Once a niche wellness practice associated with free spirits and alternative lifestyles, over the last decade yoga has gone mainstream in big way. With online sensations like Yoga With Adrienne highlighting the benefits of sun salutations to the masses, few and far between are the London gyms and fitness studios that don’t offer some form of yoga class.
Whether your preferred form of yoga is an active vinyasa flow or you simply like to unwind with some gentle yin yoga at the end of a long day, the capital’s best yoga studios have got something for everyone. Here’s our pick of the best…
Bodyism, Notting Hill
Built around a philosophy of promoting fitness for the heart, mind, body and soul through proper mindset, nutrition, movement and sleep, yoga is at the heart of Bodyism’s wellness concept. Available in either group or one-on-one sessions, as well as its challenging take on a classic yoga flow, yoga principles are also evident in the Bodyism Signature class (which also incorporates interval training, yoga, meditation and stretching for the ultimate workout).
For a less traditional yoga workout, book the Yoga Sculpt class. Described by the studio as ‘energetic and powerful’, the session blends yoga sequences with isometric exercises (small movements designed to target specific muscle groups) to help create a lean physique and improve both mental and physical health. And, for after your workout? There’s a chic changing room stocked with Wildsmith Skincare products and a stylish cafe serving up all the vegan, vegetarian, dairy- and gluten-free treats your heart desires.
A Fine Balance, Upminster
Founded in 2017 by Hannah Noble after she suffered burnout at her corporate job, A Fine Balance is designed to offer individuals the health benefits of yoga, as well as cater to businesses trying to promote employee wellbeing through wellness initiatives. Its daily yoga, meditation and wellness classes are available as live streams, in-studio or on demand, while its regular workshops and courses can also be done virtually for those not living near the Upminster gym.
With yoga being the main focus here, A Fine Balance is able to offer one of the most varied line-ups of yoga classes in the capital. Get your day off to a great start with a morning yoga flow, release tension with a classic Vinyasa class or enjoy the benefits of sound healing at a Feel Good yoga class. There are also combined slow flow and meditation sessions for when you need something a little more gentle, pregnancy yoga tailored to the specific needs of expectant mothers and yin yoga for those looking for a meditative hour away from modern life.
Possibly London’s most exclusive gym (members reportedly include Kylie, Gwyneth Platrow and Laura Bailey), KX positions itself not as a gym, but as a private members club with a wellness focus. The upshot is that, as well as a high-tech gym and regular fitness classes, KX is also home to a seasonal, sustainably-minded restaurant, that offers Sirtfood, intermittent fasting, Vital Diet and KX20 packages, and a full spa with treatments from LaserGenesis, CoolSculpting and some of London’s leading nutritional medicine experts, beauty therapists and clinical masseuses.
When it comes to yoga, three class options are available. Led by Vinyasa and Hatha yoga expert Mira Khreino, opt for Vinyasa flow if you’re looking for a familiar class designed to help sculpt and tone the body. Yin yoga, meanwhile, takes things at a slower pace, holding less challenging poses for longer periods of time to improve flexibility and increase circulation to the joints. Finally, KX also offers yoga sleep classes, which combine elements of Hatha and Nidra yoga to focus on body position, breathing and restorative poses to promote a peaceful night’s rest.
BXR, Marylebone and Canary Wharf
With a flagship members-only gym in Marylebone, as well as pay-to-train Sweat by BXR studios in Marylebone and Canary Wharf, BXR is a great option for yogis who need a flexible club that fits in with their lifestyle. While founded as a modern take on a classic boxing studio, BXR also does a great range of yoga classes, including power yoga (based on Vinyasa and Ashtanga flows), fundamentals yoga for beginners, and yin yoga for stress reduction and mobility. Great when combined with BXR’s extensive range of workouts, including boxing, pilates, barre, Versaclimbing and strength and conditioning, depending on your location you can also enjoy use of steam rooms, state-of-the-art changing rooms and a club lounge.
Flex Chelsea, Chelsea
With classes spanning barre, yoga, pilates, circuits and HIIT, and with all available either as single sessions, personal training or via unlimited membership options, whatever your fitness needs, Flex Chelsea aims to meet them. Yoga at Flex Chelsea is divided into three categories – power yoga, Vinyasa yoga and slow flow – each of which caters to different fitness levels, expertise and workout needs. With one to two yoga classes on offer each day, Flex Chelsea also boasts some intriguing options within these categories. Take, for example, CBD Yin, which combines the relaxing properties of CBD with the restorative powers of yin yoga. Or yoga core, a 45-minute power flow aimed at giving you the six pack you’ve always dreamed of. If you’re looking for serious fitness results, this is the yoga studio for you.
Bamford Brompton Cross, South Kensington
Set in South Kensington, Bamford Brompton Cross is the only standalone Bamford Haybarn Spa outside of the Cotswolds and home to London’s most beautiful yoga, pilates and meditation studio. Stretch out beneath a skylight window, amid candles, white furnishings and a dramatic tree bark sculpture. Top off your yoga class by booking a facial, massage or reflexology session in the cocooning spa, nestled in the basement.
From £24 per class, bamford.com
Six3Nine, Covent Garden
If you like your training to come with a more personal touch, Six3Nine is the boutique gym for you. Located on Great Queen Street in Covent Garden, Six3Nine specialises in personal training, promising that even its regular classes come with a trainer for every five students. As such, the yoga offering is slightly more limited here, with an energising Vinyasa flow and grounding Hatha flow each offered twice a week. However, if you’re new to yoga or are looking to improve your technique, Six3Nine can’t be beat for personal attention. You’ll find yourself coming on leaps and bounds in you practice in no time.