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Canary Wharf: Why Third Space has introduced Sound Bath classes

How relaxation sessions fit with health club’s high energy programmes to offer members time out

Third Space master trainer Clare Walters conducts a Sound Bath class

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How often do we get the opportunity to take an hour for ourselves?

The modern world is busy.

There’s information overload. We, as individuals, have the ability to be in touch with more people now, than at any time in human history.

There’s more content from media sources – social and traditional – all with ideas, advice, entertainment and distraction, screaming for attention than ever before.

We can be at work 24-hours a day, pretty much anywhere in the world. Phones can even be used in the shower.

It’s all an endless, demanding torrent of stuff. That is life in 2023.

It’s also, perhaps, why Third Space’s Sound Bath sessions are proving so popular.

With its Canary Wharf branch the largest luxury health club in Europe – arranged over three floors above Waitrose in Canada Square – it boasts a grand list of facilities.

There’s a climbing wall, an enormous functional training space called the yard, a boxing ring, a swimming pool and that’s before you even start digging into the extensive free weights, resistance machines and cardio options on offer.

Participants can lie on their backs or sit on chairs for the sessions

There’s also a densely populated timetable of classes with names like Sweat X, Hardcore Cycle and Speed Fiends, keenly focused on helping its members get a serious sweat on.

“We do that really, really well – those high energy sessions when you look at the breadth of that offering,” said Gillian Reeves, head of group exercise at Third Space.

“There’s a whole plethora of options – strength classes with weights, HIIT classes, cycling classes – which is brilliant for overall health. 

“Then you go towards things like Yoga, which can also be high energy with practices like Vinyasa.

“Then at the rest end of the spectrum we have Yin Yoga, which is really popular here because it’s much slower and people know intuitively that they need to stretch.

“But we thought: ‘Why stop there?’.

“Let’s keep going and offer something beyond that.

“People, especially in Canary Wharf, work really hard and have very active lives. There’s lots going on and they really need that balance with rest and recovery.

“We decided to put on some trial Sound Bath classes and the waiting lists were really big – the demand was there, people wanted to do it and it confirmed what we were thinking.”

The Canary Wharf club is currently offering hour-long Sound Baths twice a week on Monday evenings and Saturday afternoons – but what actually happens in a class?

“It’s our way of offering peace and meditation to balance out all the activity – work, stress and exercise – a time once a month or a fortnight to find some stillness,” said Gillian. 

“We think it might be seen as the least intimidating form of meditation – there’s something intuitive about sound and music.

“People really relate to that and so they’re prepared to give it a go – they aren’t faced with complete silence for a long period of time.

A series of instruments are used to produce the sounds

“You can turn up wearing whatever you want, because essentially you’re just lying down or, if preferred, sitting on a chair.

“We want you to be really comfortable on the mat so there are bolsters and blankets.

“There’s an introduction from the teacher, which deals with safety – the practice is not recommended for people with mental health issues, those with metal plates around joints or women who are pregnant, unless a doctor has said it’s OK.

“Then there’s a general overview of the class so people know what to expect.

“At launch, all of our teachers will use a common structure with a variety of instruments, but this will evolve over time.

“The classes will start either with a gong or crystal bowls and there will usually be a crescendo towards the middle of the time.

“Then there can be a fade out with some chimes to finish.

“Sometimes a teacher will stay at the front the whole time, and sometimes they’ll walk around the class with small percussive instruments.

“At the end there will be silence and then some recorded music to signal the end of the session.

“What people will get from a class depends on them and their intention. For some it may be more spiritual and for others it’s relaxation.

“It might be a physical rest or allowing yourself to be still for mental health – if you just want a lie down, then that’s great.”

Third Space’s Yoga teachers have undergone extensive training with musician Tim Wheater and sound artist Cherub Sanson – the former a pioneer of sound healing in the west who has been engaged in it since 1982.

The club’s classes make use of crystal bowls from Cherub’s brand Cherebella.

The classes use crystal bowls from Cherebella

“Because of the vibrations of the different instruments that we use, it will shift people into more of a theta brainwave state – on the cusp of wakefulness but deeply relaxed,” said Gillian.

“It has a similar effect to practising meditation and has a lot of benefits for reducing stress and anxiety.

“Our bodies are really clever – if something needs repairing or healing, then they can do that. If we’re not running around and doing stuff, then they have the chance.

“Deep sleep, where the body produces delta brainwaves, is really good for us too – people who have participated in the classes have said they sleep better after a Sound Bath.

“The main thing is for people to come with as few expectations as possible – with an open mind, a sense of curiosity – and see what happens.

