Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Lick Yoga in Brighton, a review

people doing yoga

Let me start by saying that I'm no yogi extraordinaire. I practice at home semi frequently (guided by Yoga with Adriene) and have attended several classes around London over the past few years, but I'd still put myself down as a baby intermediate.

Since moving back down to Sussex earlier this year I've been meaning to try and find a regular class to develop my practice a bit and maybe meet some new people. Last night I finally kicked it off with a class at Lick Yoga in Brighton.


Lick Yoga, The Lick Warehouse, New England House, Brighton, BN1 4GQ, UK


Tuesday evenings, 7:30-8:30pm.


It's run on donations so that anyone can come (hooray!) but they suggest a fiver. You can let them know you're coming via their Facebook page.


Lick is first and foremost a frozen yogurt company. Yeah really. They run this yoga class, along with other community projects, out of their warehouse/office space in Brighton.

Their website states that each class is different and explores different themes. They supply the mats and equipment, although you can bring your own if you like, and anyone is welcome no matter their level or experience. Lovely.

My experience

It took me ages to find the place. New England House is big and ugly and at first glance appears to be long abandoned, but after wandering around it a few times with my bike and reading the website instructions (they do a good job of explaining it if you read it properly the first time) I found myself at an unsignposted door. Thankfully a lady stuck her head out of said door and confirmed that I was in fact at the right place and introduced herself as Dionne.

Dionne, Lick's yoga teacher, has the sort of smile and healthy glow that makes you like her immediately. Her welcome lifted the tension that had been building because of the odd location and once inside another friendly guy (whose name escapes me) said hello and offered to top up my water bottle.

The yoga takes place in their warehouse style office with the desks pushed to one side to make room for the mats and atmospheric little disco lights projected onto the ceiling. I could smell bread baking somewhere in the building which was lovely at first but which then soon started mixing with the smell of someone's feet nearby and became far less pleasant. 

It was a very warm day and the room was very warm too, so Dionne welcomed us all and said that we'd be taking things very slow today with a focus on releasing lower back tension. Sounded great to me. But I didn't quite realise how slow she meant. 

The next hour was spent mostly on my back, making very small movements and stretching my legs with the aid of a yoga strap. I know yoga takes many forms but I'm used to a flow of Hatha yoga poses and this instead left me feeling as though I hadn't done much of anything except lie down and have a bit of a stretch. But hey, that's exactly what some people want from yoga, so I'm not bashing it.

The class ended with some free Lick fro-yo (which was absolutely delicious by the way) and I left the building with a flood of relief to find my bike still chained up outside in one piece.

pot of lick frozen yogurt

Pros and cons

My pros:
  • Cool informal space (once you're in)
  • Approachable and friendly yoga teacher
  • Free fro-yo
  • Pay what you can afford
  • Equipment provided
My cons:
  • I'd like a more typical core practice to build on and I don't think I'll get this with Lick's changing themes.
  • Interesting heat and smells to contend with in the summer.
  • The location wouldn't feel particularly safe to me during the darker winter months.

Lick Yoga is cool, there's no doubt about it. It's friendly, it's creative, it's easy going. It will be exactly what some people are looking for. It's just not what I'm looking for. The search continues!

Photo credits: