Guruji blessing the shala
About Astanga Yoga London
We found the shala in 2005. Guruji was in town and after we picked him up from the airport on a snowy March morning, he did a small puja, blessing our new space. Six weeks later, having had Dave the builder pull it to pieces and then re-build, while Anna gave birth to our lovely daughter, Talia, we opened with samosas and tea.
We’d had other spaces but none that were ours 24/7. All the students seemed happy with the new space, though it soon gained a ‘lived in’ look. We chose the colours yellow and purple to make the place feel warm and sacred. We made a small library that students are welcome to use and a kitchen area for tea. We’ve tried to make the place a second home for people as they spend so much time here. Our favourite place in the shala? The ‘drawer of requirements’ – it always seems to have what you need.
We called the space ‘Dharma Shala’ because dharma means ‘that which supports in a spiritual way’ and shala means ‘hall’ or ‘resting place’. King Ashoka opened many dharma shalas so that wandering yogis would have a home in the rain. We wanted to interpret that in a modern, London way.
Hamish + Anna