Self-care and wellness has never been more prevalent at a time like this. It seems a lot of us are turning to the yoga mat to seek some inner comfort and stillness from our busy minds that lockdown has seemed to make that much louder. I’ve been a fan of yoga for over a decade now. Dipping my toes into the many variants of the practice has kept my love for the exercise fresh and there always seems to be a different take, move or style with every teacher you come across.
I’d been invited to Indaba, which is nestled in the heart of Marylebone, to celebrate World Yoga Day. Yoga is an ancient physical, mental and spiritual practice that originated in India. The word ‘yoga’ derives from Sanskrit and means to join or to unite, symbolizing the union of body and consciousness. Recognizing its universal appeal, in 2014, the United Nations proclaimed 21 June as the International Day of Yoga which aims to raise awareness worldwide of the many benefits of practicing yoga.
Our teacher for the practice today is Clare Connolly, an enthusiastic vinyasa flow teacher and meditation coach. Based in London she shares her love of teaching through playful teachings here at the studio and is on a mission to help people through the power of wellness to live a more balanced and healthy lifestyle.
We start the practice seated, taking slow movements and connecting breath work. Clare is very succinct in the way she teaches, giving different levels of poses depending on how hard you want to challenge yourself. The class is a perfect blend of stimulating postures ending with a relaxation which makes me feel like I am sinking into the beautiful parquet flooring beneath me.
The studio opened its doors in 2011 with an aim to bring a positive and non-judgmental attitude to yoga. As well as respecting ancient traditions they are also open to embracing contemporary styles when required. The word Indaba comes from an ancient African term known as ‘gathering’ and the studio prides itself on creating a space which gives its clients an opportunity to step away from daily life and take time to reconnect. There are two large studios here, one of which is a hot studio, at full capacity they can fit up to fifty-five eager yogis’. There are over 50 classes laid on a week here ranging from Forrest Yoga to the ever-popular Yin. There are also online classes for those opting to practice from the comfort of their home.
I really enjoyed my time here today. The front of house staff were exceptionally helpful and the teachers here really seem to know their stuff. Indaba is a sanctuary in the middle of what is usually a bustling part of town.
18 Hayes Place