Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

High-Risercise

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

High-Risercise

Article excerpt

Byline: Phoebe Luckhurst

CALL IT the New York effect but this summer it isn't happening unless it's taking place high above ground, documented for posterity by an Instagram of a London skyline soaked in sunset. But rooftop drinks? Passe. This summer it's all about working out high above hoi polloi.

I tried rooftop cycling at Equinox gym in Kensington. Despite sweating copiously, the creeping greenery of Kensington Roof Gardens is far more pleasant than staring at walls sodden with condensation and sweat, to avoid having to look at the Lycra-clad arse of another gym-goer, or the crawling digits on your machine's calorie count.

And don't think because it's on a roof it's just a lark. This was high intensity: the bumping soundtrack kicks off with that ubiquitous Avicii song, while our energetic trainer Rory told us to visualise something we really wanted and cycle towards it. We climbed metaphorical hills and increased the resistance so high that it took me about 10 minutes to climb the stairs back up to the office postsession.

I'm still hobbling.

The session -- and its aftermath -- is standard spin fare but being outside meant it felt less like an exercise class (something you have to drag yourself to) and more like a whimsical event I stumbled across on a summer walk (helped by the flamingos pirouetting in the ponds nearby).

In-the-know sporty types know it's all about the roof. If you thought Peckham's high life meant Frank's, put down the Red Stripe and try Dru Yoga instead -- a more holistic use of the multi-storey south London landmark. The sessions are running all summer during the Bold Tendencies takeover.

Alternatively, jump on the Overground and head to Dalston Roof Gardens, host to Fat Buddha Yoga classes: a "Vinyasa Flow session" at sunset, promising "chilled beats, deep flow and Vita Coco provided". …

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