling you to focus on the present. Following the session, you will have the opportunity to enjoy a complimentary juice and yogurt and join a private viewing of the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition.

I really, really, enjoyed the yoga. Adam made it tough but enjoyable. You had to really listen to what he was saying throughout (at one point at the start of class he lost me a bit, and me and the lady next to me both missed a few poses).  I guess because of the layout of the space and with him having people at the back of him as well, he couldn’t really demonstrate the moves so much as he had to describe them.

The tough, long poses were alternated with very welcome resting poses but he kinda sneaks the tough ones on you without you noticing. It’s only when my legs started to wobble that I realised what he had done. That happened at least five times.  He’s able to do that because he will say something funny right before leading you into a really tough pose. You’d be giggling and then BAM the wobbles hit you! Sneaky and clever. And fun.

Yoga Design Museum

During the grounding meditation Adam’s wife, Holly Husler, guided us through a journey of sound. Throughout the whole event we could also hear and watch Karim Kamar play piano. The live piano accompaniment took the class to a different level and made it just that little bit more special.

After yoga we enjoyed yoghurt & juice and a viewing of the Beazley Designs Of The Year 2019 exhibit.

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My verdict

The yoga at the Design Museum left me feeling happy, energised and grounded. I don’t know if it was Adam’s yoga, Holly’s sound journey, Karim’s piano or the space we were in, but it all just worked!  I would do yoga at the Design Museum again, and I would also attend any class lead by Adam.

Instructor: Adam Husler, pianist Karim Kamar, sound journey Holly Husler

Location: Design Museum, 224 – 238 Kensington High Street, London, W8 6AG

Time: 08:15- 09:15 followed by juice and yoghurt and a private viewing of Beazley Designs of the Year 2019 until 10:00

Price: £22

Date attended: 28 September 2019

Yoga mats provided: Yes

Something I learned: When in Low Lunge imagine that the yoga mat is a large piece of paper and your aim is to crumple it up without lifting your leg or feet off the paper. To do that you would try to pull back the heel & tighten the inner thigh muscles of the front leg, and pull the knee forward & tighten the glute of the back leg.  Low Lunge 2.0.

If you like doing yoga in quirky places, outside, or in iconic London buildings, check out my list of Funky places to do yoga and pilates around London.