Yoga is usually several times a week in the St Vedast church hall in Foster Lane, St Paul’s. But Thurs lunchtime there’s a really nice outdoor session.

I attended Energy Yoga’s Thursday 12.30-1.20pm summer outdoor yoga sessions – lakeside adjacent to Barber Surgeons Hall & garden – with Sara (who runs Energy Yoga in St Vedast hall, Foster Lane, St Paul’s).

Sara is a really good instructor. She has a background in personal training as well as Sivananda and Akhanda yoga and has studied various courses with yoga organisations in India including the Yoga Institute and Kaivalyadhama. We did a Hatha-based yoga flow which includes some meditation and breathing techniques (an essential part of traditional Hatha yoga, of which Sivananda is an example) as well as yoga postures and some aspects of Pilates and strength and conditioning movements.

The green leafy waterside space is relaxing, despite some episodes of construction noise from the Girls’ School. Sara’s background is in personal training, she also studied dance, martial arts and gymnastics. There is currently a mix of in-studio (maintaining social distancing) and online sessions. Monday 1.10-2pm and Tuesday 6-7pm classes are in the hall. The Thursday lunchtime sessions are outdoors, weather permitting (for which she pays the Corporation a weekly & per class fee).

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Deep breathing through the nose used in yoga helps increase lung function and capacity, strengthens the diaphragm, reduces stress and encourages the nervous system to relax. The postures strength and stretch various muscle groups, joints, ligaments and tendons and help realign the whole body.The whole practice helps strengthen the immune system.