Never mind the Monday fear, the new month fear is something to truly dread. It seems that all too soon another month has rolled round; the new diet has, if anything, made us fatter, we’ve drunk to excess and that multi-million pound idea - best not mentioned. Promising to get our months off to a spectacular start is Zara Pittman, a Vinyasa Flow Yoga expert, who has teamed up with Urban Coterie in Shoreditch to host Yoga with a View on the first Monday of each month.
Like a steel arrowhead against the skyline, it’s hard not to notice the triangular skyscraper of M by Montcalm jutting out of a Shoreditch intersection near Old Street. On the 17th floor is Searcys’ Urban Coterie, better known for its Champagne and mains of Michelin-starred inspired food enjoyed by City professionals than for any sort of physical exertion. But it is exactly this space that is perfect for an early morning work out with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the city and facing in the direction of the sunrise. In the place of table and chairs are yoga mats and our yogi, Zara.
‘I am not a morning person’ has been said by many, but seriously, I am not a morning person. I don’t just hate mornings, I despise them; friends have long since learnt not to talk to me before coffee has been consumed, so the thought of going to a 6am Monday yoga class was a tough one. Nonetheless I set my alarm and bleary-eyed stumbled up to our venue to be enlightened.
Six figures were stretching and bending in a series of poses as we looked out over the predrawn London skyline, with views of The Shard to my right and the city in front. I had been expecting a slow, ‘take a nap every five minutes’ sort of class. Oh how wrong I was. Yoga with a View is intense, it’s a workout and it will make you sweat a lot. As we went from downward-facing dog pose to plank and into warrior pose, chilled dance tunes pumped out and Zara, our lithe and incredibly zen teacher, talked us through each step along with a whole lot of philosophy.
As we saluted the sun, Zara instructed us over the music; ‘don’t look back unless it’s to see how far you’ve come’, and ‘look up to the sky, where you want to head’. Morning me would usually have scoffed at these titbits but Zara’s sincerity undercut any cheesiness. As the hour wore on, the sun started to peek up over the skyscrapers and council blocks, slowly filling the room in a warming amber glow and giving us a view of the city that was breathtaking - though that may also be my general unfitness. We finished the session with ice-cold, freshly squeezed juices and a gluten and dairy free granola created by Michelin-starred chef Anthony Demetre.
Yes, at first I was cursing the gods and imaging myself pig-in-a-blanketed in my duvet back at home but after five minutes I forgot my bad mood and got into the session. The stretches were easy to follow and a great way to wake up and feel better after a weekend of gluttony. Plus the view was amazing, there are not many opportunities to see the sunrise over the London skyline for a tenner. I left feeling uplifted, and energised - I will get up at 5am every day, I will drink kale smoothies and I will not lie in bed with Ben and Jerry’s googling Aidan Turner scything, I WILL BE A BETTER PERSON.