I love yoga.
I started practising when I was 12 and when I was 21 ran off to an Ashram to train to be yoga teacher (before that became a ‘cool’ thing to do….).
No, I am not super bendy and I can’t stand on my head for 5 hours…. but I love it. Getting into a practice feels like starting to breathe again. I’ve cried, laughed and felt incredible release in these classes. When I lived in Australia, my yoga mat became some kind of point of salvation at the times I felt most home sick (in a cruel twist of irony BA made me throw it away before I flew home for good- lets just say I was a little over the baggage allowance…).
Despite practising at home, I much prefer a good yoga class. What makes a good yoga class? Well it depends on what it is you want to feel. Calm? Stretched? Strengthened?
Whatever it is your looking for I’ve compiled my list of favourite yoga studios & classes in London…
1. THE REFINERY
The first time I rocked up to The Refinery I wasn’t sure what to expect. As I walked down the stairs the smell of incense grew….as did my excitement for the class. The first class I took here was a Kundalini Yoga class- and it blew my mind. It was the first time I had experienced Kundalini Yoga- it is basically a form of asana (poses), chanting, pranayama (breathing) and meditation which release energy blocks and focuses on your chakras. This is what The Refinery is great for- brilliant, friendly and welcoming teachers who offer a wider variety of classes for you to explore. There is Yin, Hatha, Kundalini, Sound Healing, Power Yoga, Restorative yoga….
The teachers are brilliant- they don’t simply teach a class, they create a whole experience. Just go in with an open mind and enjoy it- you never know what you might discover.
The Refinery offers your first class for just £5 and a trial period of 10 unlimited days for £35. Find out more on their website: http://www.therefinerye9.com/#popmake-1912
I’ve actually written about this studio before because it is an absolute favourite! It is what I can only describe as a bubble of bliss in the city…The studio is gorgeous when you walk in- white walls and motivational quotes- you basically won’t want to leave and that’s before you’ve even taken your class.
There are a huge variety of teachers, each with their unique style of class, but all incredible. Some focus on inspirational teachings while other ended with a rub of lavender oil. And there’s even free Pukka teas for you to enjoy after.
Blue Cow offer your first class free and 2 weeks for just £30!
Previous blog post: https://belondoned.com/2017/07/20/blue-cow-yoga/
3. LOADED YOGA
Swinging away from the traditional yoga, I found an incredible class at Gymbox called Loaded Yoga. I’ll warn you now- this is not for Yoga Purists. Loaded yoga combines combines vinyasa flow with HIIT…..oh…. and wrist and ankle weights. Set against a heavy dubstep/ drum & bass soundtrack it is a fully immersive experience. And totally worth it when at the end you get to take those weights off and feel light as air. A great one if you feel yoga isn’t enough of a ‘sweaty workout’. They also do occasional ‘outdoor’ sessions which are worth keeping an eye out for!
Yep that’s right. No chanting or sound of gongs- you can now get into your yoga flow whilst listening to Drake. What a combo hey?
The Hip-Hop Hot Yoga class instantly takes you out of your day. The studio is dark and mirrorless, so you can fully embrace your workout without discovering new belly rolls in certain twists, or worrying what the person next to you thinks of your balancing face.
One of the things I loved about this class is that it isn’t quite Bikram levels of hot (which to be honest can make me feel like I’m about to pass out at times…). Instead, they use infrared heat to warm the studios to a more managable 35 degrees. Better stretching, more calorie burn, and less dizziness. Fab.
Oh, and you can have a lovely shower after to get rid of all that sweat. Lovely!
Hip Hop Hot Yoga is available at ONE LDN: https://oneldn.com/hip-hop-hot-yoga
I like Tri-Yoga for two reasons.
1. The simplicity.
Wooden floors. White walls. Yoga equipment.
2. The Variety.
Once again, Tri-yoga is somewhere that offers great variety- they even have children’s classes! It is fairly no frills, but sometimes with yoga that is just what you need….
To London & beyond….