The Yoga and Pilates scene is huge in London. It is one of those cities where a combination of things play together to contribute to this growing trend: London has an ageing population with severe air pollution, mainly due to traffic but also due to residential consumption. As such, many people in London are seeking ways to obtain a lung detox, improve their fitness levels and as we all know: with an ageing population, comes challenges that the doctor cannot always help you with, hence those who look for a holistic solution in London turn towards Yoga and Pilates – and rightly so.
All across the city of London there are studios, but neighbourhoods that stand out as particular hotspots, are Chelsea/Fulham, Camden, the Clapham area as well as Chiswick and West London. Soho and Shoreditch are now starting to climb up the yoga ladder too. There is now also a school of Thai Yoga massage in London – where you can learn so much more about these techniques.
Below is a list of popular Yoga and Pilates studios you should consider:
Triyoga, Chelsea, Soho, Camden and Covent Garden
The Triyoga studios are quite popular because of their spacious beautiful rooms and amazing teachers. It is easy to visit both the Soho or the Chelsea branch and they both have loads of classes at various levels. They do hot classes which are infra-red heated (i.e. not as warm as Bikram) but the classes I prefer are Vinyasa Flow level 2 or 3. Some of their basic classes I find too easy for me. Keep an eye out for classes with Aram Raffy, Stewart Gilchrist, Natasha Kerry, Amme Poulton, Claire Missingham and Rachel Okimo. Their studios also have great cafes with smoothies, juices and food. Triyoga is perfect for beginners as they have a great variety of classes, from Kirtan and meditation to Ashtanga and Pilates. Intro offer is £20 for 2 weeks unlimited yoga and mat Pilates. I was also super happy to find out that they are on Classpass and unlike many other yoga studios on there, they actually offer out almost all of their classes.
Yotopia, Covent Garden
Yotopia may be quite small and mostly packed but it still makes it to the top of the list of London yoga studios because of it’s really great teachers, schedule and location. People love their classes: with Alessia Avellino and Marcus Veda. It’s obvious that the other students for the most part are people who come back as you see a lot of the same faces and the level of practice is quite high in general regardless of class. On Mondays they have a handstand class which is awesome! As it’s such a busy studio I recommend bringing your own mat, especially if you do a class in their heated room. Their intro-offer is £35 for 20 days of consecutive yoga and they are also on ClassPass.
Indaba yoga, Marylebone
If Triyoga and Yotopia are great a variety of levels, Indaba is for old school yogi masters. Unless you go to beginners level, classes are extremely challenging and you will often see people in their 60’s and 70’s jumping up in scorpion handstands and other intense poses. I saw that they have a Masters Dharma Mitra class and I wonder what they teach there (flying??). I really recommend this studio, but make sure you go to beginners level classes unless you have been practising for a while. Intro offer is £25 for 10 days of unlimited classes and they are on ClassPass.
Jivamukti Yoga London, Ladbroke Grove
This is the London version of the Jivamukti Center in NYC, which was set up by David Life and Sharon Gannon, the founders of Jivamukti yoga. Jivamukti combines both spiritual and psycical aspects of yoga so classes often include meditation and sometimes sanscrit reading. I understand that’s not everyone’s cup of tea but I personally love it. This is an amazing studio so the only reason to why I don’t go as often is because it takes me ages to get there. I really wish it was in a more central location! Intro offer £20 for 10 days unlimited yoga. They are on Classpass, yay!
Lululemon, Covent Garden and Chelsea
This active wear store offers free yoga classes on Sundays and they often have teachers coming in from various parts of the world, which is always interesting. You don’t need to book but make sure to be there a little bit before. No need to bring mats as they provide them. Actually, Sweaty Betty is another store that offers free classes too, check out their web page for schedule.
Yoga in the Shard by Yogasphere
This has to be one of the coolest yoga classes I have been to. At 800ft the view of central London is just breath-taking. The class itself wasn’t as challenging as I normally like it but the overall experience was of course amazing. I actually haven’t been to any of Yogaspehere’s studios yet but it’s on my to-do list of places to check out.
Hotpod Yoga, Notting Hill, Hackney, Brixton etc.
Hotpod Yoga provide Vinyasa yoga in inflatable heated studios that look like something you might find at a children’s theme park. I went to one that was on a rooftop in Hackney which was cool as it had a beautiful view and great instructor. Hotpod also does corporates so you can rent one of their pods and instructor for company, which is pretty great. Prices start from £12 and they are on Classpass.
Secret Yoga Club
This is another fun option for a different and more social yoga experience. SYC does events all around London, usually consisting of a 1,5 hour yoga class accompanied by live music and followed by a dinner. Check out their Facebook page for updates on events.
Inner Space, Covent Garden
This is a charity run meditation center so classes are donation only. If you are new to meditation I really recommend going to Inner Space to try a session. They also do courses and talks.