And breathe… the best wellness events London has to offer
From cult spinning classes to cat cafés, we round up the London wellness events to nourish your mind, body and soul
Learn your way to self-love with Sweaty Betty
Heartcore x No. 1 Carnaby Street
Wellness Wednesdays might be over, but there's still a chance to become a Sweaty Betty. Heartcore has paired up with London's favourite athleisurewear brand and taken over the studio at No. 1 Carnaby Street. Pilates classes are held multiple times a day, so you can get back in touch with your body and mind whenever it best suits you. Stop in at Farm Girl to power up with a smoothie bowl after your workout.
Book your place here.
Sweaty Betty Live
The London wellness event of the year is back: Sweaty Betty Live is an informative day of talks, workshops and shopping in the heart of Shoreditch. Learn about the hype surrounding fermented foods, or how to beat burnout. Try something new with workshops introducing box-fit, HIIT, yoga or dance. Get your hair and nails done at the beauty bar before tucking into nutritious street food from sponsors including Detox Kitchen and Teapigs. Sweaty Betty Live is set to be a celebration of healthy living, body-positivity and self-love.
Various ticket options available. Book here.
Re-set and re-frame with The Mindfulness Project
Do you ever finish eating and realise you've tasted nothing at all? The Mindfulness Project is London's leading secular meditation centre. Here, the focus is on how we can live more presently. Some sessions start by holding a raisin, asking how we can engage more fully with the tiniest, most insignificant object. The beautiful space in Fitzroy Square is a relaxing haven in the centre of the city.
With classes on Wednesday evenings, as well as Thursday mornings and evenings, the centre invites members to re-assess today's 24/7 lifestyles and become more mindful of each passing moment. If your schedule doesn't allow a weekly session, the Project hosts one-off weekend workshops on a variety of wholesome themes – from self-compassion (26 October) to mindful parenting (29 November). Find out more about the Project's mindfulness workshops and courses here.
Cuddle up with London's cutest cats and dogs
Although scientific research can't pinpoint the reason why, it is clear that pets are good for our mental wellbeing. It's thought that cuddling and stroking pets induces the production of oxytocin, the 'love hormone' that stimulates feelings of relaxation and trust. For feline fans, we recommend Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium, London's original cat café. Enjoy a wonderland-themed afternoon tea while playing with one of the resident rescue cats. For dog lovers, meanwhile, Smith and Whistle offers a specially formulated dog menu: Dogtails. Offerings include the Poochie Colada and Quarter Hounder, London's first burger made entirely with canine diets in mind. If you're after a more informal experience, Paws for Coffee is situated conveniently at the edge of Bushey Park. A separate menu for dogs means you'll both be satisfied after a long walk in the woods.
Potter away your problems with DIY Art Market
Mindfulness through pottery? Why not? DIY Art Market is hosting a series of events this autumn combining rest and relaxation with creativity. DIY Art Shop's 'grown & thrown' workshop on 12 and 13 October provides a mix-and-match activity, where you create your perfect plant and pot coupling. Choose from a range of commissioned ceramic pots and household plants for a wholesome, earthy combination to treat your living space.
Catch another 'grown & thrown' session on 8 and 9 February 2020. If you'd prefer not to get your hands dirty, the DIY Art and Independent Ceramic markets (7 and 8 December) offer some straightforward retail therapy – and might provide the perfect Christmas gift.
Find out more here.
Combine cycling with candles for a high-energy workout targeting both body and mind
North America's cult spinning class, SoulCycle, has rolled into London. In this instructor-led class, you will lose yourself in the beat of the music, clearing your mind and sweating out your worries.
Book a class here.
