Voga class in Edinburgh could be the perfect workout

Combining yoga and vogueing ensures a large dose of fun at this Edinburgh fitness class, finds Gaby Soutar.

Voga in Edinburgh
Voga in Edinburgh

The treatment

An hour-long Voga session at 
The Biscuit Factory, £10 in advance, £12 on the door, Wednesdays at 6:30pm up until Christmas.

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Why go?

If you’re more likely to exercise when it’s fun, and when there’s decent music playing. This session combines moves from yoga with vogueing (yes, à la the New York club scene and Madonna circa 1990).

Our spy says

Usually this class will be taken by Edinburgh’s resident Voga expert, Natalie Allan. However, I’m at the inaugural Scottish class and Voga founder Juliet Murrell, a former art director, is here too.

Wearing a colourful catsuit and with a resemblance to Jane Fonda circa 1979, she’s a great advert for her invention, which she’s already introduced to Ibiza, Paris and New York. I wish I’d worn something a bit less motheaten and saggy. Next time.

The session starts once the music starts playing, with disco and 80s dance tracks such as A Guy Called Gerald’s Voodoo Ray pumping out of the speakers.

We do some yogic forward folds to warm up, though with twisty hand movements as we drop our arms to the floor. Then – “strike a pose” – one knee is bent, and we look to the side, framing our face with one hand, and stretching the other arm out theatrically, with a flick of the wrist. And repeat, until we’ve almost got the hang of it.

Across the course of the hour, we learn a few named poses including the queenie (a bit like mountain pose in yoga, but with the hands back to back), the mermaid martini (face cupped with hands), and the vogue (hands on hips). Basically, every yoga sequence we do is speeded up and turned into a dance routine.

My brain is strained when it comes to remembering the moves, but I am beaming, and don’t even realise until I see Juliet smiling back at me. Embarrassingly, the hardest bit for me is a simple sequence which involves gyrating the hips. Mine are rigid and move in a square, rather than a circle. I have Scottish Hip Syndrome. The class ends with some moves on the mat and gentle back stretches to some smooth tunes.

The results

That was fun, and a great class to go to if you need cheering up, want to do something fun with friends, or find regular yoga a bit dull and are more of a dance-class person. I’m thinking of wearing a spangly catsuit next time – though I might wear some leg-warmers over the top, it’s chilly in the Biscuit Factory.