Affectionately known as the Walkie Talkie Building, 20 Fenchurch Street is an office building in City of London with a beautiful surprise. Its top three floors hold London’s highest public garden. It literally is a garden the sky and it’s beautiful! Best of all, you can do yoga right there among the plants, under the large glass dome, overlooking London.
20 Fenchurch Street has a total of five restaurants & bars – two on level 37, two on level 36 and one on level 35, each with an amazing view. For yoga, you will either be on level 36 or 35 depending on whether you go on a weekday or a weekend. I signed up for sunrise yoga on a Sunday which meant I had to head up to the City Garden Bar on the 36th floor for a 08:30 start.
Upon entering the Sky Garden on Philpot Lane you have to pass through airport style security and then take a lift to the 35th floor. To get to the 36th floor and the City Garden Bar, you walk up a flight of stairs hugging the glass wall with lush greenery on one side, and the expanse of London with its beautiful buildings and the river Thames on the other. I stopped every three steps to turn back and look back over the Sky Pod Bar or to take a photo of the view. I think this staircase is my favourite part of the Sky Garden.
Give yourself some time to appreciate the view from those stairs. It really is not to be missed, especially on a clear day.
Once on the 36th floor you will immediately spot where the yoga class is going to take place. It is right in front of the bar, facing the Leadenhall and Gherkin buildings. I recommend getting there in plenty of time to put down your mat. There were easily 50 people in the class, around 30 of which were there by 08:20.
Our instructor, Alice Maisetti leads the class from a little perch about a foot from the ground. Everyone was able to see her, but I think those at the ends of the rows might have struggled to hear her. She did use a microphone at the start and the end of class, but wasn’t able to do so during Vinyasa. I think if you are new to yoga you definitely have to place yourself near her towards the middle because she speeds up quite a bit and if you can’t hear her and are not familiar with yoga, you will struggle to keep up.
Alice was very relaxed and easy to listen to, and she definitely knows her yoga stuff. She just seems like a really nice person too. She was smiling for almost the whole hour and encouraged us to do the same. (When you’re concentrating on holding a Half Moon Pose you can easily forget to smile.)
At one point I was looking up and saw us all reflected in the curved roof. I couldn’t resist quickly grabbing my phone mid asana to take this picture. Cool right?
Alice ended the class with 5 minutes of meditation but it felt more like 10 minutes. I really love this part of yoga, especially when done in a beautiful space like the Sky Garden. By the end of class, I felt relaxed yet energised and very, very happy I went. Feeling so good about being there felt extra special after the “bad feeling” I had about going on the 18th of August. (See this post.)
As I walked out I took a few more pictures and decided that I will definitely be back, even if it’s not for yoga. You can book a slot for coffee and muffin/pastry on a weekend for only £5. Bargain!
I am so glad I went to Sunrise Yoga at the Sky Garden. It’s a beautiful experience that merges nature, views, modern architecture and yoga. What’s not to like?
Instructor: Alice Maisetti
Location: Sky Garden, 20 Fenchurch, Sky Garden Walk, London, EC3M 8AF
Time: 06:30 Tuesday-Friday, 08:00 on Saturdays and 08:30 on Sundays. Classes run for 1 hour, with the option to include breakfast.
Price: £10 for yoga class only, £22 for yoga class and buffet breakfast in Darwin Brasserie (weekdays), £17 for yoga class and smoothie & muffin/pastry in Sky Pod Bar (weekends)
Date attended: Sunday 8 September 2019
Yoga mats provided: No
Good to know: There are two entrances to the Walkie Talking Building: the entrance on Fenchurch Street goes to the office building, and the Sky Bar entrance is around the corner, in Philpot Lane.
Something I learned: Warm up exercises for the wrists is an excellent idea. It definitely made my wrists feel less strained during the first few planks. It only takes about a minute but made a huge difference.
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.