YogaQuest is for the geek, the adventurer, the bookworm, the whimsical yogi who loves a good story and doesn’t take his or herself too seriously.
The Minneapolis-based studio offers narrated yoga classes that blend fandom with fitness—because yoga is all about balance, right? Combining yoga sequences for strength, balance, and flexibility with creative storytelling, YogaQuest’s classes work both your muscles and your laugh lines. The studio also focuses on body positive and adaptive yoga, creating an inclusive community for yogis of all shapes, sizes, levels, and species—humans, elves, hobbits, goblins, wizards, hippogriffs, and Klingons welcome!
Last weekend, YogaQuest kicked off the school season with their seven-week Back to Hogwarts series. As a Harry Potter fan with a love for storytelling and a penchant for whimsy, I enrolled immediately.
Curious about what it’s like to stretch, twist, and downward dog to fan fiction storytelling? Read on to get a glimpse of my first yoga journey at Hogwarts!
The Back to Hogwarts Yoga Experience: Year One
As first years, we began our journey with a deep breath in before running through a brick wall onto Platform 9 ¾. A soothing train ride through the English countryside was the perfect time to calm our minds and our nerves through meditation as we embarked on our first year at Hogwarts. The sound of the train chugged steadily in the background.
After a post-train-ride stretch accompanied by a chorus of “meows” and “moos” during cat-cow, we lunged our way to the front of the great hall to be sorted into our houses. We raised the Sorting Hat up onto our heads, stretching our side bodies while giving it time to think.
While no actual sorting took place, the Sorting Hat on Pottermore placed me in Gryffindor. I was always torn between Gryffindor and Hufflepuff until I recently realized that I’m basically Neville Longbottom—it’s always me, but the universe is just teaching me confidence, courage, and bravery.
Then it was time to make some magic!
In Defense Against the Dark Arts, we learned how to duel by sending our wands forward into Warrior II, down into Side Angle, and up and back into Peaceful Warrior. A quick overhead toss and catch of our wands took us through the same dueling routine on our left side.
In Charms, we learned how to disarm our opponents—just dummies for us first years—by sweeping our arms overhead and whooshing them down while yelling, “Expelliarmus!” A handful of wands clattered to the concrete floor after we all successfully disarmed our dummies.
In Flying class, we learned how to grab our brooms with a firm “Up!” before mounting them in a wide legged stance. Our teacher gave us two options for holding our broom: handlebars or the traditional fist over fist—”Whatever that means to you,” she added. “We’re all adults here.”
We prepared for takeoff by settling into Chair Pose, then rising onto the balls of our feet to lift off. We spent our time in the air learning tricks, like loop-de-loops, and more useful maneuvers, like how to turn. To turn left, for example, we stretched our left arm out and parallel to the ground while twisting our torsos slightly to the left, as pictured. Who knew Chair Pose was good practice for flying a broom?
After a tough first year, we had a good last night’s sleep in our four poster beds before departing our dorm rooms and the beloved Hogwarts castle for the longest summer ever.
Overall Review of YogaQuest & Back to Hogwarts Yoga
After one class, YogaQuest feels like my kind of yoga studio. As someone who is silly, whimsy, and still in love with make believe at thirty, I ate this class right up. I felt like these were my people!
Rose Nelson was both an awesome yoga teacher and storyteller. She brought me into the world of Hogwarts right away with her narrated meditation and kept me engaged within the castle grounds with imaginative storytelling, smooth transitions, and opportunities for interaction. She never broke out of her character as narrator, making the experience feel like a true adventure.
While the studio is small—with just enough space for twelve mats tops—the close quarters enhance YogaQuest’s open, inclusive, and close-knit community atmosphere, as if to say, “Relax! Laugh! Moo! We’re all friends here!” It’s also easier to be vulnerable with your belly laughs, animal sounds, and attempts to disarm Death Eaters with a hearty “Expelliarmus!” in a small group setting.
I can’t wait for years two through seven and to graduate from Hogwarts with with more strength in my body and more magic in my heart.
If you’re based in Minneapolis, sign up on YogaQuest’s scheduling page right meow!