Silent Disco Yoga - The New Flow

Silent Disco Yoga

Disco yoga? Yeah, it’s a thing.

 Kate Kendall leads Flow Athletic devotees through Silent Disco Yoga Moves

Kate Kendall leads Flow Athletic devotees through Silent Disco Yoga Moves

Last week I was invited to a warehouse space in St Peters in Sydney’s inner west. All I knew was that I’d be participating in ‘silent disco yoga’, that I should bring a mat and have my lobes prepped for headphones.

The evening was a special event – Flow After Dark - put on by Flow Athletic, the wellness space run by a yoga teacher and former NRL player in Paddington that’s been bridging the gap between cardio and calming since they opened in 2013.

So it’s no surprise that the revolutionary wellness space would bring disco yoga Down Under.

When the steely roller door lifted on the secret space, hundreds of legging-decked gals and head-banded guys eagerly paced inside with their yoga mats to find a place amongst an undercover fairground of carousels and boardwalk-style games and entertainment. The location was the event space favourite, Fairground Follies.

We were all handed glow-in-the-dark headphones courtesy of Silent Sounds and once kitted up, Kate Kendall, co-owner and yoga director of Flow Athletic lead us through an hour of Asana practice.

Back bends and other inversions were avoided since they would’ve been a little tricky with a headset on, but it was an otherwise energetic sequence of series one moves. The music was more ambient than upbeat but I’m told there might be another more beat-laden event in the near future.

 Silent Disco Yoga inside Fairground Follies 

Silent Disco Yoga inside Fairground Follies 

Already a hit in Hong Kong and the US where companies like Sound Off are extending their shushed sounds to other activities like Zumba and Barre classes.

 Sound Off in the US

Sound Off in the US

Disco Yoga in Melbourne also offers a powerful Vinyasa session and freestyle dancing lead by a live (and not so silent) DJ playing house music. 

 Pic courtesy of Disco Yoga website 

Pic courtesy of Disco Yoga website 

THINK LIKE A CELEBRITY

What does the coolest girl on the planet do to stay in shape? Exercise her mind!  When asked how she’d been staying in shape despite dealing with the stresses of divorceThe Voice coach, who is quite possibly the coolest girl on the planet, replied; 

“I haven’t really been working on my physical appearance. I’ve been working on my spiritual exercising,” adding, “And really trying to connect and be grateful, considerate, being present and living in the moment, and so that’s where I’ve put a lot of my exercise right now.”

Despite looking effortlessly toned and healthy, the recently single mum-of-three who's also healing her  Gwen's commitment to mindfulness is something worth meditating on

In 2013 the No Doubt songstress also told Marie Claire that she "Kind of stopped working out. I think my body just needed a break. And so I did that and focused more on feeling good as opposed to beating myself up." 

Cate Blanchett told is another busy mum who doesn't have too much time to bend and flex - accept when she's chasing after her four children -  but she does make time for meditation.

 

access bars - throw out your brain trash

ACCESS BARS

For more than 25 years Access Bars devotees have been accessing the 32 points on their head that allow them to find clarity, energy and clearance from everyday obstacles like cash flow, job confidence and relationship harmony.

Don’t write this off as just another holistic practice that works for some and not for others, Access Bars now has some real science behind with neuroscientists recording actual changes in brain waves – from beta to a much more relaxed theta wave - within an hour session.

The modality of tapping into these 32 Bars is based on the electromagnetic functioning of all the thoughts, ideas, attitudes, decisions and beliefs we’ve ever had. Phew, that’s a lifetime of energy scrambling for attention in your head right now. Ever felt confused? This could be why.

For example, each and every thought you’ve had about your earning potential is stored in a Bar called, you guessed it, ‘money’. Of the other 31 bars you can include body, creativity, power, sex and money – all the good stuff that keeps us awake at night.

Access Bars practitioners have the skill to clear the energy that’s become locked inside these Bars purely through their touch. From one bar to the next ‘issues’ are released, allowing for change in your thoughts and life.

Based on the past life theory, it’s thought that just five minutes of running bars can remove 5,000 – 10000 years of stagnant points of view. Whoa. I had to try this spring cleaning for the mind, so I met with globally recognised practitioner, Blossom Benedict in her fancy hotel room overlooking Central Park South for session.

She made me feel instantly at ease, enough that I felt comfortable lying on her bed with my head on her lap and her dog lying next to me. For an hour!

