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August 2018 / Style & Wellbeing / by Emma Vince

On Trial: The Garuda Pilates Studio

They say you’re either a Pilates or a yoga person, but at Garuda’s north London studio, you can be the best of both. Walking through the studio’s leafy front garden, I feel like I’ve stumbled across a hidden gem.

The spacious yet comfortable studio offers classes and personal training in Pilates, yoga and their namesake method, Garuda, a blend of the two disciplines. It combines yoga’s spirituality, controlled breathing (pranayama) and sitting postures, with the core strength and focus of Pilates. In a one-to-one session, my teacher Juliana explains that where normal Pilates is linear, this hybrid method encourages twisting and flowing.

You can choose between mat-based classes held in the airy studio space (complete with original stained-glass windows) or classes using the Garuda apparatus. I opt for trying out this trademarked apparatus, which builds on traditional Pilates equipment like the reformer. It’s much bigger, but don’t let the sheer size of it intimidate you. Although this is my first session, with the guiding hands of Juliana, I soon discover how versatile it can be.

A personal training session is the best way to get started, and even recovering from an injury, I can feel the benefits as Juliana adapts the exercises to suit my body.

Whether you’re a yoga or Pilates regular, or simply want to try something a bit different, Garuda’s creative sequences and seamless movements may well be the exercise you’ve been looking for. It’s certainly a place where you can leave the outside world – along with your shoes – at the front door.

26-28 Finchley Road, NW8 (020 7483 4644; thegaruda.net)