Fitness and fun don’t often go hand in hand. We usually have to psych ourselves up to get through grueling spin classes and hour-long runs.
But what if I told you there is a way to get fit in the new year that just feels like you’re geeking out to music videos like you did as a kid? It’s called Voga, and it’s a new fitness craze that’s taking over London.
Voga, like the name suggests, is a combination of yoga and voguing — the dance move that was patented by Madonna back in the ’80s. If you were an ’80s (or even early ’90s) baby, you probably vogued along to the music video of the same name at least once in your life. Well, now you can go back and do it all again, but this time with the goal of getting fit in mind.
The trend was created by 34-year-old Juliet Murrell, a British set designer who works in various areas of the entertainment industry. She mastered yoga back in 2011 and even qualified to teach but wanted to do something different with her fitness skill. Her goal with Voga was to combine her love of iconic ’80s fashion with fierce moves and self-empowering fitness poses. And who doesn’t love working out to a classic ’80s song?
While it may seem like it goes against the calm, centering nature of yoga, Murrell says she believes the voguing actually helps to center you even more. She told The Telegraph, “It’s also about feeling brilliant from the inside, living in the moment, enjoying our bodies. It is possible to be mindful while throwing shapes to Madonna. You definitely feel more energised. You are very focused and no one is looking at anyone. When you’re dancing, it’s easy to zone people out, focus on the shapes and claim your space without feeling self-conscious.”
When you watch the video of people doing Voga in class, you immediately see what she means. There’s a sense of focus and calm energy that comes over people as they’re striking poses. Yes, the class is more aerobic than your average yoga class, but the yoga principles are still very much present — along with fabulous jazzercise-inspired outfits, of course.
Murrell, a party girl at heart, believes these classes should feel freeing and fun — more like a night out than a tiring fitness class. Sure, you break a sweat, but when you’re doing bold poses named the Sphinx, the Centaur and the Vogue Express, it doesn’t feel like work.
As such, hip Londoners have been flocking to Murrell’s House of Voga classes ever since she launched them back in 2013. The sessions are not held in a singular brick-and-mortar studio but rather pop up all over, like a secret party about which only the really cool people know. Thus she’s been able to bring Voga to various countries around the world, and now she has her sights set on New York City.
According to her website, Voga will hit the Big Apple in June 2016, and I plan to be one of the first in line, sporting gold spandex, bright pink wristbands and a can-do attitude. As a former theater major, this is the kind of fitspo that really gets me amped about working out again. I suppose that means my New Year’s resolution to up my fitness game will just have to wait until the summer. Bummer.