Good intentions for achieving fitness and wellbeing are all too easily thrown off track. As a serial one-time-visitor of different classes and sessions, the choice of music is a key contributory factor for how long I’ll stay the course. The mere sniff of hardcore cheese accompanying any kind of aerobic class loses my goodwill faster than you can say squat-thrust and at the other end of the spectrum, I can’t quite articulate how roof-of-the-mouth-itchingly aggravating I find the sound of pan pipes – their almost obligatory inclusion in all yogic activity drives me to the point of downward dogging out the door out on all fours.

I was therefore delighted to hear about a new type of yoga class starting up at Bootleg Social on Sunday 22 February where the sessions will be accompanied by musicians playing specially devised pieces that help to create a sense of inclusion rather than alienation.

The class, which is suitable for those with experience of yoga as well as beginners who are generally fit and well, will be taught by experienced leader Angela Ross from Yoga Blackpool. The 90-minute session will be divided into two halves; the first will focus on traditional Hatha yoga which is aimed at developing muscular strength, stamina and flexibility and will be accompanied by Mick Drake on acoustic guitar, the latter half will follow a Yin yoga approach which involves holding the same position for longer periods of time and helps to penetrate deep into connective tissue, this will be set to cello music played by Elizabeth Preston.

Angela believes that “Mick’s guitar playing will be great with the more energetic first half of the class and Yin yoga lends itself really well to the atmospheric sounds that Elizabeth has crafted especially for the event. The long positions will enable participants to melt into the music, deepening their practice and will help in really letting go.”

After the yoga session, there will be an opportunity to socialise with fellow classmates and to partake in teas and home-baked gluten free and vegan treats while Elizabeth performs new songs from her forthcoming EP. All involved in this new initiative hope that this approach will help to develop a more community-focused atmosphere and that participants will feel part of something wider than just a health and well-being class.

Stephen Skelly, owner of Bootleg Social said, “We’re passionate about local talent and trying new things out, so we look forward to seeing how this event goes.”

The first session of Live Music Yoga takes place on Sunday 22 February starting at 6pm at Bootleg Social, 30 Topping Street, Blackpool. Tickets cost £8 in advance or £10 on the door and are available to buy online here.  For further information contact Angela Ross on 07990 712 478 or Natalie Ward on 07546 695 199 ([email protected]) or visit Yoga Blackpool.


Featured image by Dennis Yang at Wikimedia Commons.

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    Melanie Whitehead is the Creative Director of The Old Electric, Blackpool's newest theatre. She previously worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and the National Theatre.

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