What is it all about?
In case you hadn’t worked it out, voga is a cross between yoga and voguing – the 1980s New York drag scene dance craze, which was introduced to the mainstream by Madonna. Voga was thought up by Juliet Murrell, a former film industry art director, who wanted to bring a cardiac workout to yoga. According to the website, it combines “the expressive moves of a dance class with the breath-synchronised movement of yoga.”
Tell me more about voga.
Maybe 80s beats are exactly what yoga has been missing these past two millennia, but first thoughts are that it seems like yet another yoga gimmick – like dog yoga (“doga”), baby yoga and laughter yoga. Having said that, with their unusual contortions and focus on “striking a pose”, yoga and voguing do have marked similarities.
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What’s so good about it?
A common complaint about yoga is that it’s boring – voga is many things but boring is not one of them. It is actually really good fun – especially if you embrace the 80s vibe and wear fluorescent pink leggings, leopard-print leotard and leg warmers, which I may or may not have done. The hour felt like 15 minutes, yet left my arms aching as if I had done serious weight training. Despite feeling sweaty, pale and slightly sick, I was smiling throughout.
What are the downsides?
Fans of more traditional types of yoga might object to the lack of deep stretch poses and after such a hard workout, a good stretch would have been helpful. The class also left out everybody’s favourite part of yoga, Savasana – or the bit where you lie on the floor at the end – and I could have done with a bit of that too.
Perfect if …
You require your exercise to be fun, and are partial to zumba or other dance fitness classes. DJ Alex Gromadzki is responsible for the playlist, which ranges from Diana Ross to Chic, so a love of classic dance tracks is also required.
Best avoided if …
You are a hipster-hater or a dedicated yogi. If you take your yoga very seriously, voga may enrage you.
What more do I need to know?
Voga can currently only be enjoyed in London, but Murrell plans to bring it to other lucky parts of the UK and the world. At the time of writing she is introducing voga to South America. Classes are an hour long, cost £10 in advance and £12 on the door and are held in various East London studios.
The words yoga and voguing fuse together in such a satisfying manner that it was probably only a matter of time before voga became a thing. It’s hard to tell how long it will remain “a thing”, but it’s fun, so give it a try it before it goes the way of baby yoga and dog yoga.
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