When I came across a yoga class for skiers and snowboarders held in an ski chalet themed rooftop, there wasn’t a snowballs’ chance in hell that I was going to miss out. I don’t having the inclination, ability or intention to ski or snowboard, but if this doesn’t count as an event worthy of my list of funky locations to do yoga, I don’t know what will. I had to go.
Shred Ready Yoga is a series of Friday morning classes designed by Emily Harding of The Yeh Yoga Co. to help build functional strength (in other words super strong core and legs) and flexibility to get you ready for the slopes. As is fitting a ski themed event, it is held at Savage Schloss, an Austrian Après Ski Bar rooftop bar. In London. I mean really. How cool is that?!
Savage Schloss is part of the Savage Garden rooftop bar of the Double Tree Hilton – Tower Hill. It looks out onto the Gherkin but once you step through the doors, you are transported to a different world, complete with red gingham table cloths, animal skins, lots of wood and even the odd moose head.
As if being inside a “ski lodge” on a Friday morning in London wasn’t enough, we were blessed with the constant soothing sound of rain on the roof. You don’t need a Spotify playlist when you can listen to the rain.
And to add even further to the sensory overload there were animal skins…. The events team of the hotel had mislaid Emily’s yoga mats so we improvised and did yoga the way our Austrian forefathers would have done it – on a yogamat-animalskin. We had the smell of the wild in our noses every time we went into Downward Dog, and the feel of fur under our feet. I really loved our yogamat-animalskins – they made the whole ski chalet experience more real and I love how we all turned a problem into a I-will-remember-this-for-ever positive.
I only signed up for one class and did wonder whether I’d be able to keep up, considering this was a series of classes to gradually build up strength. I imagined a lot of Chair Poses would be involved (I was not wrong) – would I be able to keep up with the regulars who really do have a ski trip planned and have been coming to Emily’s classes from the start? In Emily’s very sweet email setting out the logistics for the day, she actually said “And one last thing…. We want to foster an inclusive and loving community spirit so all we ask is bring your biggest and best smile and get ready to start your day off in the very best way as we delve into our most intense week yet of building strength for skiing and boarding”. Yikes! But also, aaawh how lovely! 🙂
I needn’t have worried. Emily’s teaching philosophy is simple – keep it fun, welcoming and inclusive (as quoted form her About Me page) and I really experienced this. It was a fun and challenging vinyasa flow class and Emily made everyone feel at ease. If you couldn’t bend that way, or lift that high it wasn’t a problem at all – Emily was there to give a hand and to suggest modifications.
I can really see that if you do have ski or snowboarding trip coming up, prepping your body with this weekly class will really benefit you on the slopes. With a strong core to keep you balanced and keep you safe from injuries, and legs & glutes in top shape (chair pose!!!) you’ll definitely be Shred Ready.
I truly felt transported to an Alpine ski chalet and actually felt a bit disorientated when it ended and I had to get back to real life. Ski lodge + animal skins + staring at The Gherkin + challenging vinyasa flow = magical mindf*c$. I can’t wait to go back for more.
Instructor: Emily Harding of The Yeh Yoga Co.
Location: Savage Garden Rooftop, Floor 12, Hilton DoubleTree, 7 Pepys St, London, EC3N 4AF
Time: 07:20 to 08:20
Price: £11.37 (£10 plus the eventbrite fees)
Date attended: Friday 20 December 2019
Yoga mats provided: Yes if you email to reserve a mat when making the booking
Yoga intensity: According to my Fitbit Inspire HR I burned 304 calories in 53 minutes with an average bpm of 125. That’s one heck of a yoga workout!
Good to know : When you enter the hotel walk straight ahead past the reception desk and turn right. The lifts to Savage Schloss is on your left at the end of the passage. Floor 12.
Something I learned: Animal skins look great on a floor, but they are not grippy enough for a successful Downward Dog
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.