Indaba Yoga - stretch yourself!

indaba1The recently-opened Indaba Yoga in Marylebone has quickly become one of the capital’s top yoga studios. David Hudson paid it a visit…

Yoga is one of those disciplines that I’ve always known to be good for you, but which I’ve never actually tried. The recent arrival of Indaba Yoga to Marylebone (just a few minutes from the Out In The City office), offered me the perfect excuse to take the plunge.

Indaba (the word means ‘gathering’) first threw open its doors in mid-2011. It’s run by the American-born Ellen Walsh Moorman. Her aim is simple: to offer “yoga at its top level”.
As soon as you step through Indaba’s doors, you are immersed in an atmosphere of calm. Incense perfumes the air, and you are invited to shed your shoes in the reception area on the first floor, next to the first yoga studio and gorgeous changing rooms. On the second floor is a larger studio space, while a third floor offers a couple of luxurious private treatment rooms for massage, plus a one-on-one studio for private lessons.
Indaba offers a bewildering array of different classes… enough to delight those familiar with their yoga, but perhaps a little intimidating for anyone who has never tried a class before. However, advisers are adept at putting newcomers at ease, and will happily chat to you about the different classes, your ability and expectations.
As I was a complete beginner, Ellen suggested I try a Pilates class; so I dropped in on a lunchtime session. I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but found myself surprisingly affected by the class. On the surface, Pilates simply entails striking and holding gentle poses, gently raising and lowering your limbs or torso to exercise and stretch different groups of muscles. This is done in time to your breathing.
The class lasted 45 minutes, and although I didn’t break out in to a sweat, I felt like I had genuinely tested each of my core muscle groups. The process of concentrating on one’s breathing – gently inhaling and exhaling whilst doing the different exercises – was also unexpectedly powerful. At the end of the class, I felt a deep sense of calm – which I can honestly say followed me around for the rest of the day.
If you’ve ever thought of trying out yoga, Indaba offers a great introduction deal. Pay £25 and you can then attend as many classes as you like for a ten-day period. It’s a great way to sample different yoga disciplines and decide which one might be best for you. Classes range from beginners through to AcroYoga, Jivamukti, Dharma Mittra, Astanga, Yogasana and Iyengar, to name just a few – with the ‘Hot Power Hour’ in the early morning or lunchtime particularly popular.

Indaba Yoga, 18 Hayes Place, Marylebone, London NW1 6UA. 020 7724 9994.

Posted: 26 March 2012

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