UPDATED OCT 31, 2019
Whether you’re a dedicated yogi or new to the game, London has you covered with an abundance of places to unroll your mat. And to help you out, we’ve handpicked the best spots where you can zen out. Namaste!
If the stigma of balloon-pant attire and pseudo-spiritual facades is holding you back from embarking on your path to zen, Fierce Grace (with seven area locations) is a safe haven for the more-direct, no-nonsense, and no-fluff yogi. After leading the UK in the hot yoga revolution, this has built a reputation based on a less ‘uptight’ approach to the ancient spiritual practice. Classes are built on classical Hatha, Bikram, and Ashtanga yoga styles and combine strength with flexibility to promote health, emotional harmony, and mental clarity. Like it hot? The classes go down in a hot room (approximately 38º) to allow optimum results in the minimum amount of time.
What happens when you take a traditional, bright, open space and cross it with infra-red heating and soothing studio-specific scents? You get a calming, tropical holiday-like warmth by way of Another_Space’s studios in Covent Garden and Bank. They set the scene so all you have to do is turn up and get immersed in their tranquil surroundings. Described as ‘yoga for all’, their classes combine powerful breath with challenging that work your strength and flexibility in equal measure to raise your heart rate and help your mental state. Plus, you get a handful of instructors (including Mind Body Bowl brainchild Annie Clarke) to choose from, whose main focus is to observe posture and soothe your stresses away.
As its namesake suggests, East of Eden combines art, culture, and physical rigour through their Walthamstow-based studio. The former tram-works site is flooded with natural light via the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the quaint cobbled street that leads into their peaceful oasis. East of Eden offers nine contemporary fusion or classic yoga styles that cater for every level. And each class has its own passionate teacher with their own curated playlists for an uplifting experience.
When taking a class at Hotpod, you’re basically stepping into a womb-like hybrid between a steam room heated to 37º and a cocoon of blissful, tranquil purple surroundings. It’s what we consider to be the perfect way to limber up rigid muscles and stiff limbs through an effective combination of active and passive postures. Instructors at their Notting Hill, Brixton, Hackney, Dulwich, Belgravia, and South Wimbledon studios are encouraging but don’t pressure you to do anything you feel uncomfortable with — you’re free to sit out and cool down as often as you like. Fitt Tip: bring a towel (you can also rent one if you forget). You’re going to need it.
When you need a place where you can respect the roots of ancient yoga without memorising Sanskrit phrases, you hit up Fat Buddha Yoga created by DJ and Nike yoga trainer Jessica Skye. Whether it’s on a sunny rooftop, basement nightclub, or at a five-star hotel, Jessica’s pop-up venues (Holborn, Dalston, Shoreditch, Central London) have her tailor-made playlists cued up to provide variety to her classes. FBY is known for never taking yoga practice (or life) too seriously — instead, they teach yoga as a tool for looking after your mind and your body.
triyoga is your go-to for a much-needed restoration after a hectic working week. The studios spaces in Soho, Chelsea, Camden, Shoreditch, and Ealing are all fully equipped with a yoga shop, healthy café, and spa treatment rooms — so you can unwind, refuel, and pamper all in one spot. They offer a great range of styles and relaxation methods all lead by highly-experienced therapists and instructors to both prepare you for your day or unwind after a stressful schedule. Escape the city chaos for an hour and retreat to a sanctuary of white walls, stained glass windows, open spaces, and calming oasis.
FLY LDN is the new kid on the block, and they’re taking the London yoga scene to new heights. Their newly-opened studio in Creechurch Lane is dedicated to creating the ultimate immersive yoga experience. Expect breathtaking visuals on a cinema screen and carefully curated playlists in each class. The goal? To help you achieve a state of bliss you’ll struggle to find in your average yoga class. There are also five different classes to choose from — each differing in difficulty level and pace, so there’s something to suit every type of yoga personality. Try your first class for £10. But be warned — you may be hooked afterwards!
