Grounding Down in the Big Smoke: A Guide to London's Meditation Studios
Re:Mind | Courtesy of Re:Mind
Meditation isn’t a new concept: it began in India some 3,500 years ago. However, with the rise of apps like Headspace and Aura, along with studios dedicated to its practice, meditation has certainly been having its moment of late. And it’s just what Londoners crave – even if only for an hour. Here’s how to go about it in the city.
Crystal bowls are a popular with Londoners Courtesy of Re:Mind
is up there with Clapham Junction and Waterloo as one of London’s busiest transport hubs. By no means is calm a word one would associate with it. But at Eccleston Yards, just a stone’s throw away 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 boasts up to seven classes a day.
An all-round hub of wellness just off Homerton’s Well Street, The Refinery has got you covered for yoga in its myriad forms, alongside pilates and barre. Its kundalini yoga is about dynamic breathing techniques and a chanting of mantras, while its 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.
Lunchtime clarity is something we could all do with, right? Notting Hill’s Life Space thought so. The space offers a class dedicated to finding it alongside gentle exercise practices like 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.
London Meditation Project
Taking your meditation practice up a notch, the London Meditation Project offers six-week-long courses alongside its drop-in meditation classes and day retreats. And these meditations aren’t in any bog-standard space (not saying the others are), but they take place in a 16-sided, 25-person Bedouin tent
at St Ethelburga Centre that was designed in Saudi Arabia. The only rule for this, which is open to all levels of practice, is that you come barefoot and open-minded.
Evolve Wellness Centre, London
The West London
counterpart to The Refinery, Evolve Wellness Centre offers barre and pilates alongside yoga practices at varying levels throughout the week – and they wrap up with a meditation to bring you back to the moment. Choose from restorative, ashtanga, hatha, nidra and vinyasa flow to find your inner zen and gratitude for taking time to honour yourself.
A gong bath session lasts between an hour and 90 minutes Courtesy of Re:Mind
These recommendations were updated on February 28, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.