Directly opposite the exit from Hornsey overground station is the Total Boxer gym, home to a brand new kind of fitness training – Boxing Yoga.
When I took part in Kajza Ekberg’s 10am Tuesday class, I experienced first hand her seamless incorporation of boxing into yoga practice. Instead of placing palms together after a Salutation, we clenched fists to form a guard in front of the face. In the lunge stance of Warrior II we reached our front hand out in a jab, stretching to our full capacity, before rotating the hips and coming through with a cross punch.
As the class progressed I realised that though yoga and boxing are physi- cally very different, they share the same need to focus the mind and body; working on breathing, opening up the hips and shoulders and improving core strength. As Kajza says, “you don’t get a six pack from meditating, you have to work hard!”
Kajza was a ballet and contemporary dancer until May 2013, when she founded Boxing Yoga. She has worked closely with Matt Garcia, owner of the Total Boxer gym to take the “never give up” attitude of boxing from the ring into her yoga practice. With the incredible deal of 20 days unlimited Boxing Yoga for just £20, there is no better time to get involved.
Boxing Yoga is great news for London’s boxing community and for the city’s yoga lovers alike. For the former it provides the opportunity to stretch out tight lower backs and hunched shoulders and to improve overall flexibility. The latter receive an intense workout without getting punched in the face once. Matt proudly told me that over 60% of Total Boxer’s 800 members are women; a credit to his philosophy that boxing and yoga should be enjoyed by men and women alike.
As I lay in a sweaty Shavasana at the end of the class I had that blissful feeling you get when your muscles have been well worked and thoroughly stretched. I cannot recommend Boxing Yoga highly enough and
I’ll definitely be going back for another class soon.
46 Tottenham Lane, London N8 7ED boxingyoga.com