The unprepossessing Old Ford Road premises seem an unusual choice for a brand new yoga centre, but my first visit proved that it wasn’t an unsound one. In spite of the occasional roar of the traffic outside, Yoganesh proved a warm and welcoming place to be on one of the wettest days of the year. There’s no reception area, but I was welcomed in by class teacher, Rita, who asked me to remove my shoes before walking across the yoga space to the changing area; it’s small, so it’s advisable to arrive early enough to change quickly and grab a mat.
The weather was undoubtedly a factor in the dearth of yogis today, but my fellow practitioner was clearly a regular as Rita welcomed her back and, impressively, remembered which poses she was able to achieve and which she found more difficult. The class was ‘restorative’ – just what was needed after a bout of bronchitis – involving a slow and relaxing combination of poses, some of which were simply lying under a cosy blanket with a lavender-scented eye bag, concentrating on breathing and meditating. Other poses were more challenging and I needed Rita’s help to achieve an (almost) Urdhva Dhanurasana (full bow). The session was perfect for a slightly fragile foray back into the practice after a period of ill health.
The space is small but offers a more intimate way of teaching the practice, and one that I will definitely be revisiting. As a new venture it’s hard to gauge what niche Yoganesh will fit into, but so far it’s ticking ‘small, friendly and local’ perfectly. As for teaching, Rita scores highly, managing to combine a friendly and encouraging welcome, with clear instruction and help when needed. Her background is Ashtanga and she primarily teaches Vinyasa Flow as well as Pregnancy Yoga though she freely admits that she incorporates a variety of inluences into her teaching. Oh, and Rita’s Tuesday class is ‘Donation’ (though £5 is the recommended minimum) so it’s a great way of checking out the class without a huge outlay.
Even though it hasn’t been open long, Yoganesh is hosting Lara Baumann who will be teaching three new dosha-regulating Advanced Quantum Yoga sequences at the end of February (see the website for details), and further details of future workshops and retreats are promised.
- Yoga Styles: Ashtanga, Pregnancy Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Yoga for Kids (primary school)
- Private Classes can be arranged for individuals and groups
- Studios: 1 small studio (capacity 12)
- Classes/wk: 17
- From/To: 9.15am – 9pm
- Class length: 45mins (Kid’s Yoga)/ 1hr / 1hr15 / 1hr30
- Prices: £4 (Kid’s Yoga)/ £10 / £11 / £12
- Class Passes: Five Classes (valid for 1 month): £50 any time/any class; £45 off peak/any class;
- Ten Classes (valid for 3 months) £90 any time/any class; £80 off peak/any class.
- Donation class (pay anything, but at least £5 recommended).
Changing Room: 1 shower, no lockers (hanging space & wooden open boxes to store clothes/bags). Small and, as it doubles as an office, probably impossibly so when busy!
Equipment: Blocks, bricks, pregnancy balls, belts, blankets, pillows.
Reception: The entrance opens straight onto the yoga space and you are likely to be welcomed by your teacher. Changing room is at the back of the room and the single shower/toilet is beyond that.
Typical visitor: Young and fit as well as older and creakier.
Other services: Occasional workshops, such as Lara Baumann teaching Advance Quantum Yoga.