Michael James Wong is an international yoga teacher born in New Zealand, raised on the beaches of Santa Monica, who now calls London home. His relationship with yoga and physical movement spans over the past two decades and throughout this journey Michael has been lucky enough to travel the world sharing his teaching to all those willing to listen. Always a student first, Michael continues to practice and teach with a powerful body, an open mind and a fearless heart.
Michael teaches West Coast Power Yoga, a strong and dynamic union that joins the physical asana with the breath inspired by his teachers Duncan Peak, Bryan Kest, Elena Brower and so many others. Michael is the founder of BOYS OF YOGA, a global movement helping to change the perception of yoga for men around the world. Michael is also the founder of Sunday School Yoga, a global teachers community aimed at supporting and mentoring new teachers around the world.
What is Yoga?
To a lot of people, yoga is the slow, stretchy-bendy stuff you see your mom and her friends doing on the weekends. But the truth is Yoga is so much more and it’s time you started paying attention.
These days we’re all looking for a fix, something that gets us fit, something that calms the mind or something that just helps us get back into balance. And the short answer is simple: yoga.
Yoga is one of the most beneficial practices you can do for your body, your mind and the way you live – it’s the complete package.
Yoga is a great way to stay fit and functional. It is widely considered one of the most full-body disciplines you can do, as you focus on strength, flexibility, mobility and activity. In Yoga, the movements and postures developed thousands of years ago (no joke) aim keep your whole body healthy and happy.
There are many different styles of the practice, some that focus more on longer and stronger holds, some that work into deeper flexibility and some that make you move and sweat. No matter what you need, there is a yoga style to suit.
Then once you go deeper, you get to the good stuff, the stuff that really makes it hands-down the best practice out there. Yoga is so much more than just the physical, it goes deeper. We say in class:
"you don’t come to yoga to get a better ass, you come to get your head out of it".
The beauty of the practice is that it’s not about being good or bad, right or wrong, or achieving anything at all. We come to the mat to do what makes us feel good, which in many ways, is the best way to find balance. Life is chaotic, when you come to yoga you can dial down the noise and just spend some time doing less. It’s a beautiful thing.
practice with michael
The Life Centre, Islington
Class: Power Yoga - Yang to Yin
Time: 2:30 - 4:00p
This is great class for newbies and regulars a like. We spend the time moving slowly through the practice exploring the high and lows, the fast and slows of all that the practice has to offer. Power Yoga is a practice that touches every part of your body; Yang is the strong and fast stuff, Yin is the soft and slow stuff.
Move Your Frame, Shoreditch
Class: Power Yoga - The Sweatshop
Time: 7:30 - 9:00p
This is great class is for those that want to move and sweat. It’s a strong Vinyasa style class that will challenge your body, mind & spirit on all levels of the practice. This is not an advanced class, but not for the faint of heart. Come ready to explore your shit and leave it all on the mat.
Online classes with Michael:
Boys of Yoga
Perfect if you want to practice in the comfort of your own home with the guidance of an experienced teacher.
There are also some great places around London to practice whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned yogi.
Here are some of my favourites:
More from the Journal
This studio is all about the yoga and has an amazing balance between the old traditions of the practice with a modern approach to the practitioner. With some of the most sought after and inspiring teachers in town, Indaba is a place for serious yogis to play and practice.
Teachers to check out: Mark Khan, Naomi Absalom, Lolo Lam
This place is fun. You come to move, sweat and not take yourself so seriously. With a few studios scattered around London, Frame is known for hot classes, hot bodies and bangin’ tunes. But don’t let the good vibes overshadow the fact that the classes are awesome for all levels. It’s a place for newbies and regular yogis who are up for a good time.
Teachers to check out: Marcus Veda, Katerina Rayburn, Jonella Lewis
Lumi Power Yoga
This is one of the hidden gems in London, tucked away in Hammersmith This power yoga studio is a place for the dedicated yogis who are serious about changing their lives and practice. Lead by an amazing husband and wife team, Lumi brings together yogi and community at the heart.
Teachers to check out: Ari Iso-Rautio, Elina Iso-Rautio, Rory Hopkins
If you’ve heard of any yoga studios in London, it’s likely you’ve heard of TriYoga. This studio, which has multiple locations spread out around town is the London mecca of yoga. With the most diverse offering of classes, styles and teachers, this is a great studio to jump in and find what suits you.
Teachers to check out: Celest Pereira, Julie Montague, Emma Henry
The new kid on the block, Another Space is a beautiful and lush space in the heart of central London. This boutique studio brings an LA vibe to the London yoga scene. For first time yogis who are love their HIIT and spin, Another Space is a great place to dip a toe into the practice.
Teachers to check out: Marc Laws, Jessica Skye, Chris Magee
The Life Centre
This is place is not for the cool kids, and they’re proud of it. There is nothing fancy about the Life Centre other than amazing yoga and beautiful spaces. A place for those who want to step into a serene and still place in the middle of the city. This studio has zero intimidation factor and is a place to call your yoga home.
Teachers to check out: Emily Clare Hill, Harriet Bone, Luis Valentine
One of the most beautiful and vibrant studios in South East London, Yogarise is welcoming, friendly and easy to approach. This studio is a great place to start your yoga journey - the classes are fun, the space is big and everyone makes an effort to know your name.
Teachers to check out: Lolo Lam, Katy Bateman, Emma Cowpe
One of the original studios in East London, Stretch is every yogis dream space. Small, friendly, fun and great classes. Founded by Carl Faure, a seasoned London Yogi, this studio offers an easy gateway into the practice, accessible for all.
Teachers to check out: Carl Faure, Micki Ramondt, Sophie Whippy
If you’re looking to sweat, come here. The temperate is high, the practice is strong, and the vibes are good. This studio has a set sequence to practice, mood lighting and a dedicated following. A great place to try the heat and a different way to practice.
Teachers to check out: Adam Husler, Charlie Morgan
A space for the artsy peopel, the quiet yogis and the contemplative practitioner. Nestled away in the arches of Hoxton, Tripspace is a studio space for yoga, dance and the arts. With a beautiful mix of teachers offering slower styles and gentler classes, TripSpace is great place for those looking for a more restorative practice.
Teachers to check out: Ann Piddock, Kate Lister, Anina Malin
A gem for Hackney, tucked away in the corner of Stoke Newington, Mudra is a community studio that is all about N16. A little oasis away from the chaos, Mudra, led by Emily-Clare Hill, is welcoming space for smaller, more intimate classes and workshops.
Teachers to check out: Emily-Clare Hill, Shay Grant, Bess Shipside
Some like it HOT. And if that’s you, come here and get ready to sweat. Set at a temperature between 30-35 degrees, Hotpod keeps you moving in the heat. For those looking for something hot and heated, Yoga Haven is where you want to be. Tip: Not a great place for polyester!
Teachers to check out: Nick Higgins, Pennie Ludlow, Charlie Morgan