YOGA: 8 Ways to Get Bendy in North London

Written by: Violet Myers

Just when you’ve waded your way through the masses of fitness classes on offer and decided that yoga is the way to go, you’re forced to use your poor squidgy brainbox once again to decide which of the many strands of yoga is right for you.

In North London alone there are endless choices, from quiet candlelit practises to swinging upside down with only a curtain for support. We’ve embraced our cobras, had a short bout of the crab and gotten down with the dogs, all to give you the lowdown on your local classes. Here are eight of the best.

1. Best for sweat
Power Yoga, Morefit
Mondays 18.30 – 19.30

You won’t be slipping in a cheeky nap in this energetic class, this is one vigorous hour that’ll have you stretched out, balancing on your head and dripping in the good stuff. Bring a towel, some water and prepare to be humbled.

Hardest move: A straight out of the playground style handstand, hold on tight, take it slow and watch out for tumbling yogis, timber!

2. Best for something a little different

Boxing Yoga, Total Boxer

Regular classes almost daily

Love a good stretch but don’t feel properly worked out until you’ve thrown a couple of punches? This energetic class is the one for you, combining traditional yoga moves with martial arts training.

Hardest move: A dynamic twisting plank move feels like Mike Tyson has been working your core.

3. Best for ambience
Honey Flow, One Yoga London
Thursdays 19.45 – 20.45

This quiet class takes place in Hornsey Town Hall. Decked out with candles and billowing white curtains you may be mistaken for thinking you’ve wandered into a Bonnie Tyler video. Along with Eleanor’s soft voice this peaceful hour will leave you elongated, relaxed and ready for bed.

Hardest move: While Honey Flow Yoga has a slow pace, holding the positions for a long time will have you gritting your teeth and praying for mercy. Namaste mother fucker!

4. Best for couples
Acroyoga, Yoga With Jaqui
Sunday 18.30 – 20.30

This two-hour class is part yoga class, part escape to the circus. The perfect way to enjoy yoga with your partner, or passively aggressively drop them to make up for years of pent up rage. I feel more relaxed already.

Hardest move: Surprisingly, not much of suspending your loved one in mid-air is particularly easy. Jacqui suggests that before joining a class you are comfortable being, erm, suspended upside down.

5. Best for calm
Hot Candlelit Yin, Yogacentric

Sunday 19.00 – 20.15

Relaxing? Yes. A potential fire hazard? Most definitely. Ignore your natural instinct to run screaming from so many naked flames and give in to this calming practice, aimed to aid deep sleep and relaxation.

Hardest move: This is a restorative practice with the main focus on calming the body, but before you get too excited, this means that the moves are held for longer to enable you to get deeper into the stretch. Better get comfortable then, because you’ll be in that lunge for a while.

6. Best for strength
Kate Oates, Sweaty Betty Muswell Hill
Thursday 12.00 -13.00

Turn that warrior one into Xena Warrior Princess with this muscle building, body strengthening class. Kate leads her (often free!) class through sweaty, energetic movements that focus on alignment and core stability.

Hardest move: Be prepared to give some challenging hand balances a try, whilst silencing anyone who says yoga isn’t a ‘real’ workout.

7. Best for reaching new heights
Aerial Stretch, Skylab Studios
Saturdays 11.00 – 12.00

Fuse the benefits of a good old stretch and sailing through the air suspended from the ceiling. Hailed for doing wonders for the spine, core strength and singing R Kelly at the top of your lungs, Aerial Stretch is about to become your new favourite hobby.

Hardest move: While some moves are just endlessly fun, hanging in the air can be a nightmare on the stomach and positively terrifying.

8. Best for Core toning
Piyo, Factory Fitness
Tuesday 19.30 – 20.30

Combining the flexibility of yoga, the core focus of pilates and the constant movement of Supermarket Sweep. You can forget about being able to sit upright the morning after a piyo class, that midsection is going to burrrn.

Hardest move: Piyo’s difficulty lies in the one armed balances, the constant movements and the push-ups, oh so many push-ups.

 

Photos: Michael Ashdown

 

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