London Yoga Studios

BLOK Shoreditch
Principal Place, 2 Hearn St, London EC2A 3BL, United Kingdom
Shoreditch

[February 2023 review]

BLOK is a chain that has several exercises classes; it has the feel of an Equinox with the “cool” vibe and its own London exposed brick feel. However, it doesn’t have an open gym (it only offers group classes for yoga, barre, pilates, and boxing). There is a place to get healthy snacks and it’s quite spacious for mingling before or after class. They do have showers but they don’t offer free towels for use (you have to bring your own). I went to a class with a substitute for Alan’s Rocket class and felt it was still quite advanced; it was clear that the yogis in the class were also keen on deepening their practices.

Pros
1.) Relatively advanced set of instructors and practitioners for those who want to keep growing their yoga practice
2.) This studio has several group fitness classes, which gives you lots of choice if you want to come here regularly
3.) It looks like if you are a regularly member, you probably get access to quality live-streamed classes (based on the setup I saw–see picture below)

Cons
1.) The facilities are nice for London but not super nice by American Equinox standards (e.g. No towels, not spotless like an Equinox)

FLOW LDN
11 Tottenham St, London W1T 2AG, United Kingdom
University of London area

[February 2023 review]

I took the Flowlife45 5:45pm class on a Friday. The class was pretty easy and what you would expect from a standard yoga flow. I found the room to be really cold though, and asked the instructor to turn up the heat, which she did during the flow. I didn’t get sweaty at all though.

Pros
1.) This studio has 3 rooms (for barre, pilates on the reformer, and yoga); this gives you lots of choice and options (although I think they may be priced differently–at least they are priced different on Classpass, with yoga requiring the fewest number of credits
2.) There are ample changing and shower rooms (but I don’t recall that they offered free towels)
3.) They have Manduka PROLite mats available for use, although they are a bit beat up

Cons
1.) This doesn’t feel like a “deepen you practice” kind of yoga studio; it’s convenient and accessible to all
2.) The facilities are nice for London but not super nice by American Equinox standards (e.g. towels, cleanliness)

Practice room studio at FLOW LDN with Manduka PROLite yoga mats laid out

Yotopia
13 Mercer Street, London WC2H 9QJ
Covent Garden

[2017 Review]

Upon the recommendation of a local yogi friend I met at a Wanderlust yoga festival, I took Dharma Yoga (Asana 2+) (L2) with Emi Tull at Yotopia. This class is full of yogi regulars. All of them are serious about growing their yoga practice and some are professional dancers. That meant Emi could teach the class at a very advanced level and this was one of the most phsyically challenging yoga classes I had ever been to. We aren’t supposed to compare ourselves to those around us in yoga class but I was definitely one of the lousy students in the class and I have been practicing for 8 years. Handstands are common between transitions and you are expected to know scorpion pose or can modify with forearm balance easily. Emi, who has a “just do it, don’t complain, fall and get up immediately” attitude, flawlessly demonstrated some of the more advanced yoga poses and transitions like Peacock Pose (Mayurasana.) She also offered many hands on adjustments throughout the practice to help move you into more advanced sequences and challenged you to stretch further and hold your pose longer.

Pros
1.) The classes billed as “advanced” or “L2” are actually advanced (at least Emi Tull’s class is)
2.) The teacher (Emi Tull) offers many hands on adjustments to help you into or out of poses that you can’t practice by yourself
3.) Studio practice space is conveniently located near food, Lululemon, shopping, and a train station; it is clean and has showers but you must rent towels

Cons
1.) Emi’s class is packed so you must sign up online and you are side-by-side next to your fellow yogis (the studio space itself is not that big so there were about 26 students in the class and the teacher still has time to help everyone out)
2.) The practice is a bit fast so unless you are extremely advanced, there may not be enough time to get into poses or gracefully transition (I fell once when transitioning from wheel back to downward dog)
3.) There is a lot of chanting (this class was 2 hours long and about 25 minutes of it is singing and chanting) so if you aren’t into singing songs in a different language than your native tongue, it can be a surprise

Fierce Grace
200 Regent’s Park Rd, London NW1 8BE
Primrose Hill / Chalk Farm

[2017 Review]

Fierce Grace is a hot yoga studio chain in London. I visited Emma Croft’s class at the Chalk Farm location on a Saturday, since she was listed as a senior teacher and I had high hopes of what I could learn. Fierce Grace is not for the lighthearted yogi–it’s heated to 38 degrees Celsius / 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the room and you will sweat just sitting there, motionless. This type of hot yoga is not for me (especially because I went during a week when it was 85+ degrees every day in London) but also because I find it difficult to work on the physical aspects of your practice when the room temperature is higher than 85 degrees–you are far too sweaty and slippery to do anything other than sun salutations. To add salt to the wound, I was next to a gal who reeked when she sweat and that was quite unpleasant. A quick heads up for Americans: You will get very sweaty and want to shower immediately after. There are 4 showers in the ladies locker room but the caveat is that you must not be shy; the showers don’t have dividers and it’s just a trough with 4 shower heads so you shower butt naked right next to the other ladies. I have never seen this type of shower set up at an American yoga studio. The studio provides some general purpose body wash but you have to rent towels for about a pound. Note that you may also want to bring a lock since the lockers don’t have locks on them and it’s a bit precarious to bring your cell phone into the 100 degree practice room (I did, but only after turning my phone off since I feared that it would overheat.)

Pros
1.) Convenient locations with many classes available each day
2.) The heating mechanisms in the yoga rooms are quite nice (there are no exposed metal grates that turn red, as I have seen at some other hot yoga studios)

Cons
1.) The practice isn’t advanced and contains a basic sequence of poses
2.) The room can feel suffocating or too hot, if you are not used to or do not like hot yoga or it may be a bit smelly
3.) The teacher (Emma) doesn’t offer any hands on adjustments

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