From picturesque settings to pay-as-you-pose spaces, here’s our guide to the best yoga classes Manchester has to offer.
There’s only one problem with yoga: just as there are a hundred reasons for taking it up, so there are a hundred ways to practice it, from inclusive community groups to sweaty steam sessions. Working out which is right for you can be tricky; if you needed to unwind before you started searching, you’ll definitely need to after.
To save you the stress, we’ve been saluting the sun and doing the downward facing dog across Manchester, finding the best places to get on the path to inner peace.
Here are our picks
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now
If practicing yoga in a picturesque place is a priority, then look no further than the Whitworth’s Great Escape yoga classes. Taking place in a gallery that overlooks the park, these morning sessions give you the chance to get energised in a peaceful environment. There’s something rather satisfying about watching other people walking to work while you’re getting supple, and Karen Mee the instructor is easy to follow and relaxing to listen to. A lot of the participants have been coming to this class for years, but it is equally good for beginners (like me). Bring your own mat if you have one, as there are only a limited number to borrow. Classes 8.30am-9.45am on Thursdays, £5.
Bikram Yoga Manchester, 51 Church St, Manchester, M4 1PD - Visit now
This is the one you’ve probably heard about – the hot one – but nothing quite prepares you for how hot it actually is, which is to say very hot (40 degrees). Best to shower beforehand so you feel fresh, you need to bring a couple of towels, a yoga mat and plenty of water with you (plus a pound coin if you want to keep your stuff secure). After about five minutes I thought I was going to faint, but you do get used to it and by the end it is almost enjoyable. (Almost.) The session lasts an hour and a half, but give yourself 15 minutes beforehand to get ready and another 20 after to take a shower. I wouldn’t suggest trying this until you’ve given another kind of yoga a go first. The people who do go seem very committed; Bikram yoga strikes me as almost a lifestyle choice rather than simply a relaxation activity (make of that what you will). A range of times and deals available, see website for details.
Studio 25 Manchester, 25 Church Street, Manchester, M4 1PE - Visit now
Convenient for those in the city centre, Studio 25 has both early afternoon and evening drop in classes, which make for a good wind-down from work. Instructor Matt Ryan brims with positivity, offering helpful hints for both beginners and seasoned practitioners. The space itself is big (so you’ve got lots of room) and because it is a dance studio the walls are mirrored, which really helps with holding the correct posture. Classes 6pm-6.45pm Mon & Wed, 12.15pm-1pm Tues & Fri, £6.
Manchester Buddhist Centre, 16-20 Turner St, Manchester, M4 1DZ - Visit now
The epicentre of Manchester yoga, Bodywise offers a number of different classes, courses and ways to get involved with yoga. If you want to find out what yoga is all about this is the best place to start before trying out other options. Christine, who teaches several of the classes, was recommended to me by both Danielle from Ziferblat and Karen from the Whitworth. The building can sometimes be a bit noisy, but the room is spacious and the Buddhist Centre generally emanates a tranquil vibe. Times and prices vary, see website for details.
Ziferblat Manchester, 23 Edge Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1HW - Visit now
At Ziferblat, all you pay for is the time you spend (it’s 5p/minute, with drinks and snacks included). The same goes for the yoga classes there. There are plenty of mats, and makes the postures easy to understand – plus, you can have cake afterwards. Sweet! Classes 6.15pm every Thursday, 5p/minute or £3/hour.