Thinking inside the box

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Its hard to imagine that there’s anything you’d want to do confined to the remits of a box. But what if in that box were the perfect ingredients to a stress-free existence? Calming, relaxing and peaceful, a bubble of bliss that transports you from the stresses of the outside world. This is the vision Adrian Carr and Ben Cairney had when they created Hotbox Yoga and brought over their giant inflatable studio to the Island.

On first inspection the Hotbox Yoga studio bears a striking resemblance to a giant bouncy castle which you enter through a small hole at the front. But inside is where the comparison ends. Like Alice down the rabbit hole, you are guided by a soft purple light to a place that feels other worldly and far removed from anything and everyone else.  

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Adrian explains, “we wanted to create a very personal experience, controlling all the senses with light, smell and sound to create a truly special ambiance. The constructed environment is so different from what you’re used that to it allows you to disconnect yourself from the daily stresses of everyday life and really immerse yourself in the yoga.” Adrian came across the concept of pod yoga in London and thought it would fit in seamlessly with the Jersey way of life. “Yoga really helped me get away from it all in a busy city and I think the benefits would help a lot of people in Jersey too.” 

The class led by Megan Whittaker was light-hearted and a traditional Vinayssa flow style, suitable for all levels and abilities without being strict or tortuous. It differs from Bikram in that it is not quite as hot and a more humid heat at a balmy 37 degrees. Teacher Megan explains, “there are a lot of yoga classes on offer than are quite strict and prescriptive about their practice, but we wanted to move away from that to allow people to find their own way with yoga and to set their own pace.” 

Adrian Carr and Megan Whittaker

Adrian Carr and Megan Whittaker

The studio which fits in 25 people welcomes men and women to share a practice that is ‘no frills or fuss’, just good honest fun. There are plenty of laughs in the class, in a space that is judgement free and without a competitive air. “For some yoga is about relaxation, for others it is more of a stretch or physical workout - neither are right or wrong,” Adrian explains.

You can’t help but wonder if this latest incarnation of yoga is just another fad, adding to the long list which includes ‘goat yoga’ and the not-to-be-too-quickly-dismissed ‘beer yoga’. But Adrian is not thrown by the association. “Honestly if people are intrigued enough by something different to try us out then all the better.” Breaking down the stigma of what yoga is and dispelling the misconception that you have to be fit and bendy are all part of the Hotbox mantra. 

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The Hotbox concept is a very different experience of yoga, maybe not for those that have already found their niche and a practice with which they are comfortable. But for those that haven’t found their way to yoga, it offers something new and exciting. Created to be as inclusive as possible all you need to get into Hotbox Yoga is an open mind and an ability to think inside the box. 

Find out more about Hotbox Yoga here.

Read the full article in Gallery magazine here.

Photographs by Holly Smith Photography