“As with everything we do at Third Space, our hope is that members feel better.

“With Sound Bath, they should feel good, more relaxed and calm.

“Like all holistic practices, attending a session won’t mean all the problems in your life are magically better, but it can certainly help.

“You might be having a bad time and find your perspective shifts, you could have a great thought or come in with a problem that you’ve solved by the time you leave.

“So far the feedback has been really positive.”

Find out more about Third Space Canary Wharf here

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via
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Canary Wharf: How Randox Health’s Discovery package takes a bodily snapshot

What going to the brand’s Canary Wharf clinic is like for its £195, 150-data point assessment

Randox Health in Canary Wharf

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“They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but not half so bad as a lot of ignorance,” wrote Terry Pratchett at the opening of his 1987 novel Equal Rites.

There he was referring to a bumbling wizard keen to secure his magical legacy before his inevitable death, but the sentiment nevertheless remains broadly true.  

We are passengers in our bodies.

Whatever it is that passes for our consciousness, if handed full control, would last perhaps a few seconds before being overwhelmed by the astonishing complexities of breathing, pumping blood, interpreting nerve signals and digesting food before rapidly dying. 

To jump on the current cultural zeitgeist, Dr Robert Oppenheimer astutely pointed out in one of his Reith Lectures for the BBC that even the best of us, toiling for a lifetime, only manage to do one or two things really well. 

If faced with operating the systems of the body, the poor sentient parts of our brains would be next to helpless. 

That’s not to say, of course, that we can’t notice things that might help out or improve the way we work.

You don’t need to know how a combustion engine works to understand that putting oil in it lubricates the mechanism and tops it seizing.

Human life has steadily been getting longer precisely as the species has got better at preserving it through medicine, diet, health and safety measures and, generally speaking, killing one another less.

One of those ongoing, incremental revolutions is the rise of monitoring – the collection of data about ourselves, our health and the ways we might use that information to improve things.

While our phones measure our steps, the number of floors we’ve climbed and our sleep, it’s become increasingly commonplace to see people in the gym wearing heart rate monitors and patches continually measuring blood glucose levels.

The idea is that the mostly unseen secrets of our bodies could hold the key to radical benefits for our short and long-term wellbeing.

Who wouldn’t want to know, right? 

So, when Randox Health offered me the chance to sample its £195 Discovery package I jumped at the opportunity.

With branches across London, including one recently opened in Canary Wharf, the company is the consumer-facing arm of Randox proper, a Northern Ireland-based global health testing business with revenues in the hundreds of millions.

Six vials of blood are drawn during the Discovery appointment

The appointment arrived on a fresh July morning.

I hadn’t read the instructions properly – glancing through them in Third Space’s changing room, following an unusually strenuous morning Yoga session, I realised too late that I was supposed to have avoided exercise prior to the tests.

Having feverishly consumed about three litres of water in a desperate bid to rehydrate, I nevertheless marched into the Cabot Square clinic to be met with reassurance that we could still go ahead.

Clinical lead Patricia Veres then took me into a consultation room where I was quizzed on the general state of my health, my medical background and lifestyle choices.

The experience then split into three parts. 

First I was measured and underwent a body composition scan to assess muscle and fat quantities and ratios.

Next I was dispatched to do the awkward dance of the urine sample – somewhat welcome given my enthusiastic efforts to hydrate.

Patricia told me it should be mid stream, but did that mean I should stop or simply resign myself to a certain amount of splashing?

Suffice to say, pot filled and on to the next adventure.

The final act was the blood test itself.

Having been rejected as a plasma donor during the pandemic thanks to my deeply buried veins, I was dreading this part – but Patricia was the model of slick professionalism, delivering a minimal sharp scratch in seconds and rapidly filling six vials.

With my various liquids and measurements dispatched, ready to give me 150 pieces of information about my body, Patricia took time to answer every one of my questions. 

The feel of the whole business was medical but shot through with a welcoming warmth intended to relax and allay customers’ fears.

It worked, I left feeling reassured in the knowledge that in a few days I’d have some fresh insights land in my inbox.

What happens next is just that.

A little less than five working days later, I received a link to the various reports.

These come presented in three documents. The first a summary of any headline issues picked up during the tests, covering various systems in the body.

The second is a copy of the body composition scan which you get to see and discuss in the initial appointment and the third is the detailed results themselves.

Randox also sends out a paper copy of the latter, although quite why in 2023, is anybody’s guess.

Perhaps some people like to frame them.

For want of a more technical explanation, my summary was fairly simple – 82% of the test results were normal or optimal, 4% were a little off and 14% were of some concern.

