Isn’t this sunrise over Tower Bridge just beautiful?! I was greeted by this pink, purple and orange sight yesterday morning. My usual morning walk to work is along the South Bank so why did I find myself in front of the Tower of London looking towards Tower Bridge at 7 am? Because dear reader, I was making my way to the Walkways of Tower Bridge for a yoga class on a glass floor. How amazing is that?!
I was on a high just from seeing this sunrise – and that’s before I had even set foot inside the bridge.
The Tower Bridge Walkway
The yoga class started at 07:30 but everyone was asked to be there by 07:15. At the visitor centre, which is located about midway on the bridge, you sign an indemnity form and then everyone is taken up to the 4th level Walkway by lift. As soon as I walked onto the Walkway I knew this was going to be something special.
The mix of wood & glass flooring make the Walkway feel light and airy, yet cosy with a slight Victorian air. Add to that the mirrored ceiling, the spectacular view towards the north and south banks of the river, the steels of the bridge and of course the traffic and pedestrians walking below, all I could do was smile and thank my lucky stars to be having this experience.
Class started at exactly 7:30. Our instructor Billie Woodhouse introduced herself and explained that it will be a Vinyasa class. She also told us that we could get rid of our yoga mats at any point as the glass is “grippy” enough. With it being only 3 degrees outside, the glass was still very cold so we all chose to use our yoga mats for the floor work and then ditched the mats after about 20 minutes. There are heaters in the walkway, so the air was pleasantly warm – it’s just the glass panels that were cold.
If I do yoga in the Walkways again (which I definitely will), I would happily put up with the cold glass for the whole class (or just wear grippy socks like these by Sweaty Betty and leave the yoga mat at home) because looking down onto the pedestrians and traffic on the bridge is just too awesome to spoil with a piece of foam.
I had to tell myself a few times to stop focusing on the people down below and concentrate on Billie’s instructions but it’s just so mesmerizing watching cars, trucks and men carrying ladders (can you see him in the photo below?) from above while you’re in Downward Dog!
When we weren’t looking down onto the bridge traffic we were looking over the Thames towards The Shard and London Bridge. You really can’t beat the views from Tower Bridge! As for the yoga, I enjoyed the energising Vinyasa flow and Billie is an excellent teacher. The class would be suitable for beginners and experienced yogis alike.
As part of Tower Bridge’s 125th anniversary, they commissioned a photographer to document the events of 2019, and that included yoga in the Walkways on 20 November 2019. The photos Lucy Hunter took will form part of the Tower Bridge archive. It kinda blows my mind that a photo of me doing Downward Dog could potentially be looked at by someone 100 years from now! That’s amazing and very cool.
Once the yoga class had ended we all took advantage of the fact that we had a professional photographer in our midst. Lucy kindly took photos of us with our own phones. I imagined I would look something like this elegant lady:
Instead, here is my photo. Not quite the same.
There is a definite ensemble mishap…. I had no idea that my leggings had grown so big for me that they sagged this much in the crotch area! I only realised the extent of the droopage when when Lucy took my photo. After the event. After she had taken her photos for the Tower Bridge archives….. I decided to include the photo in this blog post anyway because I look so happy doing my tree pose on the glass floor. And if a yogi looks at this saggy situation 100 years from now, hopefully they will also choose to “build a bridge and get over” my epic leggings fail as I have.
Like my brother said – it takes balls to do yoga on a glass floor 42 meters above water.
Instructor: Billie Woodcraft of Mojo Yard
Location: Tower Bridge, Tower Bridge Road, London, SE1 2UP
Time: 07:30 to 08:30
Date attended: Wednesday 20 November 2019
Yoga mats provided: Yes
Good to know 1: Wear grippy socks so that you don’t need a yoga mat on the glass floor. That way you can enjoy the view through the glass floor and you keep your feet warm.
Good to know 2: If you want to be in the Walkways but can’t be in London, you can experience it with Google Maps. Just click here and within seconds you will be in the exact spot where I did yoga.
Something I learned: There have been yoga classes in the Tower of London since 2015. It was meant to be an one time only event, but it was so popular Billie and her team just had to keep going. Now, 4 years later, classes are held once a month.
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.