Blossom promises that “The worst ting that’ll happen is that you’ll fee like you had a great massage and the best thing is that your whole life will change. “

OK, let’s do this I thought, laying back, waiting for some great epiphany to take place. It didn’t. But Blossom assured me more sessions would. 

“You don’t know where you may go in the world today or tomorrow… and something might happen and you may or may not correlate it with the bars but you’ll just think, ‘that was different’ or something will feel easier. Or you’ll find you react differently to situations.”

Honestly I can’t say I did, notice anything much different. I just felt pretty tired. But hundreds of thousands of devotees can’t be wrong. Here’s what Blossom says of the modality that sees her travel the world.  

How often do you recommend sessions?

It’s an ongoing thing and initially I see people getting great results from having them done once a week for six weeks. That’s when they really shift something. The nice thing is people who get hooked on it want to take a class and once you do that you learn to run the Bars yourself. (Yes, people, you too can learn to do this). It’s quite easy to learn. And there are groups that get together and run bars and do clearings.

Is that what you travel around teaching?

I do a lot more of the verbal processing which has to do with the letting go of your cognitive points of view - the beliefs, the stories. I do a workshop called Right Voice For You and it’s working with access tools but on the stage, it’s about being more present with people, being more authentic in your life, showing up and coming out of your comfort zone. It uses the same access tools.

And it’s been around for 25 years?

Gary Douglas is the founder of Access. He channeled the bars originally. He had a download of this information about where to put his hands. In the past five years it’s gained momentum – it’s now in 173 countries, with over 3000 facilitators teaching classes.

So basically it’s about throwing out the trash in your head?

Yeah, so there are 32 different points in the head and they all correlate to an area of your life like money, body, control, creativity, sadness, joy… and when we press son them it’s like deleting files on a computer. All those old thoughts that we put into your brain at some point and are playing over and over and over – a habit, a pattern, your brain creates connections, there’s lots of activity, millions of files that we don’t really need. Bars deletes those.

What happens when they’re deleted?

The technical term is it’s ‘dissipating the electromagnetic component of thought’. Every thought actually has an electrical charge that stays in your brain and if we can dissipate that, then what you’re left with is your awareness, what’s true for you. You’re no longer functioning from conclusions, decisions, judgments, assumptions, your mum’s voice, or negative thoughts on your body.

Can you tell me some success stories?

We are putting together a documentary because there are so many stories. Bars run really fast on kids. I know a lot of kids who’ve had anxiety go away, and they’ve changed their relationship to school. It’s helped a lot of people change depression. There are a lot of stories of magic, like making money work, suddenly getting a job offer. It’s about becoming open to receiving.

 



Eco-loving Yoga - Save the world while downward-dogging

This December, on the eve of internationally acclaimed ocean ambassador, surfer, and karmic yogi Eoin Finn’s birthday, he ventured to the Florida Keys (along with a group of yogis from around the world) as part of the Eco Karma Project to gather information on the state of our fragile coral reefs, volunteer with the coral reef foundation, and replant stag horn coral. Eoin amassed about $10,000 through a Kickstarter campaign to go towards rehabilitation America's reefs with an additional $25,000 donated by Lululemon (he was one of the fit fashion star's first yoga ambassadors). 

As Eoin travels around the world to teach yoga, he will continue his series of Eco Karma Yoga Missions bringing together communities from Sydney to LA to highlight ocean specific environmental causes in dire need of rescue and support. As he gathers people from all walks of life to get hands on during the day, in exchange he will offer free yoga. This will be an ongoing project where people will also be able to select “retreat style” accommodations to stay for 3-4 days to join hands in helping during the day, a once in a lifetime opportunity to practice free yoga from an acclaimed teacher, combined with sustainable meals and mediation, and hammock enlightenment talks. 

The spiritual therapy healing broken hearts

It's ThetaHealing

The term may be new to you but in the fields of spirituality and alternative therapies, Theta Healing has been a go-to therapy since 1995 when the designer of this meditation technique, Vianna Stibal, started teaching it after discovering this powerful way to heal not only physical ailments but her limiting beliefs.

When I experienced it in New York City, I knew only that the practice involves a body/mind meditation that heals blockages from within by tapping into universal connectors, chakras and theta brainwaves .

OK, so it sounds a little trippy, but within moments of my session commencing I was experiencing outstanding results.

I met with co-founder and TH specialist Tara Greenaway at Theta Healing NYC in Manhattan and was immediately embraced by her warm energy. Tara is also trained in polarity therapy, EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique), and NDT (New Decision Therapy) and truly has healing hands.

