Lululemon Sweatlife Festival: A full day of getting sweaty through a variety of classes ranging from yoga to rowing to boxing to gymnastics at Tobacco Dock. People of all ages and fitness levels can try something new or do something they enjoy. Rosie, our roving reporter, donned her leggings and prepared her down dogs.
Sweatlife The Festival returned for its second year and this was the first time we’d been. There was an abundance of classes to choose from throughout the day, all under different categories: Sweat, Yoga and Learn. With classes held by 15 different studios from Frame to Barry’s Bootcamp, 15 yoga instructors and 12 different speakers on topics such as nutrition and confidence, it meant having to be quite brutal with my decision-making. I used the Sweatlife app to book into classes but a lot of classes were already full up. (This may or may not have been down to last minute planning…) Nonetheless there was still a fine selection of classes that I wanted to do, although it was difficult to choose ones that didn’t clash with each other.
If I’d been more organised, I would have aimed for a more diverse range of classes and activities and done them in a ‘sensible’ order. By that I mean I would have alternated between the high intensity classes and the yoga classes to make it a bit more balanced. Having said that, starting off with a gruelling Barre class at Psycle London meant that any potential DOMS I’d endure the next day could be softened by a full afternoon of back to back yoga classes.* So maybe my way was better/ more suited for
the weak those of us who don’t like spending too much time with the foam roller.
If you’ve ever been to a big fitness event like Sweatlife, you know what to expect: lots of lycra, abs, braided hair, people enviably bigger than you in terms of muscle mass, people enviably smaller than you in terms of body fat and mostly a lot of smiles. It was an enjoyable atmosphere and really inspirational to see so many people who were there to work hard, push themselves and have fun.
Outside of classes, food was provided by the likes of Neat Nutrition plus other food stalls who provided snacks suitable for plant-based attendees, which was great to see.
In the Market Place, familiar brands such as Rude Health, Pip and Nut, and Rebel Kitchen had stalls with tasters and great deals if you needed to do a healthy food shop. Rebel Kitchen have new dairy-free yoghurts in different flavours which tasted amazing and saved me from passing out between classes.
There was also some hair-braiding and glitter face painting happening for those who wanted to look presentable in their Instagram pictures.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the classes I did:
Psycle Barre with Rod – intense burning sensation throughout the whole body, but this was a hardcore exercise class, not a UTI. Would definitely recommend and Psycle are now open in Shoreditch!
Yoga with Steffy White – First stretch of my day and Steffy was a delight to follow with 30+ other yogis.
Gong Bath with Leo Cosendai – My first gong bath! I’m not sure what I expected but I lost my hearing at one point as it sounded like I was on the Central Line. The experience will vary for individuals – someone fell asleep next to me and was actually snoring.
Yoga with Nico Luce – Very humble and philosophical class. 70% effort or less was required – more than that is showing off apparently. (That’s my excuse too.)
Yoga with Chris Magee – Complete opposite of Nico and even with my best effort I still couldn’t do a Crow Pose.
Top tip: Book your ticket and your classes as early as you can. This is a huge event with hundreds of people and you really want to make the most of your time.
Highlights: I’ve never done a whole afternoon of yoga before and doing back-to-back classes was tiring, but strangely addictive. (Yoga is hard!) I could have gone on through to the evening and even wished there was a second day. (Until I woke up on Sunday and bending down to open the fridge caused a few tears.)
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*It didn’t really work, I still couldn’t walk properly on Sunday.
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