Irina’s yoga classes are the best in Sutton Coldfield. Fact.
When you first arrive, there’s a bit of Irina’s regular relaxed chat to greet you – stories from the last class, comments on everyone’s progression, and a few ideas she’s had since her last practice. This lady lives yoga; and not in the internalised, self-righteous way that might have put you off yoga in the past. Irina’s version on yoga is creative and dynamic – using moves she maybe doesn’t even have a name for yet.
“I’ve been thinking a lot about what to call this one, and I think we’re going to call it Ready-Steady-Go…”
she thinks aloud, bringing the run-of-the-mill downward dog into something that more resembles a sprinter on the starting blocks. It’s a wicked hamstring stretch up by the seat bones.
If you’ve ever done yoga before, you’ll know what I mean by “sad, floppy yoga”. This is not that. You are almost guaranteed to ache the day after a class with Irina. Her focus is on building strength as much as it is on stretching out. And after a few classes, you’ll feel like a circus performer who just got out of cross fit.
Inversions aren’t in every class, though fairly common. The more challenging sections of Irina’s classes tend to focus on what she refers to as flying. These are balance moves at their best – crow, warrior three, crazy side planks with only one leg on the floor!
“You think you can’t, but you can!”
Irina explains the moves step by step, meaning you can achieve postures you never thought you could. Move from the chest, bring your eye-gaze up, suck your belly up off your thighs…
And suddenly it all makes sense. These aren’t cues you might have heard in yoga classes before, but Irina’s got a way of getting her instructions stuck deep in the back of your brain; so you learn quickly to improve your stance in most postures – you’ll be thinking about how your spine-stretches felt different with your belly sucked in every yoga class of your life from now on.
The last part of the class is of course the savassanah – the part where you get to lay on the floor and relax. Everyone’s favourite. Irina winds the class down slowly; a few stretches on the mat, shuffling around to get comfy, then eyes closed, and you probably just about notice the quiet, relaxing music that’s been playing for the last hour. Irina always makes sure to include a little note of gratitude at the end of class – to feel thankful to your body for the ability to practice today – a really lovely way to round things off.
If you want more after the hour’s class, Irina runs frequent workshop classes in Sutton Coldfield, which can last two or three hours, and focus on something very specific – strength, relaxation, flexibility… working towards the full splits. There’s a workshop for all abilities and special areas of interest.
All the information about Irina’s classes can be found at