We talked about what it was I wanted to change in my life, any anxieties or regrets I had, and any relationships that needed healing. I spoke about looking ahead in my career and the challenges I am currently facing with that and from there various other ‘issues’ surfaced. Apparently I had quite a bit of healing to do!

Theta Healing incorporates muscle testing, similar to kinesiology but via a much simpler premise. The patient holds together the index finger and thumb and the practitioner asks questions then tests the muscle strength of the finger and thumb.

To prove the function, Tara asked me to repeat, ‘My name is Kelli’ and as I did she pulled at my finger and thumb and they remained together. Then when I was asked me to say ‘My name is Bob’ the grip came undone with the same tugging motion because it was a statement I didn’t believe to be true.

This was then applied to a series of questions relating to my career, relationships and self-esteem. I won’t go into details but I was astounded by what came up and the emotions I felt.

We all have thoughts racing through our heads, up to 70,000 a day in fact, and we all somehow manage to push these thoughts and emotions deep down inside hoping to never see them again! Well, newsflash, they’re not going anywhere and they’re affecting your performance at work, in love, even at the gym. Those thoughts, positive or negative, and often attached to past experiences, play a part in your belief system and the manifestation of fear and even disease.

Theta Healing aids in clearing the blockages that engage in a kind off / on relationship with your thoughts and feelings.

Mark Anthony, a Thetahealing Master from Co-Creation ThetaHealing in Sydney describes Theta as an empowerment tool that allows people to regain their lives by changing their emotional state. “Thetahealing allows the person to release the stress that is causing their issues. Humans are generally very emotional beings and it’s easy for them to get caught up in emotions of being unloved, unappreciated, abandoned…  The feelings that proceed are resentment, anger and abandonment which can lead to illness.” 

The benefits are vast and range from healing physical pain to unlocking creativity, increasing confidence, developing your intuition and releasing fears or phobias.

During my session, Tara uncovered ‘sorrow in my heart chakra’ and asked my permission to ask the ‘Universe’ to heal that sorrow and show me what it would feel like to feel true love. Amen to that, I thought! Turns out I was holding onto the love of an ex boyfriend and that’s why I’ve been dating jerks for the last decade. I’ll let you know if I now meet Mr Right!

Theta practitioners heal by connecting to the energy and life force that is circulating around us and within us. Tara closed her eyes and connected to the 7th plane and afterwards shared with me that we are all capable of making this connection and with proper training can learn to heal ourselves and others.

“There’s a basic certification that’s three days long that we teach in New York and you are certified at the end. It seems quick, but the technique is actually so simple and elegant that it can be learned in three days,” says Tara who recommends her clients study the technique once they’ve surpassed five sessions.

Each time she connected to the ‘Universe’ (this was a word I chose, some may prefer God, Mother Nature, Energy etc) and healed my blockages we’d redo the muscle test and sure enough when I’d repeat the phrase she’d asked me before the healing the grip would remain strong, whereas before the healing my grip would come undone. And as the session went by I started to feel lighter, more relaxed and confident. It was truly unbelievable and energizing.

The healing is said to connect on a deeper level after a sleep cycle. I did go to bed that night with a raging headache but I woke up with glowing skin and free of my locker room worth of baggage that had been weighing me down. Seriously!

The following week Tara was kind enough to invite me back for a second session. After 30 minutes I floated out of her practice and into a life lighter of stress and emotional undoings.

 

Bad Habits Busting Your Ass?


SMALL CHANGES EQUALS BIG RESULTS

How to improve your life’s habitual zones

 This is an excerpt from an article I wrote for Women's Fitness Magazine

Nixing habits is a tricky business. Whether you’re continuously late for appointments, dating the wrong guys over and over or unable to shake up your stale workout, don’t be too hard on yourself. You’re not alone. The latest research suggests it takes an average of 66 days to turn small changes into a routine habit. And that 54 percent of us fail to make adjustments last longer than six months.

The good news is that making a lasting transformation is definitely possible. In fact, according to author Charles Duhigg, small shifts can return huge results via a ripple effect that improves all areas of your life.

 It can take 66 days to form a new habit

It can take 66 days to form a new habit

“Change might not be fast and it isn't always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped,” says Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business.

Duhigg talks about triggers that send your brain into automatic mode and tell it which habit to use. This is followed by a routine, be it physical, mental or emotional. “Finally there is the reward which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.” says Duhigg.

