THE group inhales and exhales audibly. Sweat beads fall from my face like raindrops, creating puddles on the mat beneath my trembling arms. I’m in the downward dog, struggling to hold my body weight and my breakfast. I look up. One of the stronger members of the class is balanced on their head: still, focused and erect like a beanpole. Admitting defeat, I topple over and crouch into child pose.
In keeping with the successful Life Centre in London, the Manchester branch will focus on both mind and body needs for yoga novices and the experts
As you’d probably expect, a 60-minute hot yoga class is a sweaty challenge. In the new hot yoga studio at The Life Centre, the temperature is set to a boiling 40 degrees and - while I’m yet to acclimatise - there is much opportunity to practice here.
Hot yoga is one of the more well-known classes at the newly relaunched Life Centre at Great Northern, Deansgate. Formerly The Yoga Lounge, it has boosted the original yoga provisions and expanded to three large and modern studios, offering the biggest choice of yoga and wellbeing classes in the North West, seven days a week.
The classes are diverse, too. The Life Centre North will host your typical ashtanga classes while also introducing niche courses such as candlelit hot yoga, jivamukti ‘spiritual warrior’ classes and a gong bath (which involves bathing ‘in harmonising sound vibrations of gongs and singing bowls for two hours' - sure, we'll review that one)... so yes, it’s very new age.
In keeping with the successful Life Centre in London, the Manchester branch will focus on both mind and body needs for yoga novices and the experts.
Studio Manager, Rachel Kerruish said: “At The Life Centre North, you will always be welcomed with a smile. We pride ourselves on employing friendly and knowledgeable staff with the experience to answer your questions about yoga and pilates. All of our teachers are exceptionally well-trained and each retain their own unique style, approach and creativity. We believe that there is a yoga path for everyone that walks into our studio, female or male, young or old, stiff or bendy - and above all, we believe that The Life Centre is about you.”
Membership costs £85 a month - far more than your average gym membership. Should we be giving up the weights for warrior poses?
"Regular yoga practice can increase flexibility, improve balance, reduce stress, cholesterol and even the risk of heart disease," explains the centre. "The Life Centre North equips new and returning students with the tools for all of this and more."
"With the added benefit of regular workshops for students to deepen their practice further and one of the UK’s most popular teacher training courses for anyone wishing to become a fully qualified teacher themselves."
As yoga becomes increasingly more popular (and weirder, see here) with busy city-types, The Life Centre fulfils its purpose of becoming a Manchester city-centre retreat, for individuals looking to find somewhere to restore the balance in their hectic lifestyles.
It's certainly peaceful and welcoming, but whether I ever learn to balance on my head is yet to be seen...
For more information on classes at The Life Centre see here.