Kickasana at the Imaginarium | Eclectic Cake: Kickasana at the Imaginarium

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Kickasana at the Imaginarium

This could very easily be the title of a fantasy novel but actually this was a workout held in SelfridgesUltralounge as part of their Festival of Imagination. For five weeks, the space will host thought-provoking lectures, classes and workshops all in celebration of creative thinkers – a workout for the mind, if you will.

But what about body? Well, Sweaty Betty have it all covered as the hosts of weekly Kickasana classes during the festival. A mixture of yoga and Thai boxing, the concept was created as a non-intimidating entry into either activity from the other – so yogis could give Thai boxing a go and vice versa. Kickasana is described as "a rollercoaster of vigour and response" and it certainly kept us on our toes.

After a generous slathering of warming massage oil on arms and calves and shoulders and feet, the scent of eucalyptus filled the air as we set our goals for mind, body and emotion. Visions set, we slowly moved on to a familiar set of yoga stretches – child's pose, downward dog, downward dog splits – to ready ourselves for the session ahead.

Then we were on our feet. Suddenly jumping. Side to side. Forwards, backwards. Relaxed minds jolted into action. Swinging arms. Combinations of coordination. Sweat quickly forming.

Our heart-rates were given the chance to calm as we paused for another slow stretch. This time our woken muscles were allowed to lengthen further for longer. And once again my mind switched to relax mode as the familiar smell of eucalyptus wafted with every deep breath. It proves just how powerful the memory of scent is because a couple of days later, that smell uncurled from my yoga mat and reminded me of that glorious moment of rest that lasted until...

Punch, punch, kick, block, punch.
Punch, punch...
Punch, step, stop.
Punch, punch, block, block, punch.
Kick, block...
Kick, block...
Punch, punch, kick, block, step, stuck.
Punch, punch, kick, block, punch.

The switch between gentle yoga stretches to high-intensity cardio work was certainly challenging, not least for my muddled brain! But if Kickasana's aim is to prepare for Thai boxing spars and the punches that life throws you, then the ebb and flow energy and exertion is perfect practice for the unexpected. 

Despite my lack of coordination, I thoroughly enjoyed beating up the air in-front of me. Although the empty space didn't fight back, punching and kicking my way through this class made me feel strong and both body and mind.

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