20 Fenchurch Street has turned into the new hub for yoga practitioners. The SkyGarden Yoga at the Walkie-Talkie attracts hundreds of early rising yogis every week. Classes start at the ungodly hour of 6.30am during the week and 9am at the weekends. But the early start is a small price to pay for the stunning panoramic backdrop to the yoga practice and the chance to salute the sun in a garden 160 metres above the ground at the heart of London.
With a mat in hand, I arrived at the home of SkyGarden Yoga half an hour before the practice as visitors go through a full security scan. Once you get through the security check, you go in an elevator and in a matter of seconds you are transported into a natural garden offering an impressive view of the very best of London’s skyline. The Shard is staring you in the face, the Eye is waving at you in the distance and St. Paul is beckoning invitingly with its white dome.
My eyes couldn’t get enough of London’s beauty in this early January morning but I had to make my way to the yoga class.
Following the steps and winding footpaths in the jungle-like garden I came face to face with another iconic member of the London skyline – the Gherkin.
The rising sun gave it a subtle metallic blink that served as the perfect drishti (focused gaze) for our practice.
I rolled out my mat and my fellow yogis shortly started arriving. More than 50 early risers bowed down to the sun as our amazing teacher guided us through sun salutes, balances and stretches that warmed up the body and woke up the mind to the beautiful crisp January morning.
At the end of the practice it was time for Savasana – those blissful five minutes of relaxation that let your body and mind absorb the practice. Wrapping up in extra layers and blankets, I let my body rest on the mat. Instead of closing my eyes, I chose to observe the big blue sky with its alluring fluttering clouds. At that very moment I felt I was on top of the world. I was one with the sky and the clouds. I was one with the Universe.
Fully regenerated after an hour of moving meditation, I quickly posed for a mini photo session to share my experience with all my Facebook friends and Instagram followers. Because yoga backgrounds hardly ever get any better than that. The staff at the Skygarden are friendly enough to let you do as many crazy asanas as you like. As long as you don’t lean on the windows, of course.
To book your space at the SkyGarden Yoga, 20 Fenchurch Street, London, check for availability at http://skygarden.london/event/sky-high-yoga
Classes cost £10 and you need to bring your own mat. Closest tube stations are Monument and Bank.