oga is a big part of my life. Not only for the physical strength, training, discipline and all round wellness but the mental aspect which covers all these bases too. I don’t tend to tie myself down to a particular studio. I tend follow the teachers or styles from venue to venue choosing classes that suit my mood, location, budget and time frame. Having sampled a range around London I have a fairly good grasp on the accessible yogi scene and can always find a class for any occasion, time or energy level. However there are always more to sample so the practice continues. If there are any I haven’t tried that you recommend then please get in touch!
Here I’ve listed the yoga studios and classes I’ve tried with a brief review of each. However I would suggest my top studio at present is ‘Frame’. ‘Another Space’ is another favourite but being on the dearer end of the price range its a treat place!
Prices are included and are very rough for an average class for a good immediate comparison for value for money. However, most studios do great Introductory package *- a small set fee, usually about £20, for 1 month unlimited use! Thats a great way to try out all their classes, teachers and times to see what best suits you. And since an average class is about £15 spending an extra £5 for unlimited use for a month is a no brainer even if you only go twice! Try them all, I pretty much have! Bargain.
For now, happy reading. Namaste.
rame (Move your…) –
Where – Victoria, Queens Park, Shoreditch and Kings Cross (£13 drop in 60 minutes)
What – A modern, edgy and trendy studio with excellent teachers! This is my go-to for a guaranteed challenging, professional and inspiring yoga class. Great equipment including lovely lululemon mats and a really calming and welcoming environment. I’ve attended the Victoria, Queens Park and Kings Cross venues only but if these are anything to go by then full steam ahead (Kings Cross even has its own King’s Cross ‘Yoga’ studio purely for yoga in addition to the cardio and fitness studio tucked round the back in a peaceful bliss). With a little yogi cafe in reception on arrival – think avocado on toast and buckwheat granola – there is plenty to offer. I’m a regular here at the weekends.
Frequency & Range- A wide range of classes as Frame focus not only on yoga but on dance, ballet and core training too. Yoga styles are predominantly Vinyasa and Power yoga. Classes are at varying times throughout the week and weekend.
Equipment – High quality equipment. Excellent changing rooms complete with lockers, showers, hairdryers, straighteners and gorgeous smelling shower gel products. The cafe serves simple breakfasts and energy boosting foods, smoothies and juices.
Where – Parsons green (£14 drop in 60 minutes. Introductory offer available*)
What – This small studio is near and dear to my heart after beginning my practice here when I first moved to London. It is predominantly female orientated (no male changing room for example) but by no means are men not welcome! It does also has a family vibe with kiddie and baby classes at the weekend that you don’t tend to notice once you’re in the zone. Slice also have a small gym and spinning studio and offer more than just yoga with pilates, ballet and dance sessions too. A great range of classes with high end teachers.
Frequency & Range- A good range of class types and yoga styles from Vinyasa, Rocket and Yin. Classes are at good times but limited at the weekend as they close around noon.
Equipment – Small but functional changing rooms complete with lockers, showers, towels on offer, hairdryers, straignters etc. A good range of equipment.
Where– High Street Kensington (£28 drop in 60 minutes. First class discount £20)
What – This is a modern and stylish studio that oozes youth – think the red light district does gyms with its underground studios, black decor and moody neon lights. However it is dear in price. My first class for example I saw the smirking likes of MIC’s Spencer Matthews attend a tough spinning session as Core Collective offers more than just yoga. If anything I would say its fitness orientated with yoga as a nice addition. The yoga classes are well led and very professional but the room is small and the vibe is a little dungeon like and gloomy. Not my ideal yoga spot for inspiration, comfort and a welcoming atmosphere as it can be a bit on the intimidating side for a newbie. But if you’re after a hard core spinning, a toned fit PT or a circuit training class that will have you sweating like a pig then its your place. I attended a ‘Velocity’ circuit training class led by what I can only describe as a ‘toned God’ which was immensely tough but great fun and worth the sweat. The eye candy is excellent and the staff are friendly too. A monthly treat for me as its not in my budget for a regular session.
