Class Guide | Yoga in Oxford

In this new series I’ll be recommending yoga classes and studios in cities and towns, based on my own experience and local insider knowledge. If you know of any yoga studios that deserve some recognition, let me know!

Thanks to visiting Stuart at least once a term I have had the opportunity to try a few yoga classes out from around the city of Oxford. Despite not being a huge city, Oxford has a lot going on, with two universities -one of which being the oldest and one of the most prestigious in the country -tourists, shopping centres, independent businesses and a whole lot of culture. For an out of the city, alternative location, you have two main options: Summertown, the highly desirable area to the north of the city, and Cowley, a more cosmopolitan and student-y area. Whilst not strictly related to yoga, if you do find yourself near Summertown you have to try the Modern Baker, an organic bakery, shop and cafe that sells delicious and healthy baked goods and all the latest whole foods, including items from Rude Health, Pip and Nut and Primrose’s Kitchen. Although the main yoga studio in Summertown has shut down, Kristine Homoki, who teaches a beautiful Core Strength Vinyasa class teaches at Wolfson College on Wednesday evenings. Core Strength Yoga is a form of yoga pioneered by Sadie Nardini, who is definitely a yoga rockstar.

In Cowley, you have a variety of organic shops and holistic wellbeing centres that offer yoga, but the main place to go is Yoga Venue. A purpose-built studio with a hot room and Vinyasa room, Yoga Venue has lots of room for it’s packed schedule. The Vinyasa classes are based on Green Lotus Yoga, a strengthening and mindful form of yoga. However, you can also find Bikram-inspired classes, Fierce Grace, restorative and Jivamukti amongst others. I checked in for a 7am Vinyasa class that although officially unheated, was held in the insulated hot yoga room and the heat from a class full of of yogis soon had me sweating and flowing into poses, perfect for starting the day.

Closer to the city centre, you have Yoga Quota and Sweaty Betty. Yoga Quota is located above the popular Turl Street Kitchen and is a great charitable company -for every 50 people who pay for a class, a free class is taught to an underprivileged group. Yoga Quota’s main classes are Vinyasa and a Baptise-inspired flow. There’s a gentle class on a Saturday in case you find yourself nursing a sore head, and newly launched is Yin and Tonic, a restorative yin class with adjustments and massage built in to the class. It sounds amazing and I would love to try it! I recommended Yoga Quota to a friend whilst she was in the throws of revision and she ordered herself a yoga mat straight afterwards.

Sweaty Betty is great for trying a variety of classes, and is one of the least expensive options out there -if you’re a Sweaty Betty member you can go to their Saturday Vinyasa class for free. There’s also Ashtanga and Kundalini yoga on offer, alongside pilates, barre and circuit training for something a little bit different. Just beware spending more than you planned when you pass through the Sweaty Betty shop!

I hope this helps you should you find yourself in Oxford -what other cities would you like to know about?