You could liken it to the instant gratifications of reaching for the cookie jar instead of the longer-term benefits of choosing kale chips. It’s this cue, routine, reward cycle that sets bad habits in a continual motion.

 Cookies...

Cookies...

 Or Kale?

Or Kale?

“Most of our habits have automatically formed through repetitive and unconscious actions and programming of our subconscious mind,” agrees life coach Leiza Clark. “People need to realise they’re the only ones who hold the real power to change by understanding the consequences and taking full responsibility of their negative patterns.”

Read more about Recognising the Reward, Taking Ownership and Securing Support to nix bad habits in the November issue of Australian Women's Fitness

Dream Time

GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK

Has catching some shuteye become more of a luxury than a necessity? Read on!

If you’re waking up and reaching for the touché éclat to cover those dark circles and rushing to get that before-work caffeine hit you’re one of a growing number of women suffering from sleep deprivation.

Experts advise seven to- eight hours per night but the reality is we’re getting six to- seven, if we’re lucky, and our lives are suffering, not just our concealer budget!

‘The most sleep-pressured group are women of working age, females with all their balls in the air,’ says Professor David Hillman of the Sleep Health Foundation. ‘Sleep is getting squeezed out because of other pressures related to work, family and social life.’

We’ve all been there; you start your day feeding the cat or racing to day-care, try to fit in a morning jog, meet demanding work deadlines, squeeze in drinks with the girls and update your Instagram before you snooze. Sound familiar?

Sleep psychologist and hypnotherapist Janine Rodd agrees that less time under the sheets affect us more than we realize. ‘Lack of sleep impacts our ability to pay attention, alertness, concentration and problem solving skills.’

It’s not just the odd cranky day at work or snide remark to loved ones, sleep deprivation can cause accidents and injuries and is no yawning matter.

But it is possible to get on top of your sleep debt. Let’s break down the pillow talk with all you wanted to know about sleep, but were too tired to ask.

Sleep is not negotiable.

You might think you can trade sleep for other activities, but if you don’t pay attention to your sleep needs, your brain lets you down in other areas because you need those zzzs to refresh your mind. And we mean nightly, not just on weekends.

‘Not only are you less vigilant but your mood is affected, you’re less sympathetic, and less able to make decisions clearly,’ says Professor Hillman. Put simply, your moods, thoughts and reaction times all suffer.

‘Unquestionably, it is a vital necessity for our body and our mind,’ agrees Janine Rodd. You can’t train yourself to have less sleep. Simple as that.

How much sleep is enough?

On average adults need eight hours sleep a night. ‘Some of us need less and some need more,’ says Prof Hillman. ‘[But] if we don’t get what we need we don’t function as well.’

If you’re not meeting the magic number 8, you’re not alone. The National Sleep Habits survey found that on average Australians are hitting the seven-hour mark, with 30 percent of our community complaining on a regular basis of not getting enough sleep.

Switching off

‘The big issue is social media and internet in the bedroom,’ says Professor Hillman. ‘Because you’re not allowing yourself a wind-down period.’ So quit the facebook status updates right before bed, that bright screen on your tablet activates the chemicals in your brain, turning on your waking mind, so when you switch the light off it’s not ready to say goodnight.

‘You need to have a quiet wind down period,’ urges Hillman, suggesting at least an hour before slipping into your PJ’s you press the chill button. ‘Then it’s off to bed for eight hours so you can rip into it the next day.’

Hillman also advises that only sleep and sexual activity are meant for the bedroom, so no television or reading in bed as both can disturb a decent slumber. ‘It should be a place of rest and tranquility.’

Are hormones affecting your night?

Yes, quite possibly. ‘Women can be affected by hormonal changes such as during their periods, pregnancy and when going through menopause,’ says Rodd. ‘Research also shows that women have a higher incidence than men of insomnia and depression related to poor sleep.’ And then there’s that other S word, Stress. Nominate a worry time and write down your thoughts to avoid overthinking when you get into bed.

Can I recover my sleep debt?

‘Yes you can!’ says Professor Hillman. But Rodd warns that this is a controversial topic. ‘Sleep debt is not just lost hours of sleep it is also the loss of quality of sleep.’

Hands up if you’ve tried to catch up on lost slumber during a Saturday lay-in? Rodd says, ‘Recovery sleep can be a useful short-term strategy but anything more than 15 hours of lost sleep cannot be caught up on during a weekend sleep-in.’