Frequency & Range– A good range of classes but yoga focuses mainly on Rocket and Vinyasa. Good times throughout the day and weekend.
Equipment – Very small changing rooms but complete with lockers a few showers and hairdryers. Good equipment and an excellent circuit training set. And a lovely cafe above with re energise you post session.
Where– Fitzrovia (£17 drop in 60 minutes. First class discount)
What – This studio is a really nice concept with well led classes. But located underneath the established ‘Detox Kitchen’ deli, accessed through the same entrance it does sadly feel as if they have turned the basement store room into a pricey yoga space which essentially they have…. The room is small and feels a little claustrophobic but its a ‘nice’ class especially if you want to end it with a healthy and tempting array of deli treats in the cafe above.
Frequency & Range – Limited
Equipment – No changing rooms so come as you are unless you fancy a quick change in the toilet which could be a wait since you share it with the rest of the cafe and your fellow yogis! But a lovely cafe for a quick bite post yoga
Where – Wandsworth (£16 drop in 60 minutes. Introductory offer available*)
What – A new local find for me and a real gem. Located above ‘Planet Organic’ in Southside Shopping Centre once you’ve finally dodged the temptation of all the healthy produce on the way and make it to the back of the store you enter up a set of stairs to a great little studio. With a clean, industrial themed vibe (stainless steel stairs and brick glad walls) it has a great modern but cool atmosphere. A large glass window frames the front of the studio letting the sun steam in over your sun salutations. The studio is complete with large mirrors and high ceilings. Local Motion has some really great classes and a vast range that I haven’t seen anywhere else that accessibly in London yet and which I’m really keen to explore. Take their Broga class for example (Yoga for men) or their Califit and Animal yoga sessions.
Frequency & Range– Vast. Yoga style range from Vinyasa and Rocket to Animal yoga. They also have a good range of core strength classes. Session times good during the week at ‘working people’ times but limited options at the weekend sadly.
Equipment – Great. With a big range of class types their equpietment is vast. And with Planet Organic downstairs you can fuel your fire post session on a healthy treat.
ower yoga company
Where – Parsons Green (£14 drop in 60 minutes. Introductory offer available*)
What – If you are a fan of warm yoga then this is the studio for you! Located charmingly in a loft conversion in Parsons Green it has a New York City vibe. A great little juice cafe and a really welcoming atmosphere this place hits the nail on the head for real isolated tranquility away from the hustle and bustle of London. Incense and scented candles burning on arrival sooth the soul even before you start your practice. And the classes seem to draw a real range of great yogis (not that your should feel intimidated, but perhaps not the best class for your first attempt). But with the most men I’ve ever seen from one studio (Triyoga exempt) if you’re a bloke and are a little shy then this is a good option! Great teachers and classes if you can hack the heat!
Frequency & Range – all round excellent.
Equipment – a good set of mats and equipment. And with an excellent juice bar cafe its a great place to just meet a friend for a bit of time out.
Where – Chelsea, Soho, Camden, Covent garden (£16 drop in 75 minutes)
What – Triyoga offers some great classes and a really diverse range of yogis from hippy, newbie, addict to the pro. It does have a bigger and more commercial vibe with its four locations but when you’re all packed into their big equipped rooms it feels like a great community of like minded people ready to challenge themselves. The Soho one is dinky and not as relaxing (In the centre of Soho just off Carnaby Street its hard to) but the Chelsea location offers a chilled vibe and and an ever busy class. A huge glass window, like Local Motion, allows the summer or winter sun to stream in over your practice. There is less one to one mentoring and adjusting due to the larger class size which is its only downside and is a reflection on their more commercial side but it really is a great place to practice. A good location to merge into the background if its your first time.
Frequency & Range– Vast! The venues differ in thier class frequency and times but the Soho and Chelsea venues have a great range of times throughout the week. Busy at the weekends.
