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Up to the age of about 14, ballet was one of my big loves. I haven’t taken a class for years (other than one ill-advised trip to the Central School of Ballet where I took an intermediate adult class and found it full of actual ballerinas) but it’s still something I try to watch when I can, and there’s no real surprise that I love the movement of yoga in the same way that I used to love my ballet practice.

20140308_145314So when I heard that Lululemon were hosting a yoga class at the Royal Opera House, it sounded pretty close to an opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream, and on Saturday afternoon I joined over 300 yogis for a very special event. To be specific, I first joined well over 300 yogis in the giant queue that was snaking outside the opera house. Despite arriving 75 minutes before the class was due to start (we were warned that it was likely to be busy) there must have been 100 people ahead of me and I’d imagine swathes of people behind me had to be turned away at the door.

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The Royal Opera House’s Floral Hall was covered in yoga mats and, once everyone had taken their spot (I’ve never seen so much Lulu in one place), we were joined by our musical accompaniment for class. Lululemon were going big with this event, so not for them a yoga teacher’s tried and tested spotify playlist, or even a live DJ – instead we were accompanied by….The London Philharmonic Orchestra!

I was lucky to nab a spot next to the lovely Stew from Yogahaven for the Jivamukti class which was lead by Emma Henry along with a small army of Lulu-clad adjusters. The whole class was incredibly special, with sunlight streaming through the hall and the live orchestra playing some very moving pieces.Emma asked us to look around the room, pick someone we didn’t know and dedicate our class to them. I spotted a woman wearing a top in the same ink splodge print as my favourite leggings that I was in, so she got my energy for the next hour or so.

Me and Stew pre-class

Me and Stew pre-class

It ended with possibly the best Savasana ever – hundreds of yogis in one of London’s most iconic spaces listening to the orchestra play Adagio for Strings (Lululemon took the photo below). In fact, once we had said our ‘namastes’, everyone stood and applauded the orchestra and the room felt completely euphoric.

At that point I assumed we’d all head off, but were then told that there was a live DJ and prosecco in the bar upstairs and that our brand new Lululemon mats that we’d practiced on were ours to keep. As we went out onto the opera house balcony, glass in one hand, new mat in another, one of the girls I was with summed it up when she described the whole event as ‘like winning an awesome competition’.

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The event was to celebrate Lululemon’s first proper UK store opening in Covent Garden and they certainly didn’t do anything by halves. With the fizzy flowing (there were, ahem, quite a few refills of my glass) it was such a lovely opportunity to catch up with other yogis, namely my lovely Yogahaven gang. And, while my first experience of ‘dancing’ at the Royal Opera House maybe wasn’t quite what I’d have imagined aged 8, it will be a day I remember every time I unfurl my awesome new mat.

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