To pay off your debt to the sandman, go to bed 15 minutes earlier every night and gradually build this up to half an hour or even an hour.

Master a sleep routine

Enjoy the occasional late night out, but otherwise you need a reasonably regular wake up time and go-to-bed time. ‘What you’re trying to do is give your body clock some strong cues,’ says Hillman. ‘We have this day night rhythm of wakefulness and sleep that hormonal fluctuations dictate. The main time givers to the internal body clock are regularity and other things like day and night, regular meals, and regular bedtime. So just like you’ve nailed the lunchtime yoga session or Saturday morning swim, you need to lock down your sleep time too, and not vary it too drastically.

Siesta time

If you have the luxury of squeezing in an afternoon nap, other than when you’re on a tropical holiday, then max it out at 20 minutes. ‘You don’t want to fall into a deep sleep cycle that you cannot complete as that will leave you feeling groggy and worse than you did before your nap,’ warns Rodd.

Sleep and your diet

When you’re tired, you tend to reach for high sugar foods to boost your energy, are we right? Well, it’s a big no no. That high only lasts for so long before you slump lower than before. Eat a balanced diet daily, avoid caffeine in the afternoon and eat at least two hours before retiring or your digestive system will interrupt a perfect night of beauty rest. And we don’t have to tell you that alcohol is disruptive due to its sugar content, so avoid that third glass of champagne.

The science of sleep

Sleep typically begins with stages of non rapid eye movement sleep (NREM). Healthy adults slip into the first stage (N1) minutes after they start to nod off. In only a few winks stage 2, N2, arrives and lasts about 10 – 25 minutes before N3 sets in for a further 20 – 40 minutes. This is a deep sleep that the body needs to process the day’s thoughts and memories. A brief period of N2 sleep returns before an REM episode – this accounts for 20 – 25% of a night’s sleep and is where dreams are made. This pattern continues throughout the night in 90 to– 120-minute cycles.

When it’s serious

Insomnia, a difficulty getting off to sleep in the first place or achieving sleep once awoken, affects about three percent of the community and may require counseling.

Snoring and sleep apnea are both getting worse amongst women, especially with growing obesity.

If these are an issue in your household, there are skilled professionals like psychologists and sleep physicians that can help.

‘I would always suggest behavior and lifestyle modifications to relieve sleep problems, long before medication,’ says Rodd. ‘Underlying medical conditions always need to be ruled out and or addressed first. I recommend mindfulness, and hypnosis especially self hypnosis.’

Written by Kelli Armstrong

STATS:

More than 1.5 million Australian adults, 9% of the adult population, now suffer from sleep disorders.

An American study found that 36% of parents leave at least one mobile device in the bedroom before they go to sleep.

Meditate Now

I’ve dropped the meditation ball a bit lately. Ideally I’d like to do 20 minutes morning and night but sometimes life dictates otherwise, so I thought I’d revisit my interview with meditation guru Carolyne Gowen. Carolyne trained at the Deepak Chopra Centre in San Diego and now runs workshops through Still Your Mind. I studied with her last year and felt immediate effects from the technique she taught me. I caught up with her recently when I interviewed her for a piece I wrote for Women’s Fitness Magazine titled Get Your Om On that appeared in the May issue.

Carolyne Gowen

I discovered meditation when I worked on the launch of Marie Claire in Australia and we worked 24/7 non-stop. It was relentless and I was exhausted and a friend of mine told me about a meditation course that she did and all the hairs went up on my arms, I just knew that I had to do it. And it absolutely totally changed my life. In fact I did again because I loved it so much. I think I was looking for a spiritual journey as well. It really helped me to stay calm and relaxed and focused. It opened me up to spirituality as well.

Immediately I became a lot more calm and relaxed and I had a feeling of expansion. It was extraordinary. I loved it so much I became very passionate, very excited, I turned into the best version of myself.

What style of meditation do you teach?

I teach two types, I teach Deepak Chopra’s Deepak Chopra’s primordial sound meditation which is basic mantra meditation. I also teach Drunvalo Melchizedek’s Awaking the Illuminated Heart.

When I first learnt to meditate I learnt mantra meditation and I really like it because I’ve tried meditation when you focus on breath and find that really hard and I’ve tried guided meditation from a CD and it just doesn’t give me the same fulfillment. The reason I like mantra meditation is because you have something to focus on to stop that voice in your head so you can contact that stillness and get that calmness happening.

