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Yoga in the sky; London's best hi-rise toning classes with sensational city views

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Not much motivates us to exercise in the morning, but the prospect of a dramatic urban view might just do the trick. 

The ArcelorMittal Orbit in London's Olympic park is the latest capital hot spot to cash in on a blossoming trend for yoga in the sky, with weekend classes at the top of the towering landmark sculpture.

We take a look at it and other hi-rise yoga classes that combine exercise with epic city views to uplift, inspire and blow away those morning cobwebs: 


Yoga in the Sky at ArcelorMittal Orbit

orbit

Yoga at the ArcelorMittal Orbit

From 7 March, yoga enthusiasts will be able to enjoy busting some moves at a height of 80 metres, with weekend sessions at the ArcelorMittal Orbit in the iconic Olympic Park in Stratford, East London. 

Towering at 114.5 metres high, the UK's tallest sculpture offers a panoramic vista that stretches across 20 miles of London. You'll be able to drink in views of The Gherkin, The Shard, St Paul’s, Canary Wharf and Wembley Stadium as you perfect your Downward Dog. Oh, and you can re-live the spirit of London 2012 too. 

Hatha yoga teacher Rebecca Spooner says participants will be exhilarated by their surroundings. 

"The visual aspect of it makes people feel uplifted which might make their (yoga) practice better. It’s not nice when you’re in a box space," she says.

"Because of the height, it’s a beautiful view, it doesn’t get better. And in sunrise it will be even better."

Saturday mornings 7am-8.15am and 8am-9.30am
£17.50 per session or £80 for a course of six, arcelormittalorbit.com


Yoga across the Glass Floor at London Bridge

Stretch and unwind above the Thames on London Bridge

Stretch and unwind above the Thames on London Bridge

This unique series of pop-up yoga classes is already underway, so it's best to get in quick.

Every Monday morning for four weeks, devoted yogis can place their mats on the newly unveiled glass board of London Bridge, 42 metres above the River Thames.

Teacher Billie Woodcraft will lead energetic vinyasa-flow yoga classes to help kick-start the working day, as you soak in some of the capital's most famous sights from this famous Victorian bridge in the heart of the capital. 

Organisers say the classes are "designed to revitalise and inject energy into Londoners with an exciting and never-seen-before view from inside the most famous bridge in the world".

"Participants of all abilities to perfect their practice whilst enjoying the river views suspended over the Thames, as well as road and pedestrian life – all moving at pace 42 metres below. Participating yogis may even witness the magic of the Bridge’s famous bascules raising for a river vessel," the website says. 

Monday mornings, 7.30am-8.15am
£15 per session,
towerbridge.co.uk


Yogasphere at the Shard

Enjoy 360 degree views over London for up to 40 miles

Enjoy 360 degree views over yoga at the Shard

Looming at a height of 1,016ft, The Shard is the tallest building in Europe.

Book Saturday yoga classes at this dynamic London spire for a stunning tableau of the capital that can reach up to 40 miles on a clear day. 

Sessions take place on the Shard's largest viewing platform, The View. On warmer days, instructors Mandy Jhamat and Leo Lourdes run classes in the open air area, if it's not too windy. 

"Our clients may also ascend to the highest accessible point of The Shard, Level 72, an open-air viewing platform exposed to the elements and sounds of the city below, offering the chance to gaze up to the shards of glass that form the top of the sculptural building as they disappear into the sky," they say.

Saturday mornings from 8.15am
£40 per session or £175 for a five-class pass, yogasphere.eu


Garden yoga classes at Coq d'Argent

Seasonal yoga classes on the roof terrace of Coq d'Argent

Seasonal yoga classes on the roof terrace of Coq d'Argent

With a spectacular rooftop setting at No.1 Poultry in the City of London, Coq d'Argent boasts enviable views of the city.

The classic French restaurant has teamed up with wellness and networking community, SERENE Social, to run a series of seasonal yoga classes from its aerial oasis of terraces and gardens. 

During autumn and winter, these Saturday workouts take place in the venue's rooftop ski lodge, replete with blankets, logs and snowy scenery.

Yogis are get to enjoy "lessons carefully crafted to warm and uplift the mind and body during these colder months" and are also invited to enjoy a tempting-sounding "après-yoga breakfast provided by our kitchen".

In summer months, classes take place in the stunning roof garden, and again come with a special breakfast of fruit and pastries provided by the Coq d’Argent kitchen. This year, the summer series is back by popular demand, but there are only 12 spaces per session so you have to get in there early. 

Every Saturday from 10am (winter season) or 8am (summer season)
£15 for SERENE Social members and £25 for non-members, serenesocial.com


Fat Buddha Yoga, various locations

Move with a view

Moves with a view at Fat Buddha Yoga

Fat Buddha Yoga is a pop-up yoga company promising energetic classes in a number of elevated and inspiring locations around the capital, from South Place Hotel to the Black & White Building, and Dalston Roof Park (during summer months).

"No two classes are ever the same as each session is matched to the ability and energy of the room," says session leader and self-confessed yoga junkie Jessica Skye, who makes affordable classes a priority.

"Music is a huge part of the experience with tailor made mixes to suit every class. The sessions will always focus on a deep and dynamic practice, balanced with finding some inner space and calm to leave you feeling stronger, more supple with a heap load of zen.

"The FBY mission is to clear the mystique around Yoga by providing an accessible and fun approach for all levels ranging from Yoga virgins, rookies to pros."

Various dates and starting times, see website for details
£10 per session, fatbuddhayoga.com

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