Serpentine

Oh Lululemon, you don’t half know how to throw a party! After announcing their London arrival with a bang back in March by hosting an epic yoga class at the Royal Opera House, last week the Canadian fitness clothing brand hosted a summer event at The Serpentine Gallery in Kensington.

Every summer The Serpentine, which is in that beautiful part of London where Hyde Park becomes Kensington Gardens, commissions a renowned architect to design a pavilion – a temporary structure which stands outside the gallery from June to October. Not being the biggest of art lovers, I’ve tended to associate the Serpentine with the glossy party that’s thrown to open the pavilion each year, where photos of A-list attendees feature in places like Tatler, ES magazine or Mailonline. So when I received an invite to attend the Lululemon event I was intrigued to see how they’d host a yoga event in another unusual space.

 

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As with the Royal Opera House event, it was first-come-first-mat, and the threat of turning up to find that you’d missed a spot loomed somewhat. Luckily, some of my lovely Yogahaven friends had got there nice and early and we were able to get pretty close to the front of the queue. The long wait for the event to start was filled by games of Heads Up (my new favourite app!) and trying to peer into the pavilion to get a preview of what was in store.

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After an hour or so, and with an enormous queue behind us, the Lululemon and Serpentine staff opened the gallery doors and handed us a Lululemon goody bag with our essentials for the class – a bottle of water and small towel – before we left our belongings in lockers and headed out to the garden towards the pavilion. This year’s pavilion is an egg-shaped structure resting on large stones and the area around it was covered in brightly coloured Lululemon mats, making the whole space look like some kind of wonderful yoga playground.

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Lululemon’s awesome mid-class pic

Once all 300 (yes 300!) of us had taken our mats, we were introduced to the amazing Celest Pereira who was leading the class, and our accompanying music. This being a Lululemon event they had gone all out on the music, so we did our practice to the sounds of a live harpist, who was resplendent in a ballgown while the rest of us were in lycra!

The event was on the same day that yoga guru BKS Iyengar passed away and Celest started the class with a touching tribute to him and lit a candle in his memory before leading us in a warming (it had started to get chilly!) and dynamic flow. Despite the fact that we were all packed tightly together, Celest lead such a positive class that we all found ourselves doing tricky asanas that we might have not realised we could achieve! I overcame my doing-headstands-in-class-fear (fine at home impossible in a studio) to such an extent that I found myself coming up from crow into one. Hurrah! New party trick!

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Me with team Yogahaven!

After a brilliant hour long class, we showed our appreciation to Celest and the harpist and the Lululemon team told us that they’d love us all to join them for some prosecco in the pavilion itself. It was such a treat to be able to socialise with my yogi gang in such an amazing space while the prosecco flowed and we danced to an incredible live band.

A couple of hours later I got home to my flat with my gifted Lululemon mat under my arm and had to explain to my boyfriend why I was returning with another one (we’re outnumbered 2 people to 5 mats in a one bed flat)! Thank you Lululemon for yet another amazing event. If this is the company’s vision for London, then I can’t wait for more!image

 

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