LifeYoga Studio in Chanakyapuri
LifeYoga Studio in Chanakyapuri Kartikeya Manan

LifeYoga: Delhi's Newest Wellness Sanctuary To Add To Your List

Ambrish Arora, Founder and Design Principal at Studio Lotus talks about the creation of LifeYoga and how it's the perfect spot to learn the discipline in an authentic environment

When you enter the newly opened LifeYoga building in Delhi, the airiness and light-filled corners make you forget you are in the heart of the city, in the middle of the concrete jungle and not an actual green jungle. An urban oasis in Chanakyapuri surrounded by thickets of trees, this bespoke yoga studio combines aesthetics with asanas to give visitors a harmonious wellness sanctuary smack in the centre of the busy capital.

Certain elements can make or break the appeal of a wellness centre for you. If the colours are too flashy, the space isn't enough, and the lights are harsh, it becomes difficult to immerse in the environment truly. At LifeYoga, there is no paucity of space, the lights are warm and soothing, and the earthy tones of the interiors lend it a calming effect, which is a prerequisite for any wellness centre.

OT spoke to Ambrish Arora, Founder and Design Principal at Studio Lotus, the firm that is the brains behind the seamless and natural design of LifeYoga. He talked to us about the conceptualisation, elements, and materials that led to the creation of this sanctuary. Here are the excerpts from the interview.

Ambrish Arora
Ambrish Arora

Take us through the conceptualisation of LifeYoga's design.


The project was commissioned by Dr Varun Veer and Dr Tanu Singh–lifelong practitioners and teachers of the discipline. They envisioned an urban sanctuary rooted in ancient wisdom yet responsive to contemporary needs. Their belief that yoga now belongs to the world, while its roots lie firmly in the Patanjali Sutra, became a guiding principle throughout the project's design. A key tenet of our design approach was to create a succession of spaces that progressively takes one inward, shedding the chaos outside and priming the body and spirit to truly immerse in the learning ahead. The spaces themselves are characterised by a play of scale, volume and light, corresponding to the brief's diverse programmatic requirements.

At the ground level, we have the reception that extends into a retail zone, a restaurant, 'Eleved', serving Ayurveda-inspired fare, and some consultation rooms on the low-height mezzanine. A mix of yoga studios offers intimate and expansive spaces that can accommodate anywhere between five and fifty individuals at a given time. The conservatory-style upper floor is where one of the main yoga studios is placed for high-intensity training sessions and hot yoga classes. The lower ground floor is designed to provide a conducive atmosphere for more introspective forms of the practice.

Restaurant Eleved serves Ayurveda-inspired fare
Restaurant Eleved serves Ayurveda-inspired fareKartikeya Manan

As the facility caters to around 15 diverse yogic disciplines, they are equipped with built-in props ranging from hooks for aerial yoga to wall ropes for Iyengar yoga. They vary in scale, from fitting small groups of five to six to mid-sized groups of about 25, and can even be merged to accommodate groups as large as 50. The materiality is intentionally tactile, evocative, and spartan, with locally sourced materials such as kikar (acacia) and Mandana red sandstone in various hues and textures weaving quietly into the volume. Daylight has been crucial as an extension of the design vocabulary, along with the lush foliage of peepal and banyan trees that envelop the building on all sides. Wall-to-wall windows layered with translucent muslin or handmade paper screens till eye level create a visual barrier from external noise and soften the daylight as it enters the spaces while guiding lines of sight upwards to the foliage beyond.


What are some key elements you have used in the space's design?

Align your chakras amidst immaculate aesthetics
Align your chakras amidst immaculate aestheticsKartikeya Manan

Tactile natural materials, primarily local stone, wax-finished plaster and oil-finished timber, aim to establish a nuanced interplay between restraint and refinement in all spaces. For example, the earthy Mandana red sandstone is employed in three different textures to contrast with the wax-finished walls of ivory cow dung-infused plaster with microbicidal properties. The furniture and millwork in kikar (acacia) further infuse warmth and a sense of regional character. We have also tried to harness the therapeutic effects of lighting in various ways to promote relaxation and deepen focus. Integrated, adjustable lighting systems offer the flexibility to create a well-lit atmosphere or a dim and gentle ambience, depending on the nature of the practice. The space has been layered to create varying degrees of porosity with muslin and paper screens, some of which carry information on Ayurvedic and Yogic concepts.


Krushi Bhawan champions sustainability and local craft. Tell us about the inspirations behind the idea.


At Studio Lotus, our design process looks at sustainability through the multiple lenses of cultural, social, and environmental impact, and our design for Krushi Bhawan also reflects these considerations. The building was envisaged as a symbol for a new Odisha—rooted in tradition yet projecting into the future, iconic yet approachable for the common people, especially the local farmers. Programmatically, it is an administrative office for the government of Odisha's Department of Agriculture and Farmers' Empowerment. With our design, we sought to embody the idea of truly inclusive architecture—created for and built by the people and representing their collective cultural identity.

The brick-louvred screen of Krushi Bhawan, Odisha in the pattern of the famed Ikat weave
The brick-louvred screen of Krushi Bhawan, Odisha in the pattern of the famed Ikat weaveStudio Lotus

We chose to integrate local crafts into the design process–as a medium to connect with the region's culture and create a sense of belonging among the local community. Our design team worked closely with local consultants and over 50 craftspeople, seeking opportunities to sensitively incorporate local materials and find new ways of integrating these crafts within a contemporary environment. The material palette also includes indigenous and locally sourced materials, such as exposed brick and local stones like laterite and khondalite. We designed the facade as a brick-louvred screen in the pattern of local weaves–the famed Ikat patterns of Odisha handlooms. Its three different colours represent the soil diversity of the region, it being a building for the Department of Agriculture.

We integrated passive design strategies–the staggered massing of the building blocks (that helps shield the building from the sun's heat), recessed windows, and a double-skin brick exterior (a system that reduces heat gain by regulating daylight penetration) together, reduce the structure's energy consumption. A simple night-purging system was also devised for cooling and ventilation, which has helped cut down the need for mechanical air-conditioning to only 20 per cent of the built areas. Along with creating a comfortable environment for the users, these design strategies have led to the project exceeding the highest benchmarks for green buildings.


What factors make you zero in on a new project?

The spaces are characterised by a play of scale, volume and light
The spaces are characterised by a play of scale, volume and lightKartikeya Manan

The client's commitment to quality is something that is a cornerstone of each project we choose to work on. We have been very fortunate to have found clients who wish to engage deeply and would like us to engage in work right from master plans to interiors to the smallest of furniture details. The entry point for us is the story the project seeks to tell. And a big part of the story is the process. We deliberately allow this process to be fluid and emergent, resulting in the diversity of outcomes we hold so dear.


While designing, what did you want people to feel when they visited the LifeYoga studio?


Our design intent for the flagship wellness centre for Lifeyoga has been to create a calming, meditative, and uplifting experience that is reflective of the inner journey of the practitioners of this ancient science.

LifeYoga Studio is located at 16/48, Malcha Marg, Block C, Diplomatic Enclave, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi. It is open seven days a week and you can book a session through their application or website.

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