I had been planning on going to the Heart Beat Up event for a while. About a month ago I was already scanning the schedule that would be set out for the day, thinking damn this’ll be a good one. I love yoga, I love dancing, I love hip-hop, and this event was essentially combining all those things into one amazing, active afternoon. Sold. I’ll be honest when I say that the day didn’t start off too well. I got there a little early to help Stef set up her booth for Fit n’ Tasty and found out that we were supposed to bring our own mats. Since we were there early, all the event hosts were running around trying to get the last touches in and obviously me chasing them around the room saying “uhhh I didn’t bring a mat, do you have an extra?” was not exactly what they wanted to hear and the answer was “we’ll see”. I could already picture myself doing headstands without a mat, trying to shavasana on the cold floor etc. When the event started however (and Stef and I managed to get a mat for the two of us, which surprisingly worked out perfectly) everything turned around. Annoyance, stress, the worry of lying on a club floor (yes the event was hosted in a club, with backlights, DJ and all) with my new Lorna Jane workout shirt all went away, and Stef and I spent an absolutely amazing day.
The event started off with a 90 minute Hip-Hop yoga session with Liora, a Swiss yogi who’s practice style is vibrant and active. We flowed with some good beats mixed by the DJ on stage, and surprisingly the mellow R&B complimented it perfectly. We later did some core work in a circle and then got ourselves into groups of 3s to do handstand practice (score, just what I needed). The music was so good the entire time I was asking myself how they get Hip-Hop music on point at a yoga event but I can’t find an actual club with a decent playlist. After over an hour of yoga, it was time for everyone’s favourite part; shavasanah (it’s okay, you can admit it, we pretty much all do it for the shavasanah). This time it was even better than ever; a DJ playing the instrumental of “If I Ain’t Got You”, disco ball over head reflecting light all over the dark room; literal bliss.
After the first yoga session, the DJ cranked the beat up a notch, and there was a little dance party in the middle of the club while along the bar, Fit n’ Tasty sold cold pressed juice, Jack and Joe (vegetarian slow fast-food restaurant) sold salads & snacks, and the bartender mixed some healthy mocktails. There were also stands selling jewelry and Biomazing sold organic beauty products and even did body painting (Stef got some nice body paint which looked cool but ended up rubbing on anything and everything AKA my shirt).
After the break it was time for yoga session round 2: deep-house yoga flow with Deddou, who has an amazing pop-up yoga concept where classes are always held in different exciting places; rooftops, galleries, hotels etc. I’ve had a class with Deddou in the past, and I love her super funky, playful style. She started by telling us all about a yoga concept where one must try find the balance between what is stern, serious and strong and loose and playful. In this session we completely let loose while keeping up a high-paced flow that really got us working. The session ended with acroyoga and partner stretches before another round of amazingly relaxing shavasanah.
The event didn’t end on a quiet note however. The music turned right back up once we managed to get out of our shavasanistic state (aka p much napping), and the real dance party started. After a week of stress, where I sounded like a broken record stuck on the phrase “omg I have so much to do”, it was as if this event was made for me. It felt so damn good to let entirely loose, have the perfect mix of relaxation/steady breathing with jumping around, being silly and letting it all go. I left a new person.