Astanga Yoga London


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