new students

New Student Advice

We have students of all ages and all walks of life and we strive to make the Shala a safe, nurturing and positive space for everyone who visits. We are a small independent centre, owned, run and staffed by yogis and our mission is to facilitate physical, emotional and spiritual well-being through mind-body practices. One of our priorities has always been to make the Shala a personal, rather than an anonymous, experience. Our class numbers are small relative to commercial centres, and there is a genuine sense of community that has always blossomed in our space. To find out more about the benefits of yoga please see our short film below. 

Registration & Booking

Visit the Centre

We welcome new students to stop by and see our space, have a chat and get advice about our classes, workshops and therapies. It is best to come when classes are not in progress; either 15 minutes before a class or during the week days when we are often at the centre catching up on admin. Please buzz the intercom and come up if you are passing or ring before visiting to check someone is at the centre. Alternatively if you would like to get some advice by email or phone please get in touch. 

Booking Classes

We request that all classes are booked and paid for before you come for a class. Our website is fully responsive so you can easily book from your mobile phone – even on your way to the studio! We prefer not to have drop in visitors because we require a complete list of everyone coming in to the building for health and safety reasons. If you are having issues with our booking system please let us know and we can book a class for you. Our front of house area functions more as a hang-out lounge area than a formal reception with most administrative matters being dealt with online or by email.

Account Queries

If you have an account query, please log in to your Shala account where you can track your schedule, visit history, purchases and account details. If you are unable to resolve it online, please email us.

Waiting List

We have a waiting list for up to three people per class; classes can get fully booked during peak times but it is unusual for someone not to get a place in the class they would like. If a class is full, add your name to the wait list and an email will be sent to you if a space comes free; if you are then unable to attend, email us and we will cancel your booking (our 6-hour cancellation policy does not apply to the wait list).


Please note our cancellation window is 6 hours for classes. For workshops, please check the terms and conditions on the relevant workshop page. While we do fully appreciate that late cancellations often happen for reasons beyond your control – illness, weather, public transport, childcare, family or other valid reasons – it is impossible for us to administrate and arbitrate late cancellations or to reallocate spaces, so all late cancellations are automatically charged without exception – thank you for understanding. If you have missed the cancellation deadline, please still “late cancel” so that the teacher knows not to expect you. Note that we do not accept cancellations by phone or email; all cancellations must be made via your online account.


Finding the Shala

The front of our building is marked by our vibrant pink and orange banners on Norwood Road, but our entrance is round the corner at 1 Chestnut Road  – look for the single white door on the left of Harry Day Mews with our orange street signs. When you book a class you will receive a confirmation email with the entry code to that door. If you have forgotten the code, please buzz our intercom to the right of the door. Come up to the third (top) floor. Please note that there is no lift in the building so if you have any mobility issues please ring us to discuss. The centre opens 15 minutes before scheduled classes (ie 6.15pm in the evenings). 

For a location map and information on transport, please see our contact page.


Front of the Shala on Norwood Road


Entrance to the Shala on Chestnut Road


Arriving at the Shala

Signing In to Class

When you arrive, please check in at the iPad on the front desk by ticking the box next to your name on the class sign in screen. If it is your first visit, please tell a member of staff so that we can show you around and help you if you need to know anything. Note that we do not have a full-time receptionist at the centre so a teacher will often be the person to let you in and assist with signing in.

Late & Early Arrivals

It is very disruptive for teachers and students to have late comers – and early arrivals – to class. Teachers have the right to refuse entry to students who are late for class so please always arrive 5–10 minutes before your scheduled class and be aware that if you are late you may not be able to gain access to the centre – and if you are too early you may need to wait to get access. 

General Advice

  • avoid strong caffeine and heavy food at least 2 hours before a yoga class
  • make sure you are well hydrated
  • wear yoga/sports clothing and bring a small towel if you sweat
  • bring your own yoga mat; if you don't have a mat please see below for more on borrowing a studio mat
  • rest from yoga is recommended for women in the heaviest days of their menstrual cycle; if you do wish to practice, you should avoid inverted postures (shoulderstand, headstand etc)
  • serious medical conditions or injuries should be discussed with us before booking
  • minor medical condition or injuries should be discussed with your teacher before the class, please come 10 minutes early to your first class
  • please leave large bags in the changing rooms but take valuables in to the studio with you
  • the Shala does not accept liability for theft or damage to personal possessions at the centre

