Review: The Yoga Bar, Twickenham
Running around like a loony? Brain fried? Stress overload? It can't just be me, right? We all need a bit of me-time. And I know the perfect place.
Nothing clears a busy mind and stretches out a tired body quite like a good yoga class. It’s a full-body workout that invigorates the body and encourages relaxation at the same time.
Last week I tried out a class at The Yoga Bar, a wellness studio in Twickenham that also offers a range of therapies including massage, reflexology, reiki, kinesiology, talking therapies and holistic facials.
I love this clever all-round approach to wellbeing where you can spend a morning – or even a whole day – getting off the treadmill of life and just slowing down.
The Yoga Bar is on London Road in Twickenham and it’s super easy to get to. Twickenham station is a five minute walk away and trains run regularly to and from London Waterloo via Clapham Junction and Richmond, as well as to Windsor (stopping at Staines, and Ashford), Reading (with stops at Staines, Egham and Virginia Water), and Chiswick. If you go by car, the Holly Road car park is just 4 mins walk and the Arragon Road car park is 3 mins walk.
You’re pretty spoiled for choice for coffee shops, cafés, restaurants and pubs in the area, and of course you’re right on the River Thames and not far at from Marble Hill Park, Richmond Park and, a little further away, Bushy Park.
Think warm Scandi interiors – exposed brick walls, warm neutrals colours, blonde timber flooring and plenty of mirrors. There are two studios, including one with a Japanese-influenced shoji sliding screen that opens to a calming chill out area where there are refreshments and sofa seating. It all makes for a serene and relaxed environment, which feels pretty connected to nature. There are also potted plants.
The treatment rooms, too are a calming and relaxing spaces done out in soft neutrals with lamp lighting and soothing music.
I did the Power Flow yoga class led by experienced instructor Kate Mundie. It’s a dynamic vinyasa-based practice that takes you a series of flowing sequences, with a strong focus on the breath. It’s a popular class – and was pretty much at capacity on the day I went – so I’d say booking is a must.
I’ve been doing yoga for a several years, and I wouldn’t suggest this class to a compete beginner. But there are plenty of choices including a yoga foundations class for first-timers, mindful yoga and mindful flow, yin yoga, yin and yang yoga, and ashtanga yoga. There are also pregnancy yoga, mum and baby classes and courses for teenagers.
In the Power Flow class, Kate takes you through familiar vinyasa movements: triangle, downward dog, three-legged dog, plank, warrior I and II, reverse warrior, cobra. She wanders the room and gently corrects your form, and gives you options to make each exercise easier or harder, depending on your level. It’s an energising class, and you’ll leave feeling you’ve had a really good all-over workout and a good stretch.
The beauty of a wellness studio with everything under the same roof is that you can float from a class to a treatment without having to dash all over the high street. I was in the mood for some pampering, and booked a 90-minute holistic relax and restore facial with therapist Laura Tucker.
The treatment has been designed with complete and pure mindful relaxation and restoration in mind. And I can attest it achieves that and more. Laura is also a professional make-up artist, so there’s not much she doesn’t know about skin care and how to really get a glow. All the products Laura uses are organic, vegan and cruelty free.
As well as a facialist, she’s also a reiki practitioner and combines both in this facial. It’s a bespoke facial, tailored to the needs of each client, in which Laura blends traditional natural cleansing methods with plenty of facial massage including the gua sha technique which uses a smooth flat jade stone. As well as being amazingly relaxing is also brilliant for lymphatic draining and toning muscles and skin. Apparently it’s known as a a natural alternative to Botox!
If you’re after a facial that will relax your mind and body as much as it rejuvenates your skin, this is certainly the one I’d recommend. It was one-and-a-half hours of utter blissful floaty relaxation where you drift in that happy state of doziness.
The holistic relax and restore facial costs £85 for 90 minutes and this includes some reiki, but there’s also an option to add on another 30 minutes of reiki for an additional £30.
Yoga classes are £17 drop in. There are class packs available for £80 (5 classes), £135 (10 classes) and £250 (20 classes), and a monthly unlimited offer for £110 a month (12 month contract). There’s also an introductory offer of £20 for two classes.