London's yoga scene is bigger than ever, and with summer still here — there are a wide variety of classes available outdoors. From the idyllic nature reserves of Richmond Park to the tops of some of London's highest buildings, it seems anything goes when it comes to chanting your 'oms' al fresco. Here's a sampling of what's on offer.
Serpentine Pavilion's Summer Sunset Yoga
Yoga brand lululemon athletica are once again hosting a one hour complimentary dynamic vinyasa flow class — this time at the Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park. Following on from a successful event hosted at the Royal Opera House, the class will take place tonight at 7.30 pm (with mats provided). The turn-out can be considerable so make sure you turn up early. The brand also insists you make time at the end when there'll be drinks and canapés aplenty.
Yoga in a Roofpod
With its unique inflatable pod that heats to 37°c, Hotpod Yoga has become one of London's more innovative yoga trends. If that wasn't 'hot' enough, the group now hosts vinyasa flow classes in a roofpod atop Hackney's uber-trendy Netil House, boasting views of London Fields and the City. The pod is made of PVC, aluminium, perspex and wood, helping to keep the heat locked in and classes running smoothly, no matter rain or shine. Owner Max Henderson boasts that the clever piece of engineering is "the very first rooftop yoga Airclad in the world", attracting yogis from far and wide. Book online to reserve your spot. Classes are £12, £96 for a block of ten or £72 for a monthly unlimited pass.
Sunset Sessions atop Peckham's Multi-Storey Car Park
Moving on from last summer's successful slate of dru yoga classes on top of Peckham's Multi-Storey Car Park, Lucyoga is back with Saturday and Sunday morning classes, and new to this summer's schedule: Monday evening 'sunset classes' held in conjunction with Project HB and Zico Coconut Water. Each week brings a new guest teacher to the Southeast London garage, introducing different styles and practices. Keep an eye out for Boxing Yoga on September 8 and Gaia Studios on the September 15. Hurry and book, outdoor classes end September 21. Classes are £10 each.
On the off-chance you're up for sampling beer while getting into downward dog — Lucyoga is joining forces with Brick Brewery for Ales and Asana — a Yoga and Beer Tasting Workshop on September 6 in the sunny yard of Brick Brewery’s own Tap Room. Don't believe us? Check it out here.
Sky-high yoga on The Shard's 72nd Floor
If you're scared of heights, then this class is not for you. But if you're up for sky-high adventure between The Shard's 68-72 floors — then sign up for Yogasphere's classes now. Taking place each Saturday from 8.30 - 9.30am, it's recommended you get there early as a queue forms outside the building close to 7 am. Once through a security check, an elevator swiftly hoists you up 1016 ft/ 310m, opening its doors to an eye-grabbing 360° view of London. The £40 fee gives you 10 minutes viewing time before and after the class, something Yogasphere encourages you to take advantage of so you can enter their weekly #peakpose competition.
Just when you forgot you were actually there for yoga — instructors Leo and Mandy reel you into the 72nd floor's open air platform for a jam-packed, one-hour session of vinyasa flow. This is undoubtedly one of those experiences you won't forget, but be warned, it's also one of those experiences that brings in the gaggle of birthday party and hen groups (we even sang happy birthday after our namastes).
Get Your Voga On at an Outdoor Pop-Up
Want to blast back to the 80s, and vogue like Madonna? Owner and teacher Juliet Murrell urges you to try VOGA, a fusion of yoga and vogueing set to an iconic soundtrack of 80s beats. For people of all ages and abilities, the class combines the breath-synchronized movement of yoga, along with expressive dance moves, power and strength and slick alignment. VOGA yogis have previously made shapes at Lovebox, Worldwide Festival and Peckham's Multi-Storey Car Park, and are soon to get their attitude and bright nylons out for outdoor pop-up classes at Shoreditch's Red Gallery (tbc September 17, 7pm) and Boxpark (tbc September 25, 7pm).
Sun Salutations in Richmond Park
Outdoor Fitness Collective offers a wide range of classes in and around Richmond Park. Centred around a dynamic flow of vinyasa-style postures, the fitness group conducts yoga classes on Monday evenings in Richmond Green, and further down the road in Palewell Park, SW14. With cooler temperatures creeping in, OFC instructor Jonathan Bramley advises you to check the online schedule each week to determine which classes will be indoors — but to also note that exercising outdoors is at the heart of OFC's focus. Moving further afields, additional outdoor yoga classes will take place in Battersea Park starting next spring. The team also offers zumba, bootcamp, circuit training, cycling and running. Classes are £10 per class, or you can buy a monthly unlimited membership for £38.