Some of the report’s conclusions were of little surprise. I’m clinically a bit overweight and could certainly do with shifting a few pounds. I knew that anyway.

But the value here is really in getting glimpses of what lies beneath.

There were bursts of relief – my prostate shows no signs of concern right now, ditto my liver and kidneys.

My diet is apparently working to provide adequate levels of almost all essential nutrients (vitamin D supplements are my secret, especially given the so-called summer we’ve had to date).

But then there’s my phosphorus levels, something possibly a bit questionable with my thyroid function, a bit too much bad cholesterol and an over-abundance of fat-carrying triglycerides in my blood. 

With the exception of the weight, I’m currently asymptomatic so none of these issues would likely have seen me beating down my GP’s door.

A summary of Jon’s Discovery test results

Now I know, however, I well might. 

It’s important to note that a Discovery report is not a diagnosis. The point is to deliver data that may allow people to take action to head off any issues that might be creeping up.

My thyroid function, for example, is completely normal at present.

But the presence of certain antibodies suggests that might not be the case in future so it’s worth keeping an eye on.

It’s also worth noting that a test on a single day is simply a snapshot of the body in a particular state at certain time.

It’s likely the harsh sweaty shapes I’d spent part of the morning bending my unwilling body into will have had some impact on the results – my triglyceride levels, for example.

But others are quite clear.

It’s reassuring to know that my diet is broadly delivering what it should albeit with a side of too much saturated fat. That’s an easy fix.

Tougher is finding enough phosphorus to eat.

After getting the report I later leave Waitrose with a basket overflowing with pumpkin seeds, kefir, mackerel and sardines.

My salted butter days may be behind me, but there’s no shortage of delicious alternatives that should help keep my skeleton in bones. 

I will also be seeking a phosphorus supplement, at least in the short term, because while my levels are catastrophically low, its a mineral you have to be careful not to top up too much.

In the end though, the proof will be in the pudding.

While Discovery offers a snapshot, Randox’s most popular packages are its Everyman and Everywoman offerings.

For £295, you essentially get two Discoveries six months apart to help track the impact of any changes you’ve made.

Just don’t go too radical – after all, a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.

Read More: How Jon Hala in Canary Wharf became a family business

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- Jon Massey is co-founder and editorial director of Wharf Life and writes about a wide range of subjects in Canary Wharf, Docklands and east London - contact via
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Canary Wharf: How Third Space has all the facilities you need to forge a healthy habit

Senior lead trainer Danny Cunningham on the importance of consistency when it comes to fitness

Danny pushes a sled at Third Space in Canary Wharf
Danny pushes a sled at Third Space in Canary Wharf – image James Perrin

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“For people to see that exercise is something to do on a regular basis, like brushing your teeth is incredibly important,” said Danny Cunningham.

To describe the senior lead trainer at Third Space as passionate about fitness would be similar to saying Tigger is partial to the odd bounce.

Anyone who’s been fortunate enough to attend one of his classes in Canary Wharf knows he all but vibrates with exactly the sort of infectious energy you need when trying to summon up the motivation to inch that ambitiously heavy kettlebell you accidentally selected at the start of the session, off the ground. 

He also makes it plain, crucially, that if you’d rather just squat using your own bodyweight, then that’s just as valid and equally worthy of celebration.


“Even if somebody turns up and just does 10 minutes of something, that’s going to have a more positive impact on their mental and physical health, than if they neglect exercise altogether that day,” said Danny.

“It’s consistency that enables people to progress. Like cleaning your teeth, you might not do it as hard or as long on certain days, but you know it’s important to do it regularly.

“Exercise is really great, it makes people feel more cheerful. Getting into the habit of training regularly tends to have a beneficial knock-on effect – those who do often finish tasks more efficiently at work or at home, creating real positive momentum.

“The opposite is often true as well – clients often end up telling me they’ve had a bad day when they’ve missed their morning workout, woken up a bit later and turned up to their first meeting feeling a bit rubbish. It all stems from starting off on the wrong foot.

“Morning exercise is great, but it isn’t for everyone – training at lunchtime or in the evening is excellent too.”

Danny knows what he’s talking about – having been thrown in the boxing ring by his east London dad as a boy to “toughen him up”, he studied sports and exercise science at college and university before embarking on a career as a personal trainer and fitness instructor in 2008.

“After several years as a PT, I really wanted to broaden my horizons,” he said. “So in the mornings, evenings and at weekends I continued to train clients, while also holding down nine-to-five jobs. For me, personally, that was also an insurance policy – if you work in a physical job and you get injured, what are you going to do? 

