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A new spin on spin

Calling all yoga bunny gym phobes, there’s a new spin studio in Cheltenham that has your name on it. Ella & Fleur Hot Yoga has branched out and opened a bespoke urban ride studio kitted out with state-of-the-art bikes ready to work those yoga bods into a different kind of sweat.

The space, which opened at the beginning of January, is cool in both senses of the word. Black floors, stainless-steel wall panels, Star Wars-style, coloured lights and those super snazzy cycles – it’s the yang to the yoga studio’s yin. And it’s not hot, obviously, because you’re going to generate your own heat in there.

I arrived for my class feeling some trepidation – for me, breaking into a sweat coincides with rising temperatures, not high-intensity cardio, but luckily, I wasn’t the only spin virgin. A couple of other yogis in the class admitted they were also feeling nervous about swapping the bend for the burn.

But, as it turned out, we had nothing to worry about. Olivia, our instructor who is also a yoga teacher so knows how to be kind, took us through the 45-minute class with gentle encouragement, keeping us in synch with each beat of each high-energy track on the spin playlist. The music, I soon realised, was my friend here. If I got lost in it, I could almost forget that I was cycling like a maniac during the sprints. With each burst you’re encouraged to add on a bit of resistance, which I was totally planning to cheat on, but found I was up for the challenge. And at the apex of our sprints, when Olivia cheered us on to not let the beat catch us up, I was flooring it Sir Chris Hoy style, with crotchets and minims in hot pursuit.

To the slower beats, we stood up in the saddle with the resistance pumped up, dipped up and down to work our arms and slo-moed our legs for a deeper muscle workout. The class ended with a cool-down and stretch and when I got off the bike, I could walk! No wobbly legs, no dizziness, no feeling sick – I felt exhilarated rather than exhausted. One of my fellow yogis who’d worn a calorie monitor informed me she’d burned a whopping 467 calories – what a result! Next stop brunch!!

Olivia believes spin compliments yoga brilliantly as it gets your energy up, as well as working the whole body – legs obviously, but also your core and arms. And, without really noticing it, you’re also working with your breath as you switch from slow pedals to sprints, sitting down to standing up. A yoga class would be a perfect wind-down post-spin and, as your muscles would already be warmed up, you’d be able to get deep into poses without having to push too hard. Yin and yang indeed. Genius.

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Kate Sinclair Penman
Absolutely wonderful, a calm, serene atmosphere with super classes and teachers. My fab find of the year.

– Kate Sinclair Penman

Steph Caller
Really awesome studio and lovely instructors :) x.

– Steph Caller

Rachel Barr
A diverse range of classes, designed to be accessible and challenging for all abilities. Friendly instructors (and students) help to create an ego- and judgment-free atmosphere where everyone can feel comfortable working within their own limits!

– Rachel Barr

Louise Turnock
I've been going for a few months now and I have been welcomed and I enjoy the atmosphere within the studios - teachers and classes are amazing - highly recommend to anyone.

– Louise Turnock

Kathy Ran
Amazing place with awesome teachers! I really enjoy the teacher trainings!

– Kathy Ran

Jackie Herbett
A total beginner who has been made to feel really welcome. I have tried two different classes now and was really well looked after and guided in both. A lovely environment and calming atmosphere, absolutely recommended.

– Jackie Herbett

Jason Miles
I love this studio - really hip and young vive with good solid CORE energy - Ella and Roman are super teachers with a real love that shows through their instructions and care -- Lovvvvvvinnnn ELLA and FLEUR Studio.

– Jason Miles

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