Saturday morning greeted me with a cold fog as I made my way to The Shard, Europe’s tallest building, for a sky-high yoga class hosted by Yogasphere on the 68th floor of the tower. On a clear day, one can see nearly 40 miles out. How often do you get a clear day in London, though? Not worrying about the nonexistent view, and embracing the fog as a zen-like haze, I chose a mat and began to unwind for class.
As soon as the instructor began speaking, though, I knew relaxing was not going to happen. Though there are pleasant accents found in the U.K., the accent of this woman was coarse, unpolished, and not conducive to a yoga class.
I understood that this was not YogaMos, my local, family-owned studio that I know and love, but I was disappointed to realize that the Yogasphere class was clearly a choreographed yoga highlight reel. At home, YogaMos teaches yogis to look inside oneself to find one’s center, and to use this inner-self recognition as strength to carry through breathing, poses, and reflection. With Yogasphere at The Shard, we hardly had a moment to center ourselves when we were off completing speedy sun salutations and dramatic balancing poses. As YogaMos instructor Chris would say, it is all part of the practice; one must endure any yoga adversity through self-centering, for it is the essence of the practice. This class at The Shard, however, was a spiritual challenge.
I expected a yoga experience similar to that of home, or even classes that I’ve done at school, but Yogasphere only seemed to be interested in the yoga that sells. Had it been a clear day where I could see over all of London, I probably would have looked more favorably on the experience, but poor weather and poor practice made for a mediocre morning.
Peace, Love, London