Sky High Yoga

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Since starting yoga around six months ago, I’ve become somewhat of a super-fan. By no means would I consider myself a ‘yogi’ or a ‘fitness fanatic’ but I definitely have more motivation to get on the mat and bust some moves…

Rather than visit the egotistical metal jungle that is the gym, I would much prefer to be in the company of other people breathing, stretching, relaxing and using their own bodies for strength rather than struggling with man-made gym equipment. So when I saw that I could attend a ‘sky high’ yoga class I jumped at the chance.

Having visited Rafael Viñoly’s Sky Garden when it opened in 2015, I was excited to be absorbed again into its beautiful greenery and scenic views.

Weekday classes start at 6:30 am, which naturally left me disgruntled when my alarm sounded off at 4:30 am. However, after a cup of coffee and watching the sun gradually grace the city, I felt very awake and excited for the class.

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After exiting the elevator on the 35th(!) floor, I was greeted with calming meditative music and the buzz of other people waiting patiently on their mats. I went by myself but the atmosphere was wonderful and I think it helped me to feel strong, solitary and confident.

The class began with a short breathing/relaxation exercise and eased into an increasingly methodic workout. Ten minutes in and I was sweating, panting and gasping for some water - however everyone else appeared to be in a similar state, which was slightly comforting. The teacher was able to walk people of all abilities through and help beginners to adapt each pose and posture into something more comfortable.

Despite the initial sensations of being tired, hot and exhausted after the class, I was soon left feeling energised and awakened. It felt amazing to have practiced yoga in the sky, before most people had even left their houses. I was able to witness the city in its unusual stillness and felt as though I was in another world.

To congratulate myself for getting up so early to exercise, I treated myself to a smoothie and muffin from the City Garden Bar and watched as lights came on in buildings, people scurried along the streets and the clouds begun to filter out.

Located in Fenchurch Street, the famous ‘Walkie Talkie’ building boasts a 360 degree view of London and many of its historical buildings. Along with open terraces, a bar and a restaurant, the Sky Garden has to be one of the best activities in the city to partake in.

Classes are £10; weekday classes are from 6:30-7:30am, weekends are 9:00-10:00am 

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Words + Images: Sophia Chettleburgh