Hey yoga bunnies! Are you tired of doing the downward-facing dog in the same old gym? Well worry not, we’ve got just the thing to rejuvenate that inner yogi.
The health and wellbeing benefits of yoga have been well-documented.
Yoga is thought to ease the pain in stiff joints of arthritis sufferers, reduce anxiety and depression in expectant mothers and even give women undergoing radiotherapy for breast cancer a much better quality of life by helping them to better control of stress hormones.
And who could be more in need of a little de-stressing and TLC than stressed Londoners who are working every hour under the sun and then cramming themselves onto the Underground to head back to their overpriced flat?
Armed with a yoga matt and our trusty Oyster card, HuffPost UK Lifestyle scoured the four corners of the world London Underground to bring you a selection of classes with a twist.
Scroll through our shortlist for everything from Aerial Yoga (yes, that means hanging upside-down) to Secret Yoga Club (a fusion of exercise, live music and tasty vegetarian food).
We’d love to know about the exciting yoga classes taking place near you. Tell us about them in the comments below or email uklifestyle@Healthyvegancooking.com
Designed to balance the male and female forces within the body, Fierce Grace meets strength with flexibility to promote health, emotional harmony and mental clarity.
A combination of classical Hatha, Bikram and Ashtanga yoga, Michele Pernetta has designed a system (of which there are five types of class – see here for breakdown) based on feedback and observations over years of teaching from her four London-based studios.
The classes are conducted in a hot room (approximately 38 degrees) to allow optimum results in the minimum amount of time.
Find our more about Fierce Grace here.
Set in different venues around London, Secret Yoga Club is a yoga class, intimate gig and delicious supper club all rolled into one.
Not to mention it’s seriously cool.
Founder and yoga teacher Gabrielle Hales teaches yoga flow and Jivamukt to a class of no more than 18. At the end of the class during savasana (where yogis lay on their back in relaxation “dead body” pose) the class is treated to a private gig with an up-and-coming artist — for us it was the dulcet tones of Luisa Gerstein from The Landshapes. The table is then set and the class are treated to a delicious vegetarian meal — ours was prepared talented chef and ice-cream maker Nina Parker.
“One of the reasons that people aren’t keen on yoga or exercising in the evening is that they feel like they are missing out on socialising or doing something with friends,” Gabby told HuffPost UK Lifestyle.
“I thought if I could bring everything together — the yoga, beautiful live music, food and friends — then it would be the perfect evening!”
She’s certainly on to something. But shh! it’s a secret.
Our class was held in the eccentric Dalston Boys Club, which — filled with mannequins and lit by candlelight — made for the perfect ethereal setting. (See image)
Find out more about Secret Yoga Club here
If you’ve plateaued in your yoga practise than Rocket Yoga may be the class for you.
Dynamic and fast-paced, this class is based on Ashtanga yoga and earned its name “rocket” simply because it “gets you there faster”.
90 minutes of vinyasas and challenging postures – you’ll never be able to do a yoga handstand unless you try – to uplifting music, you’ll leave sweating and invigorated.
As Frame says on its website: “It’s advanced yoga for everybody, not just the advanced.”
Rocket Yoga at Frame Shoreditch
Inspired by film ‘Paris Is Burning’, yoga teacher Juliet dreamt up the fabulous fusion – which combines the dance craze of vogueing with regular yoga – one summer in London.
Not content with the yoga postures currently on offer, she created a few of her own to fit the fabulousness of Voga (for a visual cue think: the Unicorn and the Pheonix).
Practised to the soundtrack of funky 80s classics – including Janet Jackson’s ‘What Have You Done For Me Lately’ – you can’t help but smile when strutting around on the yoga mat. Listen to it here.
While it may not be for everyone – serious yogis approach with caution – anyone with a sense of humour, who is partial to a boogie will LOVE it.
Inspired by aerial circus art and Vinyasa Yoga, the silk hammock is hung from the ceiling and used to suspend participants into seemingly impossible yoga postures.
The class begins with simple poses like downward dog, lunge and warrior, but uses the soft trapeze as a prop for an even deeper stretch. Then it progresses into more challenging postures like hanging diamonds, handstands and the inverted yogi, to create a weightless alignment that strengthens muscles and releases pressure from compressed joints.
Try it at Virgin Active Health Clubs
Fat Buddha Yoga is a far cry from wheatgrass smoothies and secluded hilltop retreats, instead this energetic urban yoga class hopes to teach a balance “between modern stress and hedonism with healthy and positive living”.
From sunny summer rooftops to nightclub basements, 5* hotels to disused power stations, the locations are varied as the class offering. Try NRG at Dalston Roof Park from 11am on Saturdays (pictured) or FIRE every other Tuesday evening from 7pm at The Black & White Building.
Founded by Jessica Skye, who is yogi by day and DJ by night, Fat Buddha Yoga promises awesome playlists to soothe and energise.
Tempted? Listen to their Soundcloud playlist
Housed in a pop-up inflatable heated studio — think bouncy castle, but without the inflatable floor — Hotpod Yoga aims to bring heated yoga classes to the masses.
Classes are taught using the Vinyasa (or flow) yoga method, which uses controlled breathing and a range of challenging moves to strengthen, tone, detox, calm the mind while promoting weight-loss (one session promises to burn 700 calories).
Think yoga is all downward dogs and trying (and failing) to do a headstand? Think again.
While many gyms would have us believe that yoga is a form of exercise, where we push ourselves to perform better, there’s a lot to be said for chilling out – especially if you live in London.
Good Vibes yoga is one London-based committed to practising some serious downtime.
Glow Yoga Bliss is a restorative yoga class in warm FAR infra-red heat. The class starts with mobility movements to juice up you joints before you lie in supported pose to undo the stresses of your day.
Glow Yang and Yin – is a creative yoga flow followed by a restorative and yoga nidra, this is a great class for those who need a rhythmic flow before they are ready to release. The yoga nidra is a guided meditation that will leave you feeling totally blissed out. Available in 75 and 90 mins.
Glow Yoga Bliss is at Covent Garden: Fridays 6pm and Sundays 3.15pm.
Glow Yang and Yin is at Covent Garden on Sundays 11am and at Fitzrovia on Mondays (7:15pm) and Fridays (6pm).
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