It’s a new year, potentially a ‘whole new you’ (depending on what you’ve pledged yourself this year) and the perfect time to try something new with your yoga practice too. The wild and wonderful metropolis of London has thoroughly embraced yoga in 2015 making use of some of its most intriguing spaces, and creating some of its own, to host classes. Whether you’re looking to literally elevate your practice or add a little bounce to your step, there is a yoga class to suit you somewhere and we think we’ve found the best. Let 2016 be the year you do something unexpected…
1) Yoga at the Shard
Ever feel on top of the world after your yoga session? Well, now’s the time to do so during your practice too with yoga at the Shard. 68 floors above the ground, as you step out of the elevator, a sense of calm envelops you and this peace remains with you throughout the class, shared only with the birds floating past the windows. Begin (or end) your day on a high.
Why I love it: It’s great to be able to get up to the top of the Shard without having to book in for an expensive meal six months in advance!
2) Try Some Voga
Voga is very much what it almost says on the tin: a fusion of yoga and the empowering poses of voguing to create a high powered, high energy and high fashion workout. Described as ‘yoga with sass’ you’ll work your way through a sequence of movements that will be both familiar and unfamiliar to you at the same time. Using the breathing techniques and synchronised movements you do on a daily basis alongside the much more flamboyant, expressive motions inspired by Madonna’s 80s hit, you’ll leave energised, confident and bursting with serotonin.
Why I love it: I love the attitude of the class, why should Saturday night only happen once a week?
3) Fat Buddha Yoga at Google Campus
We associate Google with a lot of things – fast moving, very technical things usually – but we probably don’t think of yoga. The time has come to think again because every Tuesday at the Google Campus an open level Vinyasa Flow class means you can take a break from your screen and reconnect with yourself in the midst of this hub of creativity and development. You’ll soon be looking at Google very differently, upside down probably, in a headstand.
Why I love it: I use Google for a lot of things, I probably spend more time with it then I do any of my friends, yet I think there is still a preconception that Google and YouTube and all these high-techy places sit somewhere in an ivory tower so it’s great to be able to actually touch Google. It’s also a great conversation starter, ‘So I was in Camel Pose at Google HQ today when…’
4) Yung Club Yoga
I am tempted to call Yung Club Yoga classes an art installation rather than just a practice, as the immersive body, light and sound experience brings the class to a new level. A fusion of Ashtanga and Kundalini yoga practised in an ever changing audio-visual surrounding means that no two practices will ever be the same. Become your own piece of poetic art and escape the world outside for a little while.
Why I love it: It’s just SO cool. I am a real art lover and Yung Club feels to me like a great way to combine two of my favourite hobbies. Plus, it’s a great way to feel really involved in instead of waiting for someone to ask you to be their muse — which I am still hopeful will happen to me soon.
5) Hot Pod Yoga
Instead of heading home to wrap yourself up in a blanket this winter why not cocoon yourself in the inflatable heated pods of Hot Pod Yoga: the ideal environment for a warm Vinyasa Flow class accompanied by calming scents, tranquil tunes and low lighting. Anyone who has tried Bikram or Hot Yoga before will know how practising in the heat warms the muscles, and the soul, making you extra flexible as well as burning more calories. Think bouncy castle meets zen with this pop-up pod yoga class.
Why I love it: I know it can be a controversial concept amongst yogis, but I love Bikram yoga. The inner child in me loves the idea of going into a bouncy, heated pod while the outer adult in me loves the idea of destressing after a day’s work and burning off that extra biscuit I had at the strategy meeting.
6) Glow Yoga with Good Vibes
Christmas is over, New Year is a distant (and probably hazy) memory, and the cold nights have lost their magic. We could all do with a little extra glow, which is exactly what the people at Good Vibes Yoga have provided. They may not be able to rewind back to that moment you lay in front of the fire, wearing or eating all your Christmas presents, but they can provide a warm and uplifting environment in which to realign yourself. With infrared heat to help skin recover from a long winter and SAD lighting to give your mood that little helping hand, Glow Yoga is sure to remind you that the sun can always shine within. In fact Good Vibes Yoga offer a whole range of yoga classes from Vinyasa Flow to Rocket.
Why I love it: I’m all for anything that has ‘good vibes’ in the name and could definitely do with a little help ‘glowing’ this January.
7) Secret Yoga Club London
First rule of Secret Yoga Club? You don’t talk about Secret Yoga Club nor, for that matter, do you know where they are going to pop up next. Designing pop-up yoga classes complete with live music and a post class refuel, you never know what’s in store next so keep your eyes peeled for a ticket release. We would love to write more about this but we are as in the dark as you are about the next place you can expect to see them, the only thing we do know is prepare for a yoga practice like no other.
Why I love it: We all love a mystery and to feel like we are part of something exciting, so if I can combine this with uncertainty with the certainty of my yoga practice to anchor me I’m there! I’ve already set reminders on my phone to keep checking for the next class.
8) Serene Social
Variety is the spice of life and Serene Social is about as spicy as it gets: hosting wellness events at a variety of locations around London this cool company are putting yoga all over the map. From rooftops sessions at the Coq d’Argent restaurant where — amongst the foliage of the roof garden — you’ll enjoy a stunning view of St Paul’s Cathedral, to aerial yoga at the stylish Hotel Megaro in Kings Cross.
Why I love it: When I discovered yoga I also discovered a whole world of mindfulness and consciousness and this combination has enriched my life beyond anything I can imagine. This is why I love Serene Social — they combine wellness, meditation and learning with yoga to really enhance your growth and help you meet like-minded people.
We hope this list has inspired you to try something a little different with your practice this year. Did we miss out on your favourite alternative classes? Post on our Facebook page or send us a message to let us know!