January weekends seem to have a wholly different feel to any other weekends of the year. Everyone has their resolutions in place, and theres something really nice about the post-festivities calm.
Weekends off are pretty much non-existent for me, with classes running both Saturday and Sunday. Nick (Hotpod co-founder) and I always do our best to get along to sessions, chat with some weekend yogis and also - for a change - we might get to practise at one of our own classes.
I get up early (theres never a night before in January) and head to one of our 10am classes, I like Hotpod Yoga, Evelyn Grace Academy, 255 Shakespeare Road, SE24 0QN, 0207 148 3151, hotpodyoga.com, as its fairly local to me. Nick and I started the business a year ago and its been a fair while in the making. We wanted to deliver really phenomenal hot yoga classes, but not in a normal studio, so we developed our pods - portable hot yoga studios, above. We want them to be unintimidating, down- to- earth and fun, while still being really high impact (both mentally and physically).
I find it quite hard to tune in totally to our own sessions, as Im constantly thinking of ways we can make them better. But its a real joy to get into the heat, especially in winter.
As I only have time for a very quick porridge first thing with a little Aduna Baobab powder aduna.com (an incredible 100% natural fruit pulp powder that provides a source of vitamins and fibre), and a Plenish Cleanse Juice, plenishcleanse.com, Ill be ready for a post-class early brunch at Maltby Street Market, Maltby Street, London, SE1, matlbyst.com.
Most of the stalls are run by small start-ups, and its good to support fellow newbies and theres a load of incredible fresh, healthy food and great juices. One of my favourite stalls is Frida and Cecilys Maltby St Juices, Maltby St Market, The Ropewalk, SE1 3PA , @FridaAndCecily, for amazing juices. I also love the salmon at Hansen & Lydersen, The Ropewalk, SE1 3PA, hansen-lydersen.com, next to LASSCO, 41 Maltby Street, Bermondsey, SE1 3PA, 0207 7394 8061, lassco.co.uk, which has the most amazing collection of vintage homeware - everything from baths and plates to footballs and maps.
From there, Ill cycle into central London. l like riding through neighbourhoods I dont know, like Kennington with its stunning architecture, especially on a crisp winters day. Ive got a single speed Cooper Monza, cooperbikes.com, and I love it.
Later Ill try to get to an art gallery. Whitechapel Gallery, above, 77-82 Whitechapel High St, London, E1 7QX, 020 7522 7878, whitechapelgallery.org, Tate Modern, Bankside, London, SE1 9TG, 020 7887 8888, tate.org.uk, and Royal Academy, Burlington House, Piccadilly, W1J 0BD, 020 7300 8000, royalacademy.org.uk, are favourites - they all have an amazing sense of calm and are incredible spaces.
My girlfriend and I meet friends for dinner, generally somewhere central (Soho just wont stop turning out incredible food) or East London. One of the great things to have come out of Londons food revolution over the past 10 years is healthy restaurant food is now easy to find. Ceviche, below, 17 Frith Street, London, W1D 4RG, 020 7292 2040, cevicheuk.com, or Corner Room, Town Hall Hotel, Patriot Square, London, E2 9NF, 020 7871 0460, townhallhotel.com, are firm favourites - with lots of fresh fish and big flavours.
After dinner, a little drink cant hurt (even if it is January), and in the same building as Corner Room is the Viajante cocktail bar, 020 7871 0461, viajante.co.uk/bar, which is a superb, really cool space with incredible cocktails. If Im in Soho, its always Hix Bar, below, 66-70 Brewer Street, W1F 9UP, 020 7292 3518, hixsoho.co.uk. Its such an unusual bar, but in all the right ways with lots of space, great music, and sublime drinks.
Sunday means a day at home, time for relaxation and recuperation- not necessarily doing nothing, it just means proper calm. I start with a long run, as it is the only day I dont have to get up for anything in particular, and can go at a leisurely pace, go somewhere new and really sink into a rhythm. With music turned up loud: Cyril Hahn soundcloud.com/cyrilhahn , Ollie Macfarlane soundcloud.com/olliemacfarlane and Flume soundcloud.com/flume is what Im running to at the moment, through my Nike App to help me along.
I actually love running through the streets, particularly if it ends with some green or open space. Going up through central London to Hyde Park or along the river through Wapping is ideal for me. Its a chance to empty my head entirely, focus on the music and keep my legs moving. After my run, I do about 30mins self-practise yoga, usually a familiar flow or something that Nick or one of our teachers has taught me. Ive got a great Unmat from Lulu Lemon, lululemon.co.uk, which is perfect for at-home yoga on carpeted floors. Afterwards I feel totally relaxed and refreshed.
I live with my girlfriend in Camberwell, where theres an amazing array of food, Johanssons, 2 Grove Lane, SE5 8SY, 0207 7014944, johanssons.co.uk, do an incredible Scandinavian breakfast avocado, smoked salmon, eggs and rye bread - ideal with the papers post-run:. Or No. 67, 67 Peckham Road, SE5 8UH, 020 7252 7649, number67.co.uk, at the SLG, southlondongallery.org, is another local with great breakfasts. I tend not to have massive breakfasts, as Im always planning the next meal and Sunday lunch is my favourite time to cook.
A big delicious salad is ideal for January, when everyones in full agreement on the health-front. An Asian beef salad with mango and coriander is a recent hit - a bit of spice and warmth, but really fresh and healthy.
Once friends have dispersed Ill read the papers or a book and do a little work planning for the week ahead; though without cluttering my brain, Headspace app, getsomeheadspace.com, is always on hand to help with that... Im a big fan - and its something thats been pretty critical to keeping me sane with the busy-ness of my work. Its basically an app for guided meditation - quick, bite- size and really accessible.
Max is the co-founder of Hotpod Yoga accessible, hot, vinyasa yoga, held in their pop-up, inflatable, heated studios. They work provide in-office hot yoga to employees and also have daily public classes in Brixton, Notting Hill and Hackney. Theyve recently expanded outside London, to Swansea and Birmingham, and are quickly growing across the UK and abroad.