It’s all in the name. There’s nothing but positive feels all around when you step into their softly lit, warm, open, and extremely calming studios in Fitzrovia. They offer a variety of classes to help boost flexibility and improve overall well-being. And the restorative yoga class is what we deem a necessity for any standing desk-deprived office worker (aka 90% of us city dwellers). Say goodbye to pesky muscle pains and hello to a better posture.
With two studios in the heart of the East End, Stretch London has built a reputation as one of the most inclusive and community-focussed studios, with a real sense of ease that stays with you from the very first visit. Classes are lead by a team of expert instructors who aim to encourage all levels and styles—minus a holier-than-thou tone—making it an ideal and appealing experience for anyone wanting to dip their toes. So for those looking for a space to bond with a welcoming yoga family, this is your place.
Aptly named with a pun for ‘utopia’, Yotopia will indeed take you out of your reality and into a serene state of mind. Their ‘intelligent movement’-centered, technical styles are the perfect marriage between serious scientific know-how and the traditional teachings of ancient yoga. You’ll find zen, but only after you’ve been put through your paces. From gentle and dynamic flows to relaxing Yin Yoga, Rocket Yoga, and Dharma Mittra, they have a class to suit every ability — and they’re all led by some of the best teachers in town. Their centrally-located Covent Garden studios are flooded with natural light, and certain evening classes are lit with candles and incense for a truly immersive experience. Major bonus: Showers are complete with REN products to stay on par with their luxury aesthetic.
When you’re looking for a little more than downward dog and warrior poses, yogahaven is the answer. Complete with plenty of sun salutations, yogahaven focuses on whole-body movements combined with breathing techniques that will not only make you sweat but will tone and strengthen. Want the same endorphin rush as you get after a good run? Jump in on a Hot Flow Yoga class, a low-impact session that’ll still rocket your heart rate. Studios dot Clapham, Islington, and Richmond and are spacious, bright, and mood-lit with calming colours (it makes a difference; you’ll see).
The Refinery‘s mission is simple: to give you the tools to enable you to deal with the rigours of 21st-century lifestyles through the power of exercise and meditation. Based in Hackney, it has East London written all over it, with retro aesthetics and a team of enthusiastic instructors — stereotypically hipster, maybe, but it doesn’t take away from their genuinely inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. You can expect the usual suspects like power and Forrest yoga, but it’s the integration of music and the support of unique, playful ideas and talent that put them in their own league — from singing bowls, tuning forks, and sound healing to wittily named classes including ‘Calm the Flow Down’, ‘Get Up and Glow’, and ‘Candlelit Hip & Hamstring Heaven’. If that hasn’t got you sold, then their £5 introductory class and skincare treatments might just tempt you…
A yoga session at this Shoreditch studio is truly not like anything you've ever experienced. That's because here, you'll embark on a multi-sensory journey, bending and flowing in a room filled with a specifically-selected coloured light to fit the mood and intention, a soundtrack composed of tones and beats meant to stimulate brain function, and essential oil scents to correspond with it all. Feeling tired or sluggish? Sign up for a Blue class. Want to recharge and destress? Go for an Orange practice. And when you want to kick things up a notch, take on their Run + Release option, a 45-minute HIIT-style run followed by a recovery-focused Pink yoga class.
This ambitious, community-focused chain is on a mission provide affordable, accessible yoga classes to every practicing and would-be yogi in the city. And they're making good on that promise; they've spread their reach far and wide, currently operating close to 30 yoga studios across London, with plans to reach 100 by 2020. At any one of them, you can sign up for a £37.50 per month, unlimited access membership and unroll your mat in everything from a fast-paced Vinyasa class to a candlelit flow or mindful meditation session. As if you needed another reason to love this place, they also work with local charities, businesses, and artists to host workshops and events that give back.
Yogarise is all about spreading the good vibes and creating an inviting space where people of all shapes, sizes, and skill levels can feel welcome. Whether you're looking for a beginner-friendly flow to help you dip your toes or are on the search for a class that will take you through a energetic, sweat-inducing series of asanas, they've got you. Keep an eye on their schedule, too, they often host community classes that are low-cost or free. Oh, and during the summer, their Peckham studio regularly hosts classes on the rooftop. But you can also find them in the Peckham Bussey Building and in Streatham High Road.