Reconnect with the natural world: Forage London
Most of us have periods where we feel uprooted, disconnected or a little lost. If you find yourself slipping into one of these states, don’t panic; instead, look for tools or activities to help you re-ground yourself. Forage London is an organisation offering foraging events in parks across London throughout the year. Once you’ve spent some time combing through Mother Nature’s tasty treats – picking what you fancy – you can take your foraged goods home and cook them up in a hearty, soul-nourishing feast. For a tasty treat this October, try some thistle root soup made from wild plants, or sourdough bread topped with foraged seeds. We can't think of a better way to bring yourself back down to earth.
Find out more here.
Diversify your exercise routine with Frame
Frame was founded on the belief that getting fit should not be a chore. That's why there are instructor-led classes up to 50 times a day offering a variety of wellness and exercise sessions, from meditation and trampolining, to floor routines focused on toning your ass and abs. Alongside the regular timetable, Frame is offering a variety of one-off workshops, catering for all fitness levels. Whether you want to be able to slide into the splits with ease, or jump on the yoga bandwagon, there is sure to be a workshop for you.
Book a workshop here.
Transport yourself to a faraway land: London’s immersive fitness studios
A spate of new, immersive fitness studios are popping up across London, whisking you away from banality with the sights and sounds of far-flung destinations, and a promise to boost mind as well as body. At Fly LDN, you can take part in a Vinyasa yoga class while overlooking mountain vistas, courtesy of the 30-foot cinematic screen and accompanying soundtrack. To mark World Mental Health Day, try some Candlelit Hip Hop Yoga (10 October). Although we can't imagine what the hip-hop entails, this stress-busting workout is sure to reboot the traditional Vinyasa flow... The studio's CHILL yoga – yin stretching to a backdrop of burning candles – is a more relaxing alternative, and will have you sleeping like a baby.
Meanwhile, First Light Studio combines spin classes with cutting-edge sunlight simulation technology to mimic the sun’s natural rays, along with beautifully created backdrops of inspiring scenes from locations such as Dubai, Africa, Ibiza and Rio. There’s also Sweat and Sound, offering invitation-only, multi-sensory exercise classes in pop-up locations around the city.
Manage your anger: axe throwing
Forget mindfulness and meditation: sometimes the best (and only) way to purge built-up stress is by throwing an axe as hard as you possibly can at a wall. Whistlepunks' on-hand experts will guide you through the axe-throwing process to ensure you learn the proper techniques, hit the target, and achieve a degree of tranquility you never imagined possible.
Find out more here.
Box your way to mental wellness
This two-hour workshop held by Katra Bryson at 12 Rounds Boxing Gym will introduce you to the mental and physical benefits of boxing. As engaging for the mind as for the body, boxing is a holistic form of exercise. Don't worry about turning up alone; Katra is experienced in pairing up suitable partners, and the class will end with group discussion and meditation. What's more, 50% of profits will be donated to the mental health organisation Brain Buddies – so you'll be boxing for a good cause.
Book your space here.
Switch off: PopPods and meditation pods
Londoners, prepare to power nap: Pop & Rest offer the chance to get 40 winks inside their dreamy doors in Shoreditch or Holborn. Book one of their nap pods for up to two hours of rest and relaxation – your boss doesn't need to know. Or, if you’re looking for a more mindful way to switch off, Inhere studio’s meditation pods – which relaunched last autumn – come equipped with comfy seating, headphones and the option to tune in to a guided meditation via an audio player.
Laughter is often seen as the best form of medicine, but it’s also a way of dealing with heavier issues. Many comedians suffer with their mental health, which is why artist and comedian Annie McGrath conceived a new exhibition: Art Is The Best Medicine.
From 13 to 20 December, Fiumano Clase gallery presents artwork from some of the UK’s most hilarious comedians – in aid of a more serious cause. With work by Josie Long, Jack Whitehall, Lolly Adefope, Joe Lycett and Vic Reeves among others, the multimedia exhibition showcases everything from drawings, paintings and sculpture to embroidery, ceramics, photography and poetry. A third of the proceeds go toMental Health UK, which brings together four UK-based mental health charities. On 14 December, there’s a stand-up comedy gig in the exhibition space.
Find out more here.