If you’re planning to take up yoga as part of your January fitness regime, Edinburgh is spoiled for choice when it comes to studios.
They’ve had a tough time over the last couple of years, but most are now open and offering a combination of in-studio classes and online versions.
If you want to visit in person, these days they recommend that you bring your own mat, and masks are worn while you’re entering and leaving the studio, but can be taken off during your practice. Under the current circumstances, it’s also a good idea to change into your fancy Lululemon gear (or old joggers) before you get there.
Drop In classes tend to be expensive, costing up to £15 for an hour, but most studios offer big discounts if you buy a package of five or 10, or if you’re visiting them for the first time.
And remember, if it all gets too intense, there’s always child’s pose.
If you’re lucky, you might get to meet the resident pooch, Alfie, at this west-end studio, which also offers therapies in its treatment rooms. The yoga room consists of one light and bright workout space, which has heaters for hot and warm yoga sessions. The teachers are some of Edinburgh’s best, and you can take part in Beginners Yoga with Sophie Howarth, Yoga for Peri-menopause and Menopause with Caroline Phipps-Urch, or Kundalini with Jenny Smith, see website for times. They’re currently also offering Free Yoga for Foster Carers on Tuesdays from 9.45am-10.45am. Most classes are available in the studio and online.
Look out for the neon YOGA sign in this studio’s window. Inside, it’s a lovely and Zen space, with high ceilings, wooden floors and a view out to a garden. They have a decent-sized changing room too, with a couple of individual cubicles, in case you don’t want anyone to see you wrestling your fleshy rolls into tight leggings. There’s a good mixture of classes, including a 7.15am Morning Glow Vinyasa for keeno-s. Depending on the day, this early bird session is taught by a couple of our favorite teachers, the fun Nina Romijn or the athletic Sharon Iacono.
Fancy a challenge? Try Aerial Yoga at this studio. Their lessons in this style, which involve supporting yourself with a soft hammock suspended from the ceiling, take place on Sundays at 11am, with teacher Nardina Arico, and aren’t as scary as you’d think. However, the real focus at this large modern studio is heat. Expect to sweat, with Hot Yoga, Hot Yoga Flow, Hot Power Vinyasa, at 34-39 degrees centigrade and inspiring teachers like Angie Lake. If you’re a bit scared, start off with a Warm class at a balmy 26 degrees centigrade.
This studio is perfectly positioned beside the Meadows, and there are plenty of nearby places to reward yourself with a post-practice lunch, from Argyle Place to Wanderers Kneaded. They’ve got two yoga rooms – a bright one on street level, and a cozy basement space, where there are also changing rooms. Try a class with one of their founder members, Karen Kirkness, who has just written a book, Spiral Bound, and does Filament Flow classes that make you more aware of the positioning of your muscles and their surrounding fascia.
As well as a cafe, this Causewayside venue also has therapy rooms and a large yoga studio with a timetable that includes Hatha Yoga, and Wednesday Wonders Yoga, which is one of their sessions that is run by Edinburgh Community Yoga. This social enterprise offers subsidized spaces for as little as £3 (or £1 if you’re participating online) to those who are strapped for cash. If you want to get your ankle biters into yoga, Beetroot Sauvage also hopes to resume their temporarily paused Kids Yoga sessions soon.
Okay, so you might not be guaranteed the incense, merchandise and the fanciest space, but Edinburgh Leisure have loads of excellent yoga instructors on their roster, with various pricing options, including the £38 a month for Fitness Classes only at your preferred venue. They also offer the Les Mills Bodybalance class, which includes elements of yoga blended with tai chi, core training and Pilates.
We’re always a bit intimidated by Tribe, since it seems to be where all the young and beautiful people go, with four studios in the New Town, Quartermile and Leith Walk, plus a Tribe Cycle branch in Stockbridge. Anyway, perhaps a little of it will rub off on us, if we attend their excellent classes. At the New Town studio, these include Warm Yin Yang, the relaxing Candlelit Yin, and Flow. They also offer a ballet-influenced exercise routine, Barre, with a parent and baby version included.
Don’t let this yoga studio’s proximity to the new Comely Bank branch of Mimi’s Bakehouse put you off your session. You can have all the tray bakes afterwards. Whenever we’ve visited this studio, we’ve worked pretty hard, especially when doing the fun Ballet’s Got Hot session with professional dancer Campbell Watt, although they offer some relaxing evening classes, like Yoga Nidra, to help you sleep. They’re currently offering newcomers a three class pass for £30.