Lunchtime Yoga @ White City Campus

On the 22nd of May the first power yoga class for PG students took place at the Molecular Science Research Hub on the newly built White City Campus.

For the first Taster Session a small room was booked, because no one expected a huge demand. Instead nineteen people showed up to the first free yoga class of which quite a few did yoga for the first time!

Figure 1: Our first ever lesson had a great turnout for a tiny room.

At the beginning of the first yoga class the teacher asked everyone to introduce themselves and tell everyone what they are trying to get out of this class. Almost everyone was craving for 60 minutes a day during which they can forget about their stressful PhDs and relax their backs from sitting in front of a computer or standing at a lab bench all day. Our personal favorite answer was from a complete Newbie to yoga who said  “I want to like it, so that I want to come back next week!”

Our teacher, Barbara Durand, is a professional yoga teacher, usually teaching at the Lumi Power Yoga studio in Hammersmith. The Vinyasa flow type of yoga they teach @LumiPowerYoga is perfect for young adults. Most attendees were surprised of how dynamic this type of yoga is. A lot of people which hesitated joining at first saying ‘I’m not flexible enough for yoga’ overcame their fear and realised that it’s not about the others or being average, it’s about your own personal body and battle. Every posture in yoga has multiple options, so anyone can improve at whatever level they’re at. The teacher does a great job in incorporating this into the weekly practise, making it highly inclusive.

Figure 2: We enjoy sweating and stretching every Tuesday in the yoga side angle pose.

The number of participants has been continuously rising and we register around 25 sign-ups every week. This is also mirrored in the steadily growing number of members of our mailing list which is currently at 54. We even had to move to a new room for more space at Brickfields Hall around the corner. All postgraduate students based at White City Campus are welcome to join the free Yoga lessons and we even have a couple of staff members being regulars.

Figure 3: The IHUB on the new White City campus is the ideal location for a lunchtime Yoga session – with unlimited capacity!

Yoga has become an integral part of our weekly work routine. This one hour of lunchtime break a week has positively impacted our productivity and social coherence across hierarchies, different laboratories and research branches. We look forward to anyone joining us at any time. EVERY level is welcome.

Happy Yoga,

Julia & Léonie



‘I’ve been to so many yoga classes before. They never actually explained how to transition from an upwards dog into a downward dog. It was so good.’

 “I was worried I wasn’t gonna get a sweat because everyone replied saying they wanted relaxation out of this class, but I’m so glad I did sweat. I was scared they would just make us lay down in Savasana for ages playing some old-fashioned Indian music, which doesn’t relax me at all. I enjoyed the relaxation today, it was the perfect length. Normally all I want to do is walk off, because it doesn’t work for me, but here it worked. I’m definitely going again next week.”

 “Highlight of my week.”

 “I know why I didn’t go to the gym this morning.” “Me too!”

 “It was quite fast paced compared to other yoga classes I had been to before. I really liked it. I got a sweat out of it. A little sweat, which I wanted, so it feels like exercise. The class went by really fast.”


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