Do a lot of your clients struggle to stop the inner chatter?

Thoughts are a natural part of meditation, we will always have thoughts, we have 60 – 80 thousand thoughts a day and it’s generally the same tape going through your head. But what you’re doing through saying the mantra is having moments where there is no thoughts at all and that’s contacting the ‘stillness’ or the ‘void’ or the ‘nothingness’ and that’s when you open it up to infinite potentiality and infinite creativity. That gap between your thoughts is absolutely unlimited and has the potential for anything.

What are the benefits of tapping into that stillness?

Ninety percent of people see me because they are stressed and anxious. You will reduce stress and anxiety; you’re going to sleep better at night, you’re going to have better relationships, you’re going to be more successful, be more creative, productive, manage your emotions better, have better concentration, clarity in life, open up to spirituality and enjoy better health and wellbeing.

How long until we can see results?

Some people feel the effects immediately, others a couple of days. I know in my course from session one to session three I can see the transformation in my clients in that time. Sometimes it’s immediately.

What can people expect from Still Your Mind?

It’s three or four sessions over four weeks. You learn the theory of meditation, receive your own personal mantra, you learn what happens when you meditate because you can go through a number of experiences. I also teach affirmations in my course which is something I’ve added in because some people, when they meditate, they notice that voice in their head and if it’s negative it can have a damaging effect. Affirmations encourage more positive thoughts, change your energy and get you what you want out of life. The last lesson is about chakras and the seven higher states of consciousness.

Are you still reaching new levels in your own practice?

I do reach new levels, I have meditations which are calm, peaceful and blissful, but the next day I’ll have a thousand thoughts. The mediation you have that day is what you need to get you through that day. When I’m in a retreat situation and away for a couple of days and out of my normal routine I do reach totally new highs.

It is true meditation has anti-aging benefits?

It does have anti-aging benefits – it increases the hormone melatonin which is anti-aging and an antioxidant. Meditation also promotes DHEA, a hormone that determines physiological age. It also increases an enzyme called telomerase which is said to improve health and physiology.


Yoga Moves

Nothing like starting your day breathing fresh air and saluting to the sun.

While sun salutations are a good way to stay in shape thanks to their stretching and cardiovascular effect on the body, the movement also has an impact on other areas of your mind and soul. Daily practice maintains blood flow, and supports your digestive, respiratory, and circulatory system.

Honouring the sun through the dynamic Surya Namaskar sequence can be performed any time during the day, though at sunrise you may find it is both calming and meditative for the mind thanks to the light’s connection with yoursolar plexus.

Namaskar is a Sanskrit word that stems from namas, meaning ‘to bow to’ or ‘to adore’ (A more familiar phrase to yoga practitioners is, namastete meaning ‘you’—, and is used to finish and honour the end of a class)

Sun salutations begin and end with hands joined mudra (gesture) and touched to the heart.

The heart knows your truth and beauty and giving thanks sets you up for a day of gratitude and enlightenment.

Namaste.

Soul Cycle

With so much buzz surrounding the latest craze in the US fitness scene, Soul Cycle - founded in 2006 by Julie Rice and Elizabeth Cutler and quickly taking over America – on a recent trip to the US I made sure I was booked in to trial a class in NYC.

I’m fit and active but my gym‘s stationary bike is about as close as I’ve come to a spin class. So why Soul Cycle? I’d heard so much about the cult cardio workout, its celeb following and its ‘mind, body, spirit’ decree that I wanted to experience my own Zen riding moment… if indeed it existed.

So, I braved the snow and rocked up for my first Soul Cycle class in Soho. The crew at the front desk were more than helpful in showing me around the locker rooms and the bike – which you have to clip your shoes in (spesh riding shoes from Japan) to the pedals and control the speed with a spinning disc on the frame. There are three positions on the handle bars, and weights nestled in behind your seat – all very important stuff for the first-timer.

I’d interviewed Mel B in Los Angeles the week before, she’s a big SC fan, and she’d given me the run down of all the ‘Woohooing’ and general camaraderie that goes on when you’re sweating it out and cycling for your life. Everyone gets involved (Mel mentioned she’s ridden alongside Charlize Theron and Vanessa Hudgens!) But what I wasn’t prepared for is to absolutely fall in love with it! I mean, I am now addicted to this disco workout on wheels. Not only is it a fantastic workout, but it’s a community and for everyone involved, something seriously special happens on those bikes.