From picturesque settings to pay-as-you-pose spaces, here’s our guide to the best yoga studios and classes that 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 practise it, from inclusive community sessions to outdoor groups, athletic-style classes to slower-paced, mindful ones. 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 you on the path to inner peace.
Here are our picks
The Life Centre North, 293A Deansgate, Manchester, M3 4EW - Visit now
With Bikram Yoga in the Northern Quarter no more, this is the place to get your hot yoga fix. You’ve probably already heard about hot yoga, but be prepared for how hot it actually is, which is to say very hot. 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. But it’s not just hot yoga you’ll find here; there’s less mainstream strands of yoga such as Kudalini as well as incredibly relaxing somatic movement and restorative yoga, plus pilates classes, courses and retreats.
The Whitworth, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M15 6ER - Visit now
If practising yoga in a picturesque place is a priority, then look no further than the Whitworth’s Iyengar 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 Ellen Cooper the instructor is easy to follow and relaxing to listen to. The Iyengar method of yoga that she teaches focuses on the correct alignment and precision of poses, to ensure you are working safely and gaining maximum benefits to your flexibility, strength and wellbeing. A lot of the participants have been coming to these kinds of classes for years, but this one’s equally good for beginners. Classes are at 9.00am-10.00 am on Thursdays and cost £5.
Studio 25 Manchester, 25 Church Street, Manchester, M4 1PE
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. Their instructors are brimming with positivity, offering helpful hints for both beginners and seasoned practitioners. The space itself is big (so you’ve got lots of space) and because it’s a dance studio the walls are mirrored, which really helps with holding the correct posture. The yoga classes range from Energetic Beginner Yoga, for those who thrive on being pushed to their physical limits, to the meditation-based Yoga Nidri. And there’s everything in between. Take a look at the venue’s website for a comprehensive breakdown of what they offer.
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 us by various yogis we spoke to across the city. The building can sometimes be a bit noisy, but the room is spacious and the Buddhist Centre generally emanates a tranquil vibe. And if it’s an online class you’re looking for, then Bodywise has that covered, too. Times and prices vary, see Bodywise’s website for details.
Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA - Visit now
If you’re looking for children’s yoga – yeah, it’s a thing – then head over to Z-arts, Manchester’s dedicated family arts centre. Their Yoga Stars classes encourage children aged 5-11 to be playful and understand how their breathing and body move together. Z-arts believe yoga is for everybody and that you’re never too young (or old!) to start stretching and exploring. They see yoga as a fantastic way for children to develop focus, self-awareness and confidence, and their Yoga Stars classes use animals, nature and other themes to help young people to explore as they move and learn to stretch their bodies in new creative ways. Led by Gill Balfour, it’s a welcome addition to the venue’s unrivalled canon of creative classes for kids.
Yoga Fundamentals - A Six Week Course, Until 14 February 2022 - Book now
Okay, so this one’s a little further afield, but it’s also great. The Leeds-based Yoga Fundamentals course is ideal for beginners, those who are in need of support in building back their practise or those wanting to deepen their knowledge in the foundations of yoga.