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Rocket Yoga 101

Forget rock ’n’ roll, we’re into Rocket yoga: a dynamic, Vinyasa-flow yoga practice that’s sure to make you sweat and feel some fire – AKA agni in Ayurveda. The Rocket yoga sequence was developed by an American yoga teacher, Larry Schultz, in the Eighties. Musician – and self-professed rocket man – Bob Weir (of The Grateful Dead) suggested the name to Schultz during a teaching session, saying: ‘Rocket: it gets you there faster.’

Thought about joining a class but not sure what to expect?

Rocket yoga sequences are similar to those in Ashtanga, featuring Surya Namaskar (sun salutations), standing poses, seated poses, twists and bends. However, in Rocket yoga, students are given the freedom to modify traditional asanas, or even skip them entirely, instead of sticking to a rigid pattern. One of our incredible Rocket teachers Helen Russell-Clark says: Rocket is the rebellious younger sibling of ashtanga. I love that it breaks all the rules. It has all the grounding of ashtanga, but it uplifts you, leaving you feeling stronger, healthier and happier.’

Marcus Veda, another of our fab Rocket teachers, agrees, explaining: Rocket is about an attitude rather than the specific sequence. It’s strong and positive – not about the poses, but about the way they link together. For me, it’s the true Vinyasa-style flow. Each style has its own flavour, but Rocket is my milkshake.’ Movement is linked with breath throughout the sequence, and yogis are encouraged to experiment with inversions (headstands, handstands and so on). For Marcus, the handstands are a highlight, because they’re: The closest you can come to flying. It’s that feeling of lightness, floating and a clear head. It’s pure focus in the moment. And it always feels fun.

So, what are the benefits of joining a Yogarise Rocket class?

According to Marcus, benefits of Rocket include: Strength, stability, mobility, concentration, self-awareness, concentration and meditation.’ For Helen, it’s all about how good you feel afterwards: For me, personally, I found Rocket at a time when I was very low. I remember walking out of my first class being so surprised at how amazingly high I felt. And that feeling can be quite powerful. As well as the mental benefits, Rocket can make you stronger, quicker. I learnt so much about my physical body and have found it fascinating to see the transformations.’

Join a Rocket Class at Yogarise

Yogarise has a choice of fun and friendly Rocket yoga classes to pick from, with regular sessions run by expert teachers Helen, Marcus, Katarina, Lolo, Leon, David and Lita. Marcus’ advice to budding Rocketeers is as follows: Stay with the breath; don’t be fixated on the poses. They will come… and go. But as long as you keep your mind on the breath, you’re always on the Rocket.’ Helen echoes his words, saying: Come with an open mind. Don’t expect to be able to do everything in your first class. And don’t be intimidated by others who may be flying around you. Keep practising with love and patience and you too will fly.’

Monday: 7.30pm–9pm, Helen Russell-Clark (Peckham)

Monday: 7.30pm with Helen Russell-Clark (Peckham)

Tuesday: 6.30pm with Leon London (Covent Garden)

Wednesday: 9.45am with Katarina Rayburn (Peckham)

Friday: 7.30am with Lita Sattva (Covent Garden)

Saturday: 9.15am with Lita Sattva (Covent Garden)

     10.00am with Lolo Lam (Peckham)

     10:30am with David Pearce (Streatham)

     3.00pm with Helen Russell-Clark (Covent Garden)

Sunday: 11.30am with Marcus Veda (Peckham)

Check out all our yoga classes here… something may have changed since this was posted

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