Meditation isn’t a new concept: it began in India some 3,500 years ago. However, with the rise of apps such as Headspace and Aura, along with studios dedicated to its practice, meditation has certainly been having a moment of late. And it’s just what Londoners crave – even if only for an hour. Here’s how to go about it in London.
London Victoria is up there with Clapham Junction and Waterloo as one of the busiest transport hubs in the capital. By no means is calm a word one would associate with it. But at Eccleston Yards, just a stone’s throw from the bustle, sits meditation studio Re:Mind. Inside, you’re greeted by a table of crystals, palo santo and grounding sprays, and invited to enjoy some loose-leaf tea before heading upstairs for an hour of introspection. Crystal bowls, turning forks, breath work and reiki healing are within this studio’s remit, which has up to seven classes a day.
An all-round hub of wellness just off Well Street in Homerton, the Refinery has you covered for yoga in its myriad forms, alongside pilates and barre. The kundalini yoga here is about dynamic breathing techniques and a chanting of mantras, while the yin yoga classes are all about deep stretches, much like its restorative style, which incorporates blankets and bolsters (basically, pillows) to facilitate a snooze. For a little more power than passive, there are also vinyasa and ashtanga classes that are linked by movement in tandem with breath.
While not technically in London, this four-day beginner meditation retreat just outside of the city on the border between Berkshire and Oxfordshire is a great option if you’re looking to escape for a few days. Organised by Culture Trip, the retreat takes place at the Swan at Streatley – a stylishly reinvented 17th-century hotel – set among mulberry-shaded gardens overlooking the Thames. Your stay will include morning yoga, meditation and breathwork (all in a peaceful riverview studio) with outdoor activities like country walks, wild swimming, canoeing, stand-up paddleboarding and even cider-tasting combining to create that wholesome holiday feeling.
Lunchtime clarity is something we could all do with, right? Life Space in Notting Hill thought so. The space offers a class dedicated to finding it alongside gentle exercise practices such as pilates, qi gong and yoga or nidra – or, if you feel like it, ecstatic dance. It’s been designed to “bring back elements of nature, ancient wisdoms, teachings and practices to re-awaken the body’s own innate wisdom and healing mechanisms.” We’re sold.
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Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
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