Showing posts with label columbia road. Show all posts
Showing posts with label columbia road. Show all posts

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Yoga social - Gayatri x 108

Join us at for a special Saturday evening in at gogoyoga on 7th Dec: movement & breath-work, chanting, nourishing food and great company. 

I'll be leading a shakti-freeing yoga class then the chanting of Gayatri mantra 108 times. One of the most powerful and beautiful sanskrit mantras, central to the yoga tradition, its meaning is to be experienced as much as learned. We look to goddess Gayatri (mother of the vedas) and ask for illumination. 

In traditional 'call and response' style, accompanied by harmonium, we chant as a group and absorb the healing vibrations of the mantra - i.e. you don't need to have any singing 'skills'! I am certainly not a 'signer' so I really urge people to come and give chanting a try as the effect of even sitting quietly among the group energy is quite profound. 

We start at 6pm with tea and snacks and finish with a chance to chat and share over a bowl of gogo owner Annie's amazing dahl and locally baked bread (finishing by 9pm so still time to go out for you party devis, and an early night for us hermits :)).

All levels of yoga experience are welcome - yoga equipment provided. 

gogoyoga, 59 Columbia Road, E2.
£18 early booking or £20 OTD. To book, message me with your details and we will call you to take card payment. OM x

Ali Piriamvada Gunning - I teach Akhanda and Kundalini Yoga in East London. Me and my narrow boat Bokissa are floating around near Homerton. 

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Moving on...

After an unexpectedly extended stay on the river Lee in friendly Hertford, I'm back in London as a 'continuous cruiser' on the canals. And what better time to move than a super-sunny end to March and start to April.

The journey to London will go down in the epic travels of me and my mate Sarah: who was my companion for many an amazing, hairy and memorable journey across India; by falling-to-bits-moped, boat and train. Sarah is often the voice of reason to my impulsive side, but also one of the most hilarious and carefree people I know. Anyway, I've cruised Gorse (my narrow boat) twice so far; so a 40 mile trip through 20 locks is a bit daunting to say the least...

It took us 2 days to make the journey and thankfully we had all round boating legend Graham as a chaperone for day 1...which all seemed so easy. Steering through locks quite the thing in vintage shades and Hunters, while Graham and Sarah raised paddles, opened gates and generally did all the hard work. 

Its actually not that tricky when you look at each lock logically. As I see it the paddles are like raise the paddles and you take the brakes off...water flows in. And lower the paddles, you stop the flow. Likewise if you want to go up the lock you need to fill it. If you want to go down you need to empty it. 

But of course every lock is different - some electric, some with old style paddles and some with hydraulics. 

And it feels like a different scenario altogether when you have a watching crowd of 20 cyclists, rowers and general public. I'm talking about day 2 now...minus Graham. 

So, the first lock we hit is broken (no sign - thanks British Waterways) so we head in full of confidence and get stuck with a half filled lock and a boat which is flying around in turbulent water. Eek. Luckily some burly blokes are on hand to pull us out the lock and help us through the (working) electric version on the right hand side (it really wasn't obvious). 

Confidence dented we sink a pot of Assam and get going again. Another 6 locks without incident until we run aground just outside Tottenham to the amusement of several fisherman. Not cool. Neither is the 'donut' I make in front of Tottenham lock, completely losing the ability to steer, reverse or focus. Its definietly time to stop, we've been on the go for 6 + hours.

And just when I get that feeling of 'what the hell am I doing in charge of this boat' we cruise into Walthamstow marshes - cue lots of friendly waving, another burst of sunshine. 

London really is beautiful by water. There are so many little-known but peaceful spots on the canal to chill, think or drink a pint. Sarah and I both agreed it was like discovering the city all over again from a different perspective. The whole 'you don't explore what's on your doorstep' saying is true. 

We go to India, Thailand, Morroco, wherever to dip into culture without appreciating what's under our noses (its been a bit of a theme for me this year and I was recently reminded by the Sufi saying about 'looking in the garden for the keys you lost in the house...just because its lighter out there').

I moored up in Clapton, E5 for a week and yet again came across the most genuine and caring people I've experienced in 8 years here. Other best bits: Venetias cafe, the oak grove in Millfields park with people doing Tai Chi, Sunday market on Chatsworth Road and pound shops to rival Holloway Road.

So now its Victoria Park, E8 for the next 2 weeks. Highlights: London Fields, Columbia Road (obviously for its flower market & also Angela Flanders perfumery), and Hackney farm. 

(Victoria Park, pink sunset)