Zen in The City of LondonFriday 15 February 2019 by Kayleigh Little When staying away from home, either for business or leisure, it’s important to look after yourself - even if you feel pushed for time or unsure about the facilities available. You should always try to take a little time out for yourself. Even though there are many great ways to do this, yoga, Pilates and meditation are among the best for clearing your mind and keeping it in tune with your body.
Let’s start by differentiating each practice…
Yoga can come in a range of different forms, but they all focus on strength, flexibility and breathing through practicing postures and movements. One of the great things about yoga is that it requires little specialist equipment, meaning most people can arrive at a class in the exercise gear and get stuck straight in.
Not too much of a world away, Pilates focuses on core strength and improved fitness whilst yoga has a greater focus on improving your body’s flexibility. Over time, the results of regular Pilate’s sessions can be seen in other areas of life. It’s a low-impact exercise which can be done with or without equipment, and involves slow, precise movements and breathing control.
Meditation can be achieved in various different ways, but it generally refers to achieving a state of consciousness where the content of the mind does not overwhelm a person. Guided meditation can be a great place to start, with classes leading to breakthroughs against stress and overwork. Ideal as a moment of relaxation for business travellers!
While using the business travel lifestyle as an excuse not to look after yourself is so easy to do, it’s worth making the effort to incorporate one of these disciplines into your routines. Simply ensure you always pack some loose-fitting exercise gear, as most classes will be able to provide anything else you need.
As it's arguably the business district capital of the UK, we've explored the best classes in London so you don't have to...
Classes in The City of London
Photo credit: @natasha_jwood
With classes running throughout the day Monday to Friday, you could always fit in some yoga prior to starting work, between meetings or to unwind afterwards at Blue Cow Yoga. This centre offers three very different options – from dynamic flow sessions to more gentle stretch classes, so decide on the best approach for yourself before booking.
You can walk to the Blue Cow Yoga Centre in eight minutes from Cannon Street and the nearest Underground station is Bank. Drop-in sessions start at £16, but you can purchase a class pass, which buys you multiple classes, getting cheaper the more you opt for. This can bring them down to £12 a time.
The great thing about meditation is that you don’t need to spend a long time doing it for it to make a huge difference. This centre offers half an hour session scheduled to coincide with the lunch breaks of City workers. So pop along at 1pm during the week and enjoy a free stand-alone class.
Inner Space runs its City classes at Templeton House Studios, which are less than 20 minutes by foot from Cannon Street. Barbican and Liverpool Street stations are around equidistance from the venue. Many of their courses, including wellbeing and self-esteem seminars, are also held at venues in Covent Garden and The City.
Photo credit: @yogagise
This exciting pilates facility is located within a studio gym and comes with all mod-cons and personal trainers you could possibly wish for. This means as well as booking a class, you can ramp up your workout to improve posture, balance and strength in a one-on-one environment. There are several different types of class from mat-based ones for beginners to more advanced options and those that work on specific areas, so decide what you want to achieve prior to booking. Single mat classes are priced from £18, but you can take advantage of a buy-one-get-one-free offer online that makes them very reasonable and perfect if you’re just in The City for a week. All sorts of packages are available, combining classes and personal training sessions. Just an eight-minute walk from Cannon Street, Mansion House is the most convenient Tube station.
Offering more than 60 yoga and pilates classes for everyone from beginners to more experienced enthusiasts, Light Centre Moorgate is likely to have a day and time that will fit into your busy schedule.
Drop-in classes start at £13, but like many of the other venues we’ve discovered, they work out cheaper if you buy a bundle of classes at a time. Light Centre Moorgate is just a 2 minute walk from The Moorgate and a 10 minute walk from Cove - Cannon Street. Its closest tube stations are Moorgate and Liverpool Street.
The tagline “Reset your day; yoga to energise you”, which Energy Yoga promotes is certainly tempting for busy business travellers trying to get the most out of a trip to The City. Its more challenging style of yoga has been taught in India for generations and includes various energy-boosting practices.
Single classes start at £13, but you can buy multiple sessions in bundles to bring the price down, or even buy a monthly membership if you are aiming to do a lot of yoga during your stay. The centre is a ten minute walk from Cannon Street and close to St Paul’s Underground station.