It’s a new year and time for a fresh start! One of your New Year’s resolutions may well be to try out a new yoga class in this brilliant city of ours and there are no shortage of them. You can choose from hot yoga, yin yoga, vinyasa flow, iyengar yoga and many others besides. But sometimes it’s hard to justify shelling out yet more money on this yoga obsession of yours, so here at YogaLondon, we’ve come up with the solution…
Tucked away in various shops, community centres and studios throughout the city, are wonderful places offering completely FREE yoga classes to those in the know. We’ve put together TEN of the best free yoga classes in the city – so, just because you’re strapped for cash – you don’t have to be deprived of your weekly yoga fix.
Our Pick of Free Yoga Classes
1. Iyengar Yoga Institute
Set in the tranquil setting of the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Maida Vale, are FREE taster classes on offer to those who’d like to try Iyengar yoga. Held throughout the year, their aim is to give new students a chance to try out yoga in a friendly setting with other people at the same level. No previous experience is necessary. It’s also open to those students who are more familiar with other yoga methods.
All equipment is provided, and shoes are left in the racks by the entrance. Sign up here to book the next free class.
2. East London Community Well Being
Run by the charity St. Margaret’s House, Yoganest is a project promoting wellbeing and engaging with the local community in Bethnal Green through the provision of low-cost and free yoga classes. While you’re there you could also take advantage of all the other wonderful things going on, such as a rolling calendar of cultural events and an on-site vegan cafe. This unique charity provides spaces for residents to eat, shop, learn, create, and enjoy a diverse cultural program.
One of the varied programme of yoga lessons on offer at St Margaret’s House is a completely FREE Friday evening flow class. Suitable for all levels, this class combines breath and movement, strengthening and stretching both body and mind. Find more details here.
3. Oval Yoga
Run by the charismatic Alonso from Rio, Oval Yoga offers a free taster class to anyone interested, on the proviso that there is space in the class. He teaches regular weekly mixed-ability Hatha Yoga classes in Kennington Oval, Stockwell,
Brixton, Vauxhall and adjacent South London neighbourhoods.
Choose from two regular evening classes or opt for an atmostpheric candlelit class on a Sunday evening if you feel like trying something a little bit different!
Although you might be thinking ‘Now is not the time of year that I want to be doing yoga in a PARK’ – fear not! OurParks not only organises activities in London’s many green areas, but also in community spaces. And even better, the classes are completely FREE. OurParks was created to make it easy and free for you to get fit, which sounds like an excellent idea to us. Their site is easy to use, colour-coded to give you an idea of how intense the classes are, and gives an up to date list of all the classes coming up.
If you’re feeling hardcore, and in need of fresh air, you can pick Outdoor Yoga in London Fields, or opt for (the slightly cosier) Flow Yoga at Leyton Sixth Form College, to name just a couple of choices. You need to register on the site first, and then book a place – for more info you can watch a handy booking guide here.
And to see a list of classes and get going, book here.
5. LightCentre Moorgate
The Light Centre in Moorgate is a health and wellbeing centre offering over sixty different classes weekly, from mindfulness to Pilates-Reformer classes as well as a variety of different health therapies. A haven of relaxation in the midst of the city, one of the things we love most about this centre is that you can try it out totally free of charge.
With ‘Breakfast Club’ classes to suit the early-riser, 75-minute Vinyasa Flow classes and weekly beginners’ classes, all levels and all schedules are welcome. We love that you can grab a rejuvenating snack after your class here too – a green juice for the road or a fruit pot to devour (smugly) at your desk. Sign up for your free class here.
6. Sweaty Betty
Putting a new meaning to the phrase, ‘working out in Sweaty Betty’, the free yoga classes here can be booked in advance and taught by certified experts. The only catch is that you have to sign up to become a member but don’t we all have five minutes to spare for 60-minutes of free fitness?
We suggest you’re quick though as the word has gotten out about the Sweaty little secret and classes tend to get booked up quite quickly. Find out whether your nearest store could become your newest workout venue here.
You may have spent copious amounts of time during your yoga-practicing-years browsing the shelves and rails of this popular sports clothing store but have you ever thought about pushing aside the ‘End of Season Sale’ rack and stretching out on the floor? Well why not try it — with a weekly, completely complimentary, in-store yoga class!
Guided by expert local teachers, all over London, you’ll be able to unfurl your mat in the midst of your chosen store and spend 60-minutes stretching and relaxing. LuluLemon put great emphasis on creating a community outside of a simple shopping experience and aside from free yoga classes you can also get involved with festivals and retreats. Never believed you’d be able to leave a LuluLemon store having not spent a penny? Well believe it! Sign up here.
8. Essence of Good Health
With a real belief that no one should be exempt from the benefits of yoga, Essence of Good Health Yoga has been providing free hatha yoga classes for over 15 years. A real mixture of levels attend these two-hour classes and a sense of community and care is present throughout.
A gentle warm up and an hour of asanas is followed by half an hour of pranayama and guided relaxation to ensure that you leave feeling as good as possible. A bootcamp for the body and mind (in the gentlest sense) can be expected, along with a warm welcome and loads of attention — there is usually more than one teacher to make sure that everyone gets the help and guidance they need.
As the classes are run free of charge, donations are welcome and most who attend give around £2 to help fund this worthwhile project. They are held once a week on a Monday in Croydon from 7-9pm at: The Archbishop Lanfranc School Mitcham Road Croydon Surrey CR9 3AS.
9. London Buddhist Centre
Not strictly free, but by donation (which is still very cheap!) the London Buddhist Centre in Bethnal Green runs classes on Monday and Friday lunchtimes and early evenings throughout the week. Classes are drop in and mats are provided.
10. Stress Project Yoga Holloway
Not exactly free either, but practically free, as classes at the Holloway Community Centre cost only £2 per lesson, which we think you’ll agree is amazing value.
Holloway Neighbourhood Group is a local charity working in the London Borough of Islington. Their aim is to offer local people the chance to live fulfilled lives as part of the community. In 1995 they established the Stress Project – providing therapeutic and social support to people living with mental health probems and stress related illness. This includes their low-cost yoga classes, held every Wednesday, 12.30 to 1.30pm at the Old Fire Station Community Centre.
84 Mayton Street, N7 6QT, 020 7607 9794