Studio Etiquette

To help ensure everyone has the best experience possible at the Shala please honor the following guidelines:

  • arrive 5-10 minutes before your class; it can be disruptive to classes in progress to have students arriving (late or too early) whilst classes are in progress 
  • register, book and pay for your classes online 
  • mute mobile phones and refrain from using them while in the studio
  • remove shoes on arrival and place in the shoe rack
  • leave belongings in the changing areas and take valuables only to the studio
  • be clean of body and perfumes when practicing
  • refrain from eating at the studio - we prefer it to be a food-free zone
  • move your mat to create space for others where necessary
  • be as quiet as possible on arriving, waiting for class and leaving to avoid disrupting classes



New Student Offer

The majority of newcomers to the Shala start with our introductory offer, which allows you access to all our regular classes in your first month for just £45 (*note that this pass allows one visit per day). We encourage you to try a number of classes and find the class(es) and the teacher(s) that suits you best. It is also a good way to establish a regular practice and feel the amazing benefits of yoga and Pilates in a short space of time. Included in this offer is the option to benefit from a half price massage or therapy.

Alternatively if you plan to come less than 4 times in your first month you can choose a single, 5 or 10-class pass. All pricing options can be viewed from our schedule. All purchases including new student passes, memberships, therapies and workshops are non-refundable and series expiration dates are firm.


Choosing a Class

Our yoga classes range from beginners classes Level 1 through to intermediate Level 2, more advanced classes and Mysore-style classes. Our teachers do their best to accommodate various abilities but we recommend trying out a Level 1 class first unless you have an established yoga practice. Most of the classes are dynamic, flowing classes which embrace a range of yoga styles from ashtanga to vinyasa flow and dharma yoga. Each teacher brings their own style to the class so if you would like to know more about a specific class, please look at the teacher's biography.

To compliment the stronger more dynamic classes we offer Deep Release classes and Yin Yoga workshops which are based on slower yin and restorative practices. 

Our Pilates classes are ideal for injury and post-natal rehabilitation as well as overall body conditioning – these range from Level 1 to more advanced Level 2 classes.




Offering complementary therapies at the Shala is integral to our vision for the centre as a safe place of nurture, healing and growth. We have a skilled team of therapists offering a range of massage therapies and alternative treatments from our therapy room. Anyone on our New Student Offer is entitled to one half price treatment during their first month at the centre. Take your pick from Swedish Massage, Shiatsu Massage, Pre / Post-Natal Massage, Aromatherapy Massage, Sports & Remedial Massage, Reflexology, Visceral & Neural Manipulation, Osteopathy and Acupuncture – bookings are made direct with the individual therapists.




The Space
  • Reception/lounge area
  • Mysore studio  – capacity 25 mats
  • Hampi studio – capacity 26 mats
  • Pushkar studio – capacity 12 mats
  • Womens changing room
  • Mens changing room
  • Toilets x 3
  • Showers x 2

Drinks are available to purchase in the reception area. Help yourself to cold drinks (water £1; coconut water, Little Miracles £2) and tea (£1.50) and leave the money in the honesty jar. If you would like a coffee (£2), please ask a member of staff (or a barista-trained student!) to make it for you. Our LIFE bottled water is an ethical choice that supports water projects.


Yoga Mats

Studio Mats

It is common for people to sweat in our yoga classes and so for hygiene reasons, we request that you bring your own mat or yoga towel. Studio mats are available to borrow from racks in the hallway ONLY if you have a yoga towel to put over it. The only exception to this rule is for new students on an introductory pass, who may borrow a mat during their first month at the Shala. If you do borrow a studio mat, please always clean it after use (there are sprays in silver bottles and wipes to do this) and leave on a radiator to dry. The multi-coloured mats on the first two racks shown here are for yoga; the purple and pink mats behind the hallway door are for Pilates, pregnancy and Deep Release/yin practices only.

We have lightweight yoga mats and yoga towels (£25 each) for sale; if you wish to purchase one just ask a member of staff.


Members Yoga Mat Storage

Members have permission to store their mats in the shelves in the Mysore room or in two coloured boxes halfway down the hall. Please write your name on your mat, log it in the mat storage list, remove from mat bag and store neatly. We have limited space and this space is reserved for members only. Any mats that are left unused at the studio for a period of time will be recycled or thrown away.