Hygge is a Danish word, loosely described as a feeling of comfort and contentment, where you appreciate the simple pleasures, like a cosy blanket, or a luxurious hot chocolate. Since December, we’ve been lucky enough to host a series of Sunday mini retreats, created by Lucy Aston of Yogadoo, that combine the practice of yoga with the concept of Hygge – Hygge Yoga™. But what happens at Hygge Yoga, and is it the feel-good experience we want it to be? We sent Amelia along to investigate…
Hygge Yoga takes place in the same Combe Grove studio as the classes I usually go to, but when I arrived the space had been transformed with candles, incense, and mats in a semi-circle, each with its own gift bag, pillow, and blanket. Of course, I got straight into the gift bag, and unwrapped a beautiful pair of woollen legwarmers – perfect for getting into the Hygge spirit on a cold & crisp February day.
Shortly afterwards Lucy (that’s her in the Hygge T-shirt) introduced us to the workshop and how Hygge Yoga had come into being. As it turns out, Hygge and yoga are natural partners. Hygge is all about being comfortable and relaxed, focussing on what’s important, noticing the simple things and being grateful for what you have. The yoga principles of self-love and gratitude are also foundations of hygge, so practicing yoga inspired by all things hygge makes an ideal combination.
A 90-minute yoga class followed, but the sequences and postures weren’t so much designed for working out as they were for restoring. So even though there was quite a spectrum of ability in the group, the session was rewarding for everyone. I enjoyed it so much that the time flew by, and it was time for savasana (the relaxing bit at the end of yoga practice, when sometimes I fall asleep) – which was all the better for having cosy blankets and pillows to nestle into.
Next, we headed over to the drawing room, where a roaring log fire was blazing, cucumber & mint iced water was waiting, and candles flickered throughout. We settled into sofas and cushions, some sat on the floor to get really comfy, still with our lovely Scandi blankets tucking us in, and Lucy talked us through a guided meditation. This isn’t something I’d tried before, but after doing it once I would love to try it again.
All of this relaxing had still built up quite an appetite, so I was pleased to see bowls of steaming soup, with sourdough bread and homemade cheese & pickle butter on their way to us. Next were huge piles of scones, cream and jam – bliss.
After putting the whole Hygge Yoga experience to the test, I can honestly say I don’t think there’s a better way to spend a Sunday afternoon. It’s a wonderful way to set up your outlook for the following week and I bounded into Monday feeling fully refreshed.
If you fancy trying Hygge Yoga yourself, or you’ve already got the bug and want to book for next autumn, keep an eye out for dates here: www.yogadoo.co.uk