I deliberately sought sales and marketing roles because those skills are transferable back into the fitness sector, a lot of which is about online presence now.”

While Danny now works full-time for Third Space, that previous experience afforded him a particular level of insight into corporate life and how exercise fits into it, having spent two years working for KPMG in Canary Wharf. 

Danny says carving out an hour is vital
Danny says carving out an hour is vital – image James Perrin


“The most important thing for people to do is to make sure going to the gym works around their schedule, but at the same time to be flexible enough to prioritise their training,” he said.

“If you’re really busy and literally don’t have any spare time, then you need that discipline to carve out a regular one-hour time-slot in the same diary you use for work.

“You need to see it as a non-negotiable meeting you have to attend. You could argue it’s the most important one in terms of your own positivity.

“People are often happy to prioritise deadlines at work, but they often neglect themselves.

“If they’re able to look after their own health and fitness, they’re much more likely to hit other deadlines and the process will be a lot more enjoyable because they’ll be approaching everything with a positive mindset.”


As many people go back to the office and people’s lives return to pre-pandemic rhythms, Danny said well-equipped and organised gyms offered a potent alternative to working out alone at home.

“One of the things Third Space offers is the variety of its classes and, in terms of the equipment available, it has everything you could think of all under one roof,” he said.

“In terms of classes, you’ve got the mind and body workshops, which are good for injury prevention and rehabilitation.

“Then you’ve got the HIIT classes, which are a lot of fun and the strength-related classes, which are good for people who want to build muscular power.

“You’ve got The Yard, which is the biggest functional training space in London, a huge selection of exercise machines and weights and brilliant studios that are incredibly atmospheric to train in.

“Then, on top of that, there’s a climbing wall, saunas, steam rooms, a swimming pool and other things like the Powerplates where people can come and do low-intensity exercise that gets transformed into something really worthwhile.

“That’s a real contrast to doing boring home workouts where it’s burpee after burpee.”

Third Space's facilities include a combat area
Third Space’s facilities include a combat area – image James Perrin


“We design our classes to be suitable for every level from complete beginners to seasoned athletes, by giving multiple options and pushing the culture that you don’t have to hit certain targets,” said Danny.

“Instead, as long as you achieve what you are comfortable with, that’s what matters. Music is very important too.

“People probably take it for granted that there’s a certain beat when they first come in – it will have that feel-good factor and a bit of energy in the room.

“Then we start the session, which is supposed to be thought-provoking so we’ll have ambient sounds and dim the lights to get everyone in the right physical and mental zone.

“Throughout the session people can expect epic lights and music plus fun and friendly chat from the instructors to help keep everyone motivated and take away the pain.

“It’s important for them to be enjoyable because as well as the physical benefits, it’s about the mental benefits of turning up and having a good time.

“People come to realise how valuable getting away from their desks and having a release is. Not everyone wants to be pushed to their absolute limits.

“Some want to come in, have a good workout and not feel like they’re dying. But it works for those who do want to push themselves. 

“It’s being in an inclusive environment where everyone can train at their own level next to each other.”


Danny said, for people completely new to exercise, the key thing initially was getting into good habits early.

“For people in that position, one of the things to think about is why they didn’t go to a gym before,” he said. “A lot of that may come down to the fear and intimidation of thinking that everyone’s got to be super fit and it wouldn’t be for them. But it’s not like that.

“First of all, people should focus on turning up, because that’s something to celebrate – just building exercise into their lifestyle is the important thing.

“For the first two to six months, their mindset should be: ‘I’m just going to go’.

“Nobody should be putting pressure on themselves to get an eight-pack or huge biceps – they should be celebrating having the motivation and dedication to show up on a regular basis. In the long run, that’s what’s going to keep them healthy and fit throughout their lives.”

Exercise should be about positivity and enjoyment
Exercise should be about positivity and enjoyment – image James Perrin


Having developed an extensive online offering, Danny said Third Space was also well-placed to offer members a balance of on-site services and at-home expertise.

“What’s interesting and not much discussed is that it’s great to have a healthy mix of home and gym workouts to suit your routine,” he said. 

“Personal trainers are aware of this and may well prescribe certain sessions  to do that will be helpful in terms of technique if people can’t get to the gym because of their schedule.”

Membership at Third Space Canary Wharf cost £170 per month, which works out at £5.59 a day.

The company is currently waiving its joining fee and offering new members a free meal or shake at Natural Fitness Food, 25% off their first Third Space Spa treatment and two guest passes.

Readers can follow Danny on Instagram here.

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