lululemon Sweatlife Festival

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

For the third year in a row, I made my way down to Tobacco Docks early on a Saturday morning. It usually takes some sort of workout for me to get up early and Sweatlife Festival is no exception.  For about £30, you have a multitude of 45 minute classes to choose from, featuring many of the London boutique studios, such as Frame, KoBox, Un1t London, Third Space, and Triyoga.  Big name yogis come in to teach hundreds of students.  Then there are other perks, such as healthy food options (prosecco too), a marketplace, hair braiding in the Mermaid Cave and a stretch out space with foam rollers.

After registering, we all received a water bottle to ensure we reduced our plastic use over the course of the day.  I got in at 8:30am for my first session at 9am, which gave me time to explore the layout and see where my registered sessions were.  I knew I would have to refill a few times due to the warm weather and all the classes I was going to take, so I also noted where the water refilling stations were.

Why this and not the others?

Your ticket includes one red class and one yellow plus unlimited talks and yoga classes.  You get at least  three classes for £35 for a single day pass.  Last year, I tried KoBox and Un1t to see what they were about.  This year, I tried Olympic lifting and a barre class.  I tend to skip Frame classes because I worked there ages ago so totally get what the brand is about (plus their classes are intense so I need to conserve my energy for a marathon day). The day is a fantastic opportunity to try out different boutique studios with a minor financial investment.

My first session was Introduction to Olympic Weightlifting with CrossFit London (based in Bethnal Green).  My partner was Amanda, who was from Australia and very friendly and experienced in lifting (thank goodness, she had great tips).  Unfortunately, we had very loud neighbors which made it hard to hear the instructors.  The class was split so we could work on two different movements but still hear our instructors.

My next session was reiki with Re:Mind studio.  Based near Victoria station, it is a meditation center that offers reiki, crystal bowl sessions, meditation classes and more.  I hadn't heard of them before so it was very cool to experience their class.  Reiki channels energy and vibration to help with healing. I have hard it before in a 1-2-1 setting but never in a large group.  It was a lovely way to recoup after an early start and lifting session.

The first talk I went to was all about meditation and mindfulness from Danielle of lululemon corporate office.  She gave us a 21 day meditation challenge were we only need to spend a minute a day meditating.  The mantra she gave us was 'I am.'  My meditation reminders are in my diary and I am determined to finish this challenge.

The only yoga class I went to was lead by Sanchia Legister.  Funny fact- we sat next to each other on the plane to NYC marathon!  Her music selection was amazing, both in mood and lyrical choice.  She also doesn't take yoga too seriously, which made the class of 400 yogis a lot of fun.  The energy in the room was amazing.  Me being me, I re-introduced myself to her at the end of the class.

The next talk I went to was about doing less but better.  Another leader from lululemon's leadership team talked about how if we cut out 80% of the things we spend energy on to focus on the most important 20%, the resulting outcome would be significantly greater.  Inspired by her talk, I already cut out a few one-offs things I volunteered for but weren't going to help me reach my end goals in life.  This has made me feel more relaxed in some ways and focused in others.

My last class of the day was with Xtend Barre London.  I thought it would be a traditional barre class, but instead it was a little bit of everything (minus the bar).  We did first and second positions, plies, and a bit of rhythmic movement.  I definitely felt the burn in my arms and legs.  Great music and moves made it a lovely way to end my day.

The last session I tried to attend was a crystal bowl session with Re:Mind but sadly it filled up.  I have been meaning to try it but wasn't sure how it worked.  It is still on my list of things to do.  My friend, Kate, offers this regularly and I need to make it prioritize it.

Less than a mile from Tobacco Docks is Rinkoff Bakery. So I walked about 15 minutes to enjoy my crodough in the sunshine.  It was the best way to end the day. I rarely get over to Whitechapel so this was something I was thinking about all day.

Have you been to Sweatlife before?  What did you think?  I am signing up again for next year!

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