Manchester Yoga Classes - Best for Beginners
With the likes of Kate Moss, Maxine Peake and Madonna regular practitioners, yoga has become part of the British exercise establishment. But for the novice yogi, the sheer number of classes, types and different teachers can seem really overwhelming. There’s good reason for this: some classes are aimed at those with more experience, while others are for those stepping onto their yoga mats for the first time. With this in mind, we’ve put together a guide to Manchester yoga classes in the city centre that anyone can attend – no matter how experienced they are.
Quick Fix Yoga
For a short, sharp blast, Yoga Express (Studio 25, Thomas Street) serves up snappy lunch hour and after work classes. The tagline is ‘compact classes for people on the go’ and that’s accurate description, with classes that are simple, easy to follow and based on the flowing Ashtanga method of yoga poses. With friendly and accessible style of teaching, Manc veteran Matt Ryan leads the classes which contain nothing tricky enough to put off the beginner in the room, but allow those with more experience the chance to work out a few knots. Classes start at around £6 for 45 minutes.
Another solid starting place is Bodywise Natural Health Centre at the Northern Quarter’s Buddhist Centre. The serene and purpose-built centre offers a wide range of yoga classes and meditation sessions including mother and baby sessions and yoga for those with chronic fatigue and insomnia. Many classes are part of a course, so there is less of a drop in culture at this beautiful space. Having said that, it’s worth attending one of the few drop-in sessions, as the warm, wood-lined, top floor space seems to encapsulate the organic, and relaxation-focused principles of this holistic form of exercise. Teaching is gentle and includes styles drawn from Hatha and Yin yoga, where poses are held for longer periods of time, promoting deep relaxation and focus.
Some Like it Hot!
For those after something a bit more lively, Bikram Hot Yoga is the local celeb’s favourite. Look out for professional dancers and actors at this fashionable cellar gym. With the temperature in the room held at 40oC for 90 minutes, first encounters with Bikram can be a bit of a shock to the system. Fortunately, the teachers are gentle with new students, who typically line the back of the room, while more experienced bods stand towards the front of the room. There is a focus on set poses here, which incorporate those from a number of styles of yoga, and there are usually three sessions a day to choose from, all of which are drop in session and which are suitable for beginners. Remember to arrive around 30 minutes before the start of your first session, and if you are new to Bikram, you can try as many classes as you like over a 30 day period for £30.
The Yoga Lounge
There is another contender for Manchester’s hot yoga throne in the form of newcomer, The Yoga Lounge. Located down on Deansgate, it is one of the few yoga centres in Manchester to make a break with the Northern Quarter. Opening in 2013, this devoted centre specialises in ‘hot yoga’ as opposed to the official Bikram method, pilates, Ashtanga (a dynamic, flowing yoga) and mixtures of hot and flowing yoga styles. Classes are available in various lengths and take place most lunchtimes, mornings and after work and many are at a slightly lower temperature (38 or 36oC) than Bikram which is quite unique compared with other hot studios.
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Ruth has been writing about Manchester's cultural scene for the last 10 years, specialising in off-the-beaten track destinations and hidden gems. She's the editor of Manchester's award-winning what's on guide.