Hot yoga and bikram has been well and truly embraced by Londoners over the last few years – once an eyebrow-raising exercise fad, today there are dozens of studios dedicated to the practice. Newbies might wonder what the attraction to doing exercise in tropical-level heat is, but proponents rave about the benefits of getting a good sweat on and the increased flexibility that the heat allows, while others just like a spot of warmth on a cold London night. And who can blame them? Here we’ve rounded up the very best studios offering hot yoga and bikram in London. Just don't try any on a hangover!
Hot yoga and bikram in London
Fierce Grace is the cool kid of the London hot yoga scene, a mini-chain with seven funkily designed studios across the city. Take your pick from their menu of eight classes. ‘Fierce Grace’ is their signature class, a 90-minute session that aims to work the entire body. ‘The Fix’ and ‘Deep Core’ are shorter and slower classes and a good place to start for beginners. And if you want a challenge take a look at ‘The Wild’, an intense hour of yoga-influenced cardio and strength training. Prepare for it to wring every last drop of sweat from your body.
Various locations. From £15 per class on a drop-in basis
This is a hot yoga concept that takes place in a giant inflatable studio. It sounds a little odd, but these cocoon-like constructs have the added bonus of creating a chilled out escape from the outside world, meaning you can leave feeling like the beautiful zen-like butterfly you really are. Classes take place at 37 degrees and are inspired by vinyasa flow. There are regular sessions in Belgravia, Dulwich, Brixton, Hackney and Notting Hill, and look out for them popping up – spaceship-like – in other places across the city too.
Various locations. £12-£14 per class
Bikram yoga is at the core of what the Society does – 90-minute classes that follow a set sequence of poses in an eye-watering 40 degrees heat. Great for the purists, but if you want to shake up your hot yoga practice, look to the alternatives on the schedule. At ‘yoglow’, your bends and stretches are accompanied by a soundtrack from DJ Goldie (he's apparently a HY fan), then there’s ‘inferno hot pilates’ an hour of hardcore strengthening and toning, and if you want to target your core muscles but also chill out (sort of) pop along to their 90-minute jivamukti class – also done in the heat, of course
1A Magdalen Street, SE1 2EN. £20 per class
Bikram is the original hot yoga – created by Bikram Choudhury in the '70s, it is made up of 26 set poses at 40 degrees heat over the course of 90 minutes. Sohot is one of the few places in the capital solely dedicated to this form of yoga and has two centres – one in Victoria and the second in Fitzrovia – both with hi-tech, air-filtered, temperature-controlled studios. It’s a challenging class (‘it’s not easy for a reason!’, declares their website) but after two-three sessions many people become committed followers.
Threeways House, Bolsover Street, W1W 5DW. £20 per class
Modern, slick, light-filled studios and top-of-their-game teachers make this one of the best yoga studios in the capital. Their signature ‘triyoga hot’ class is on offer in Soho, Chelsea, Ealing, Shoreditch, and Camden and is all about deep stretching and alignment. One thing that differentiates it from similar offerings is that they use far infrared heat, which purportedly warms up the body rather than the air. This isn’t as intense as some hot yoga classes you’ll find in London, but the aim is that, in their words, you leave with a healthy glow.
Various locations. £17 per class
This Covent Garden-based studio takes its yoga suitably seriously. Their range of classes is impressive and strong on hot vinyasa flow, where movement is matched to the breath. There’s also hot rocket yoga (a fast-paced, strength-building class), hot ashtanga, hot flow, hot body sculpt, hot Pilates and hot ballet (phew). The teachers here are particularly good and some have a dedicated following – book ahead if there’s a class you have your heart set on.
13 Mercer Street, WC2H 9QJ. £18 per class
Yogahaven can be found in Clapham, Islington and Richmond. Each studio offers a different mix of classes, but at each you’ll find several hot flow classes, as well as a basics class for those who want to perfect their poses. The company is also rightly proud of their status as a carbon-neutral enterprise.
Clapham, Islington and Richmond. £17 per class
Another Space combines powerful yoga movements with a totally tropical 32-degree heat so that you can pose your way to stretchy success. Book onto 60 or 90 minute all-level sessions, which take place throughout the week, or the 75-minute intermediate hot yoga class, at either one of their central London branches (Covent Garden or Bank). The vibe is bright, airy and high-end - and as the younger sibling to luxury gym Third Space, you’d expect nothing less.
Various locations. £20 per class
A warm and inviting operation based in the village-y district of Parsons Green, Hot Spot yoga is dedicated to fulfilling all your high-temperature needs. Classes include the ‘Classic 90’ which in their words is classic bikram, and the especially intense ‘Hot Spot 60’ which is the same class but at a much speedier pace. They also offer a candlelit session on Friday and Sunday evenings to help you work up a sweat and wind down at the start and the end of the week.
25 Heathman's Road, Fulham, London SW6 4TJ. £20 per class