Fold Yoga will help you to go with the flow
- Credit: Archant
Fold in Newington Green was started last year by two Hackney instructors and comes with a clear message: to promote wellness, inclusivity and rein back on some of modern yoga’s more aerobics-based aesthetics
Does yoga need to rediscover its balance? Unless you’ve been living under a rock in some distant Indian mountaintop (like an original “yogi”), you’ll have noticed the practice snowballing in popularity across London in recent years, giving rise to competitive squadrons of twentysomethings and showy, spandex-filled Instagram videos.
Such fixations with appearances, as I’m told on a visit to Fold in Newington Green, can feel counter-productive to the actual purpose of the practice. Started last year by two Hackney instructors, this beautifully intimate studio comes with a clear message: to promote wellness, inclusivity and rein back on some of modern yoga’s more aerobics-based aesthetics.
“We were looking to create a space that didn’t feel too trendy,” explains Phelan Glen, Fold’s co-founder. And indeed, as I make my way through the adjoining premises of Feest at the Greenhouse café, where friends sip coffee and young freelancers occupy its co-working spaces, there is a sense of community that feels undeniably welcoming.
What I’d failed to consider was the class itself. I’d signed up for vinyasa flow, a cardiovascular-based practice focused upon “continual flowing movement”. As Glen, 26, leads our beginners’ group through an opening 20 minutes designed to warm the muscles and generate body heat, my visions of a glorified stretching session are quickly dispelled by relentless transitions from plank pose to downward-facing dog.
You may also want to watch:
I’ve never done yoga before, and it certainly shows in the high-rise of foam blocks I construct for support. Encouragingly, however, as Glen walks around the group, she offers equal instruction to both amateurs and regulars, so I never feel outed as a klutz. Eventually, my efforts to heed her emphasis on breathing even appear to build up something of a rhythm – a feat topped off by a triumphant roll into a shoulder-stand, before a more relaxing head massage.
Glen has been practising yoga for 10 years and teaching for three, but insists that everyone has to pick an instructor right for him or her. “Finding a yoga teacher can be as intimate as getting to know a friend or a partner,” she explains, adding that this is why Fold has a competitive introductory offer to allow “yogis” to meet the range of its seven fully-trained teachers.
- 1 Man wanted in connection with Kings Cross sex assault
- 2 Holloway fire 'caused by unattended chip pan'
- 3 'Good Samaritan' chased off random attacker who hit woman
- 4 Islington's by-election candidates confirmed
- 5 Thornhill School's 'dream' library opens after parents' 'relentless' fundraising efforts
- 6 Four teenagers deny murdering 17-year-old Anas Mezenner
- 7 Hackney and Islington have some of the loudest neighbours in London
- 8 Can you help identify this man?
- 9 'Light at the end of the tunnel': Upper Street shoppers excited to end lockdown
- 10 Campaigners debate future of Holloway Women's Building with Peabody Trust
By the end of the hour-long session, I’m covered in sweat, but there’s no doubt the combination of a core workout, candlelight and gentle soul music has washed away the blemishes of the working week. Having sneaked a glance at my friend’s wobbly shoulder-stand, I can’t help but feel a bit smug. But perhaps it’s more mindful to go with the flow.
Fold Yoga, 49 Green Lanes, London, N16 9BU
Introductory deal: Two weeks unlimited yoga for £20