Wellness Watch: Stretching Out with Sadhana Live

Deepen your yoga practise, build core strength and calm your mind with Sadhana Live’s new online wellbeing platform. Writer Madeleine Howell takes time out on on the mat for a personalised, feel-good programme of classes 

There’s nothing like being able to access beautifully-sequenced, flowing yoga classes wherever you are in the world. Step up, Sadhana Live: a new online platform and global community featuring thousands of yoga, fitness and meditation classes both live-streamed and available on-demand, with a dreamy mix of new classes to try released every week. 

In Sanskrit, Sadhana means “daily practice” or disciplined, dedicated practice. The platform is designed to help members of its supportive online community to pursue that goal, with tailored programmes for beginner, intermediate and advanced yogis.


Sadhana was founded by Gerry Lopez, and there’s also an in-person Sadhana yoga studio in Clapham in south-west London where the classes are filmed. The perfect retreat in which to disconnect from the daily grind, it’s situated between cool coffee house Story Coffee – but if you’re nowhere near a yoga studio, the platform has everything you need.

Expert, renowned instructors include three-time European and twice International Yoga Sport Champion Almania Colombo, UK yoga champion Michael Eley (a teacher at the pioneering Fierce Grace hot yoga studios in London, New York and Milan; fiercegrace.com) and former TV Gladiator James Crossley.


For beginner yogis, there’s a Beginner Corner with classes designed to help you nail the basics of breathing techniques, establish the foundations of a regular practise and learn how to do each pose in the way that feels best for your body. “Every yoga journey is individual. At Sadhana, we want to give you the tools to establish a yoga practise that works for you,” says Sadhana yoga teacher Beth Crivelli. 

The combination of classes and experiences recommended for me during my initial four-week Sadhana programme were beautifully choreographed and complimented each other based on my personal goals as an eager beginner yogi – to find calm and focus, to build strength in my upper body, to build up towards handstands, to sleep soundly and to ease lower back pain. 

I loved a 15-minute express class targeting abs and glutes with Laura Lorenzi, a former professional dancer –  a short and sweet mix of pilates, Barre and functional training exercises.

A balance of sculpting and conditioning classes throughout the week complemented mindful 60-minute vinyasa yoga flows suitable for all levels, and left me feeling centred.

Arianna Santucci’s handstand series starts gently with a ten-minute shoulder warm up and progresses to core drills, flexibility and alignment tips. Relaxing gong baths with James Crossley (meditation cushions, blankets and eye pillows not essential, but highly recommended) sent me off to a peaceful sleep (top tip: listen to them when you’re working for focus and concentration). 

My programme also featured  restorative yin yoga, yoga nidra (which involves being sent off to “yogic sleep”), and blissful verbal guided meditations with Nina Rashid. “Meditation is a wonderful way to connect inwards and calm the nervous system,” says Rashid. “It trains attention and awareness to help you achieve a mentally clear, emotionally calm and stable state.”

All of this heavenly relaxation was counterbalanced perfectly with my ongoing handstand conditioning efforts, core training and high-energy sculpt classes which fuse yoga-inspired movements with strength work and cardio. Bridget Coulthurst’s Pilates classes are a highlight of the platform, with their focus on correct technique, low-impact strength building and alignment. 

Starting a yoga practice can be daunting. Here are Sadhana Live’s top tips and advice to help you on your way:

1 Find a calm, quiet space where you have space to roll out a mat and move your body away from noise and distraction. Set the scene for maximum relaxation – calming music, candles, incense or some crystals are a great place to start.

2 Don’t forget your props. All you really need is a non-slip yoga mat, but blocks, straps, cushions and blankets can be a huge support for your practice. You can makeshift these from items around the house – use books or tupperware boxes instead of blocks, belts or towels instead of straps. A sleep cushion makes a great alternative for a bolster. 

3 Yoga is so much more than a form of exercise, or a way to improve your flexibility and strength. It’s a way of accepting where you are in this moment, exactly as you are. Being on your mat is an amazing place to pause, be grateful, and invite acceptance into your life. 

Make it happen
Yoga On Us offers unlimited access to free live classes with no credit card details required. Live + On-Demand classes start from £10.00pm. Find out more via watch.sadhana-live.com

Words by Madeleine Howell, wellness contributor

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