Two days before my 42nd birthday I was out of the house at 05:35 to be on time for a 07:00 yoga class on the roof terrace of Madison, a restaurant at One New Change shopping centre near St. Pauls. Yes it’s early, but man it was worth it!
Sophie of Sophie Dear Yoga hosts the rooftop classes every Wednesday morning from June to September. My class was mid-July and it was beautifully timed – the sky was bright blue with only a few clouds and a light breeze.
It was so perfect that I honestly got a bit teary for the first few minutes of the class. I had a long spiritual journey to get to the point where I would willingly, nay eagerly, sign up for an exercise class at 7 am on a roof. Lying on that roof, looking up at the sky and feeling the breeze, I felt so proud of myself for getting this far and so very blessed to have St. Paul’s Cathedral looking out over (for?) me.
It felt as if the Universe was giving me a high five.
St. Paul’s Cathedral was never out of sight and it seemed to glow in the sunlight. It overshadowed Sophie just a tad, but she managed to keep the attention on her as she guided us through a tough but manageable yoga class.
Sophie provided many modifications to accommodate all the different levels of yogis. I was in awe of some of the more advanced attendees. (It was the first time I saw someone do Crane / Crow). It had been almost a year since I had done yoga so I was totally okay with doing the easiest version of a pose. Yet I also felt inspired to try a more advanced modification when we did the pose a second time round. I think that’s a sign of a good yoga class.
We ended the class with 15 minutes of guided mediation with affirmations during which Sophie applied a small drop of oil on our foreheads. I don’t know for sure what it was, but I got whiffs of mint, jasmine, lavender and liquorice. So lovely!
If Sophie does Rooftop Yoga again next year, I’ll definitely be there.
Instructor: Sophie of Sophie Dear Yoga
Location: The roof terrace of Madison, One New Change shopping centre, London, EC4M 9AF
Time: 07:00 to 08:00
Price: £16.50 or 10 classes for £150
Date attended: 17 July 2019
Yoga mats provided: No
Good to know: Toilets are on the first floor of One New Change but not easy to find – it’s located between Nandos and Bread Street Kitchen restaurant. (I wasted precious “I need to find a good spot in the back row” time looking for the loos.)
Something I learned: When going from Plank into Chaturanga , rather go onto your knees than flop down if your upper body is not strong enough to bring you down slowly and with control. It’s better to modify the pose (by going onto your knees), than doing it incorrectly and not getting any benefit from the pose. You can go onto your knees until you have built up enough strength in your arms and shoulders.
If you like doing yoga in quirky places, outside, or in iconic London buildings, check out my list of Funky places to do yoga and pilates around London.