As the yoga phenomenon spreads, this wonderful practice is no longer only taking place in studios and gyms. All over the world, yogis are looking outside of the studio-box and finding their bliss in some seriously interesting places. And we’re not just talking about hand-standing on a tropical beach (which is pretty much out of the question for most of us anyway!). A change of scenery is good for all of us and when combined with some relaxing yoga, you will probably feel doubly refreshed and rejuvenated. So when that studio class gets a little packed or the hectic “boom boom boom” of the Body Pump class next door gets too much why not try practicing somewhere different – it might give you a new perspective on things. Here at Hip and Healthy we have put together a guide to our favourite yoga classes taking place in some slightly less-conventional spaces.
Yoga in The Clouds
Well, almost in the clouds. Sixty-eight floors up (or seventy-two if the sun is shining) with panoramic views of London, yoga at the View from the Shard is quite simply incredible. The classes are run by charismatic duo Leo and Mandy from Yogasphere and take place every Saturday morning before the tourists flood in – yoga and a private viewing in one. Practicing yoga at 80ft above London has a surreal quality as you softly gaze over the city’s skyline while moving through your sun salutations. At the end of the class you will literally float back down to the ground.
Classes are every Saturday from 8:30-9:30am at the View from the Shard and cost £40 per person. You can book via the Yogasphere website.
Yoga in the Park
Now that the sun is finally out yoga classes are popping up in parks and other green spaces. Practicing yoga outdoors in nature has so many added benefits. The fresh air cleanses your lungs allowing more oxygen to flow through your body which has an energising effect – a perfect way to start your day. Also while saluting the sun, you are getting your daily dose of sunlight, an important pre-cursor for the production of vitamin D in your body which is vital for strong bones (click here to read H&H’s guide to strong bones).
Pama Yoga runs classes in Victoria Park and London Fields including a Saturday morning class for pregnant goddesses. If you live further West then, Slice Studios in Parsons Green regularly take their yoga classes on to the green if the sun is shining.
Yoga on the Water
Stand-up Paddle Board Yoga or SUP yoga as it is known by its devotees, has already stormed across the US and Australia. Although not quite tropical turquoise waters, SUP yoga is now offered in London, Brighton and a few other water-side locations across the UK. As well as the great benefits for your core muscles from constantly balancing, SUP yoga is refreshing and invigorating – sunshine and sea air is a cure for anything.
SUP Yoga is offered in London by Pure Yoga Zone and operates out of Kew Bridge and Hammersmith – check the Pure Yoga Zone website for more details. SUP Yoga Brighton also runs regular weekly classes on Hove Lagoon.
Yoga in a Museum
Flow back in time by taking your yoga mat into a museum or art gallery. A few of London’s iconic and beautiful old buildings, such as the Royal Academy and The Royal Opera House, have started to open their doors to yogis. The Secret Yoga Club and Lulu Lemon Athletica have both held pop-up yoga classes in said spaces. And to make it even better, these classes never just involve yoga – orchestras and gong baths lull you into a deep relaxation and sometimes post-savasana vegan feasts are served around candle-lit tables (bliss!).
Keep abreast of the Secret Yoga Club’s fabulous pop-ups by visiting their website.
image: Suzie Jay Photography