Yoga is truly relaxing when you can do it a step away from where you live. Tucked away in churches, community centres and unlikely high street locations, Roman Road’s yoga options cover everything from iyengar to hatha, and come at out-of-town price tags to boot – so that there’s no need to bend over backwards to join in.
Looking for an hour in the evening to unwind, or a way to build up your strength? Or maybe you’ve just had a baby and want to combine childcare with exercise? Or, if you’re feeling really adventurous, you might want to stray from Roman Road and join a meditative yoga retreat with other locals. Whatever your yogic wishes, Bow’s got you covered.
Move Studio London
Move Studio is a brand new fitness and yoga studio above Abbotts Flooring that offers a few yoga options. In the bright and plant-filled space it’s easy to feel at home, and Sam Abbott and Jess Francis will be there to welcome you and tailor experiences to your needs. Classes are focused on developing core strength and they also offer yoga for young parents with pre- and post-natal yoga options where young babies can join in on the fun.
Address: Dane Place, London, E3 5EJ
Specials: Slow yoga, Prenatal yoga, Postnatal yoga, Women only yoga
You’ll find YogaGem in St Barnabas Church, with Gemma Tomkinson leading guests into serenity. Her class is busy, but doesn’t feel cramped in St Barnabas’ beautiful big space. Gemma welcomes everyone in and wafts incense around the semi-circle before starting her calming yet invigorating yoga class. She ends the class with candlelit meditation, and you’ll leave wondering where she’s been all your life.
Gemma also brings Yogagem to Old Ford Methodist Church on Saturdays, and if you’ve been craving a night out in your last yoga class, she offers Disco Yoga at Trapeze Bar in Shoreditch.
Address: St Barnabas Church, Grove Road, E3 5TG / Old Ford Methodist Church, 199 Armagh Rd, Bow, E3 2HX
Specials: Candlelit Vinyasa Flow, Corporate Yoga, Disco Yoga
London Buddhist Centre
The London Buddhist Centre offers yoga with a meditative emphasis in its shrine room. The centre has a few instructors who each bring their own flair, but the common central focus is a spiritual and meditative yoga experience. In the calm amber light of the shrine room’s Buddha alter, it’s hard to forget the spiritual roots of yoga, and attendants of this class celebrate the Buddhist focus.
The centre also offers yoga and meditation retreats. Whether you want to learn yoga or spend a few days in the countryside in ultimate relaxation, or even experience a solitary retreat, the London Buddhist Centre can whisk you away.
Address: 51 Roman Rd, Bethnal Green, London E2 0HU
Specials: Yoga and Meditation retreats, Chi-Kung
On Mondays and Thursday evenings St Paul’s Church Old Ford is home to Baillirina with Irina, who teaches Iyengar Yoga. Irina offers a more technical yoga experience, and the class members revel in her meticulously-practised Iyengar wisdom. She brings a range of bolsters, blocks and blankets to assist people in their asanas (poses) and aims towards a yoga class that enriches minds, bodies and emotions all in one. Irina’s classes are rarely anything but full, and students praise her patience, calmness and inclusivity for beginners and experienced yogis alike.
Address: St Paul’s Church, St Stephen’s Rd, Bow, London E3 5JL
Specials: Iyengar yoga, Private classes, Corporate classes
Asha Integral Yoga
St Paul’s Church is home to another yoga class, this time with Aileen at 11am on Thursdays. Aileen is a Bow local of 16 years, minus the two years she spent in India perfecting her yoga practice. Her class is perfect for beginners: calm, gentle and welcoming with a focus on breathing and yoga basics. She is also working towards starting an early class aimed at parents with children at local primary schools, so watch this space.
Address: St Paul’s Church, St Stephen’s Rd, Bow, London E3 5JL
Specials: Integral Yoga
At the Bethnal Green end of Roman Road in St Margaret’s House you will find Yoganest. It offers vinyasa flow (movement yoga that gets your heart rate up and engages your muscles), hatha (more static, deep stretch postures combined with breathing techniques) and yoga for parents and babies. They also venture into specialist yoga options such as yoga for runners. The classes are suitable for everyone from beginner to experienced.
Address: St Margaret’s House, 21 Old Ford Road, E2 9PL
Specials: Vinyasa, Hatha, Pregnancy Yoga, Yoga for runners/cyclists
Power Flow Yoga
Paul Selvey teaches Power Flow Yoga at Cranbrook Community Centre on Wednesday evenings with a calm, meditative angle. He’s a master of many different types of yoga, including the notoriously hard yin where poses are held for four minutes, but he’s also accommodating of people of all abilities. As well as the candlelit class at Cranbrook, he teaches classes at Victoria Park Community Centre such as seated yoga for those the less mobile to give everyone a chance to get the meditative benefits of yoga.
Address: Cranbrook Community Centre, Mace St, Bow, London E2 0RB/Victoria Park Community Centre, 5 Gore Rd, London E9 7HR
Specials: Yoga for the less mobile, Yin yoga, Power Flow Yoga
Yoga Place has been a part of Bethnal Green community for the past 17 years. They have two spacious studios offering classes, courses, weekend workshops and holistic therapies. Their classes cover a range of styles such as Hatha, Yin, Ashtanga and specialised Pregnancy classes. Every week they run a discounted classes for the community, followed by chai tea and biscuits.
Address: Yoga Place E2, 1st Floor, 449-453 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 9QH
Specials: Yoga for kids, Iyengar, Parent and baby yoga
Half way between Roman Road’s cafes, Semz and HiLAND Cafe, you will spot a tiny, green-grey-painted shop front – ánimo yoga studio. Their yoga schedule reflects these principles. They offer daily flow yoga lessons that focus on movement, and on Sundays they hold a ‘nidra’ session, which is a type of yogic relaxation aimed at calming the mind. They also run a free ‘tea and tots’ session: these are not yoga lessons but simply a chance for parents to sip tea and socialise with other parents in their front room.
Address: 475 Roman Road, London E3 5LX
Specials: Nidra, Meditation, Flow Yoga
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