Archives for posts with tag: yogahaven
Photo courtesy of Vince Starr - http://www.vincentstarr.com/home/

Photo courtesy of Vince Starr

I’ve written my first blog post for Om Exchange, a brilliant resource for yogis with a database full of classes, events and retreats. I’m thrilled that the site’s founder Indra has asked me to be a contributor and am looking forward to working with her on some more exciting things! My first article was reviewing the really fun yoga flashmob last week on Clapham Common, hosted by Yogahaven. Check it out here – http://omexchange.com/yogahaven-flashmob-on-clapham-common/

 

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With Whole Foods, Lululemon and Yogahaven all opening new branches in Richmond in the past year, TW9 is becoming a bit of a yoga hotspot. A couple of weeks ago the three brands teamed up to offer a Yoga for Foodies event in the Whole Foods store on a Sunday morning. I managed to nab myself the last spot available (phew!) for the occasion which consisted of a one hour yoga class with Yogahaven founder, and all-round brilliant teacher Allie Hill followed by a food and cooking demonstration by Natasha Corrett of Honestly Healthy.

I’m a bit of a Whole Foods junkie, their stores are filled with interesting fresh produce and organic treats and I have a tendency to believe that anything that I buy from there is ridiculously good for me. (They sell cake so admittedly there is a chance I might be wrong). The workshop was held before the store opened so the floor was adorned with mats from Lululemon as the Whole Foods team got ready for the store opening while we did class. I was helpfully within smelling distance of the bakery – yoga and the smell of fresh bread? Yum!

Allie’s recently returned from Jivamukti teacher training in New York, so lead the 40-strong group in a Jiva style class. Now she’s opened five (five!) studios I don’t get to do Allie’s classes as much as I’d like so it was a treat to get to be taught by her in Whole Foods. It was a strong class with lots of challenging poses like Bird of Paradise although we were treated to a lovely long Savasana at the end.

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Once we’d cleared our mats out of the way we took our seats for the food demo with Natasha. I’d read a lot about Honestly Healthy in glossy weekend supplements and the like and thought her cookbooks looked inviting so was keen to see what Natasha would make. After talking us through the basics of the diet she follows (alkaline foods, lots of fresh veg and fruits and nothing processed) she made two dishes for us, a puy lentil courgette and pomegranate salad and a delicious gazpacho. We were all given samples of the delicious food and half the audience, myself included, were on Amazon within minutes buying  a spiralizer to create the fabulous courgette noodles. I’ve since made the salad at home and it went down very well!

Once Natasha had inspired us all with her gorgeous food, the Lululemon staff pulled the same lovely trick as they had at the Royal Opera House and announced that the mats we’d practiced on were ours to keep! Plus we were given Lululemon and Whole Foods goody bags, which were so big that I had to abandon my original plan of buying lunch ingredients at the store when it opened. Instead I staggered back home laden with goodies and had to go back out later to buy my ingredients, from Whole Foods in Clapham naturally!

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If you haven’t come across clothing and gift brand Yoga Will Save The World yet you’re missing out on some of the quirkiest, most fun yoga tops I’ve seen in a while.

Yoga Will Save The World is run by yoga teacher Rebecca who is also a talented artist and launched the company’s range with fun illustrations of yogis. Clothes include vests, t-shirts and hoodies while the gifts and stationary feature prints, calendars, notebooks and cards.

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The range is available online as well as in certain London studios, and after seeing the range in Yogahaven and spotting a number of fellow yogis wearing it, I decided to treat myself to one of the vests.

imageIt arrived beautifully packaged, wrapped with a ribbon and a gift tag and I wore it to class almost straight away. In fact I’m a little bit in love with the vest, which declares ‘I’m Sorry For What I Said Before I Yoga-ed’. I’m the first to admit I have a short temper, and god knows what I’d be like without my yoga practice (my boyfriend finds the vest a little too funny…) so I couldn’t agree more with the sentiment! Plus it brings a smile to my face when I wear it on my mat and reminds me that it’s ok to let go and important to make time for a bit of yoga. So, to anyone who encounters a slightly scowling face pre-class, please see below!

 

IMG_20140310_065201~2The studio where I practice most is Yogahaven in Clapham – my yoga home for three years, it’s a relationship that’s still going strong! So it’s no surprise at all to me that the Yogahaven brand is expanding and, in addition to studios in Brighton, Birmingham, Clapham and Islington, owner Allie Hill has just opened studio number five in Richmond.

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The new space held its official opening last weekend, so I jumped on the train at Clapham Junction for a couple of minutes to Richmond and found that Yogahaven is really close to the station. Walking into the bright, fresh new reception I was greeted by the friendly faces of Allie, Leon and Stew who were buzzing with energy for the open day and gave me a look around.

Allie

Allie

While I know Yogahaven Clapham like the back of my hand (or back of my foot – I spend a lot of time in there staring at them after all) I haven’t visited any of the other Yh studios so was keen to see how similar Richmond is. While it’s distinctly Yogahaven (the branding, imagery and typeface is all there) I love that it’s got an individual feel with little touches like flickering candle holders in the window and vintage style hooks in the changing rooms. Allie herself said that the space feels ‘very Richmond’.

There was a nice mix of people who’d turned up to have a nose round the venue, including some Richmond-ites inquisitive about the new hot yoga studio that had landed on their doorstep, and we got the chance to properly try out the studio in a class lead by Allie. The heaters weren’t on so it wasn’t strictly a hot class, but the room was nice and warm all the same.

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Allie started by telling us all how she came to own five studios and her background in yoga, which was a lovely touch. She taught my very first class at Yh back in 2011, so it felt really nice to be part of her first class in her new studio. The class was a mix of Yogahaven’s Hot Yoga Basics and Hot Flow classes so, while it was recognisable to me, it gave any newbies a really good sense of what to expect.

(I don;t actually have 3 legs...)

(I don’t actually have 3 legs…)

The studio is now fully open, with some recogniseable faces on the teaching schedule, and well worth a visit for a sweat session!

Yogahaven Richmond, 26 Kew road Richmond, TW9 2NA. Three class introductory offer – £15

I’m quite stupidly excited that Clapham has a brand new juice bar based within yogahaven in Clapham Old Town and therefore mere seconds from my flat. Previously the nearest thing was in Whole Foods in Clapham Junction which is a bit of a schlep from the High Street and Northern Line tube stations.

Looks like pond water, tastes amazing

Looks like pond water, tastes amazing

I’m a huge fan of green juices, which (thank god) seem to be ousting giant Starbucks coffees as the drink to be seen with. But trends aside, a big fresh juice (green or otherwise) is such a handy way to knock a shedload of vitamins into your system. Of course you could buy a juicer, keep stocked up on fruit and veggies and make your own fresh juices every day, but for those of us who live in tiny city flats with kitchens barely big enough for a toaster and a fridge that is about the right size to take camping, it’s not always that easy.

So hurrah for glo and its yummy juices, which are fast becoming my new favourite thing to grab after a class at yogahaven. They use organic, local and fair trade ingredients with no nasty refined sugars to make fresh, raw juices and smoothies as well as offering herbal teas and hot soup. I got handed a promotional bottle of a very well known (sugar laden!) smoothie brand on my way to work yesterday after treating myself to a glo juice and the bottle’s still sitting on my desk – you can’t compare it with fresh!

Glo, 63 Wingate Square, SW4 0AF

(pictures are a bit dark due to being taken after an early morning class on a miserable rainy day when I was running late for work…)