Equipment – good
Where – Covent Garden (£16 drop in 75 minutes. Introductory offer available*)
What – This studio is tucked off the main Covent Garden strip on Mercer Street and I’ve walked past it a hundred times without ever trying a class. Its predominantly ‘Hot Yoga’ classes but a number of not-hot yoga sessions are available too and I was pleased to see Rocket yoga on offer which being one of my favourite styles I was keen to try. However, be warned. Whilst not technically heated, the very small (I’ll admit – cramped) studio was already VERY warm to begin but got only hotter when we started. There was very limited space for the class number, no mirrors and an overall uncomfortably hot room made for a rather unenjoyable first session. I can’t fault the teaching but the room does not ooze yogi atmosphere sadly.
Frequency & Range – good frequency. A range of classes but a heavy focus on ‘Hot yoga’.
Equipment – I did not like the mats. Very hard and tough. In addition the changing rooms were limited with showers and a single toilet which, when full of sweaty yogis I can imagine isn’t ideal. Point to note – there are no mirrors but thats a personal preference.
Where – Covent Garden (£20 per class, 4 week expiry. This studio is best value when buying bulk classes or membership. Introductory offer available*)
What – Almost faultless! One of the highest standards studio all round from style, equipment, teaching and atmosphere. A large, open, clean and modern studio for yoga, Hot yoga, HITT and spinning. The classes are relatively pricey but you get what you pay for in the details. The studio was atmospheric, and warm (perhaps a little so) with beautiful lighting and stunning equipment. I was impressed with the teachers not only for their ability and standards but their sincere friendly manner and help. Very aesthetically pleasing teachers might also have something to do with it…
Frequency & Range – Yoga type ranges from ‘Hot’ to simply ‘Yoga’ (60 or 75 mins available) so it is limited in a defined style range but the class was fairly dynamic. (Worth checking the teacher teaching your class and their style beforehand). Great timetable of mixed classes every day of the week.
Equipment – Faultless. Beautiful scented ‘Cow Shed’ soaps and creams in the chaining rooms, deodrant, razors and hair products available on tap. The studio has numbered mats (allowing you to pre-book your mat position for those fussy/shy yogis) and lululemon blocks and mats complete with towels and straps for all. Lovely cafe for those after session pick me ups!
eilson Active Holidays
If you’re an active person like me that can’t stand the thought of sitting round a pool all day on holiday then I strongly recommend you look into Neilson Active holidays! Strongly! I am quite literally their biggest fan. I’m surprised I haven’t been asked to be a rep yet or been paid commission? Having visited every year for the past 5 years (twice in one year…oops) I absolutely love the concept, and everything about it. Breeze over the ‘package’ part. Don’t cringe, I too was the biggest ‘package deal’ snob until Neilson. But then again Neilson are not like most. You pay for flights, food, and the best bit….ALL your activities! Which are limitless and as a sporty type, overwhelming and so exciting. In brief, they provide you with a timetable at the start of the week detailing all activities. You then pick and choose what you want to do. And don’t panic…nothing is compulsory. If you are inclined to sit by a pool all day while you other half/children sail, swim or cycle then go ahead. With a tag line ‘relax as hard as your like’ its really the perfect set up. Relax in the spa, bar or dining area. There is something for everyone. Even yoga…hence my reason for its inclusion here. Yoga on the beach in Greece could not be a better thing to do on holiday.
Where? – there are a number of locations around Europe. Namely Greece. My favourite (having been 6 times) is ‘The Retreat” in Sivota. Followed by “Messini” in Kalamata (Neilson also offer Ski holidays).
Sports – (these are dependant on your resort of choice but they all usually offer the following)
- Wind surfing
- Rock climbing
Food – gorgeous buffet with everything you could ask for. Healthy dishes for those in training but indulgence to the maximum for those on a real holiday.
Bar – drinks are the only thing not included in the price. But the bar is reasonable and again, well stocked.