When I first moved to London few months back, I was desperately searching for a yoga sanctuary. With yoga, it's always about zen and meditating to me, so I was quite skeptical when I first came across Fierce Grace, which gives off an alternative fun vibe with a quirky rock'n'roll twist that definitely intrigued me as this is something completely from what we have back in Asia.
I opted for an evening class after my late afternoon class, took me a few turns to reach their hidden studio near Old street (OK actually not that hidden, its actually right off old street station!). I got there early but it instantly got quite busy closer to class time, it was quite a big class compared to a lot of other studios, I also did not realized it was a 'hot' class, so obviously I did not come prepared but the guys there kindly offered me an extra towel as I was told to expect lots of sweating (which I did!).
Coming from HK (probably the most humid and suffocating city in the world!), hot yoga was not really a common option, but I can definitely see how people like it here in London, it accelerates your metabolism and also heats up your body quite quickly, getting you ready for some workout. I would say the room was a little too hot for my liking, but I felt a lot better once the instructor turned down the heat towards end of the class. It was overall a very new and invigorating yoga experience for me, even though it was a big class, I can tell the instructor was trying to attend to and accommodate everyone! Obviously with a big class, everyone is in different level, it'd be hard for one to attend to everyone, but being with some other advanced students, it definitely have motivated/pushed me to try some advanced poses (instead of just chillin at child pose!) I'd also say Fierce Grace is one of the decently priced studios around town (I can't imagine how overpriced some other studios can be because of the rent), with the quality of the class - I'd definitely say it's one of the best value too!
Just one thing I might not have liked was the changing room (as I personally concerned quite a lot of about hygiene), even though I was one of the first few to get out of the class, the floor gets quite messy/wet. But again, it was very considerate for them to offer me an extra towel, so that might have compensate for that!
So if anyone is looking for some casual, no-pressure, fun post-work rock'n'roll, definitely go it! I heard they also run some retreat in Tuscany (I mean, how can one say no?). Check them out HERE!
Hear more from Michele - founder of Fierce Grace here:
1. How did it all started with Fierce Grace?
For many years, I had wanted to bring the best of everything I had learned and loved about yoga together in a way that would appeal to all levels and body types, and provide a system of different classes not just for the body but for self-improvement too.
I wanted to create something that was free of the limitations of some of the more rigid yoga styles, a system of classes that allowed people to choose a softer class one day, and a fiery class the next, while maintaining continuity between these linked classes.
I am privileged to have been able to teach a quarter of a million bodies, and it was from the observation and feedback I received in those busy classes for nearly 20 years that I created the Fierce Grace system.
2. What's one thing you love about Fierce Grace, that's different from other studios?
I designed the perfect class for me, the class I wanted to do myself for the rest of my life. It ended up being split into different classes with different energies - strong and fast, deep and slow, powerful and linear, flowing and circular, and these different ways of moving worked on different aspects of ourselves became the 6 class system.
After nearly 30 years doing nearly every type of exercise out there, I simply brought the best of everything into one place, and unified them into a unique new system. We are the only Yoga Brand with a multi-class system, a unique system that has been designed over decades to give variety to the practitioner through the different classes. One can mix and match classes to suit our goals, needs or schedule, while still maintaining continuity via the core set of poses that run throughout each class, providing safety and progression. This is not unrelated mix and match classes. Nor is it one or two classes repeated over and over. There are over 150 poses in the Fierce Grace system which move and work the body in every way possible, bringing ultimate fitness and health. I love the variety, but I also love the unity of the classes.
Our studios also don't have the feel of many other yoga studios. Gone are the white, pure, zen surrounding so many people find off-putting. Our environments are welcoming, quirky and down to earth. Just like us!
3. How do you maintain your wellbeing and what advice would you give to our readers?
I work really hard and under intense pressure running four studios, a teacher training programme, international retreats and I still teach classes workshops, I am creatively in charge of the brand, so it's quite intense.
Running the retreats gives me time to simply teach, my first love! And get some sun ( I firmly believe sun, vitamin D and never using toxic SPF's is a key to health.) The yoga retreats I run leave me fresh and ready to jump back in to business when I return.
I am a huge fan of Ayurveda and I follow its wisdom with diet and the use of oils. It's helped me so much to maintain equilibrium when under stress. My advice to readers is go online and do a "dosha" quiz to see which of the 3 types you are and then consider following the dietary recommendations. There's no one diet for everyone. In ayurveda there are 3 diets - one for each constitutional type. I sew, paint and draw and do mosaics and live DIY when i get a spare moment. We have a place in Tuscany we escape to. And like many people, I love a sofa, cats, and a box set.