Astanga Yoga London

30th of July 2020
30th July 2020

There were 32 students in today. Full at 5am again. And then through out the morning there was always one two spots available. After 8.30 much quieter.

Don’t forget Monday is a moon day

Spaces available in late mornings + evenings

We have space in the late mornings after 9am and in the evening classes. If you would like to join AYL, please email us first. There may be space in the early morning classes from August, please check with Hamish first.

29th of July 2020
29th July 2020

Little busier today. Last night there were 6 students so still space. This morning it was full between 5am and 6am after that there were always one two spaces until 6.45am then it was full until 8.30am and then quiet. So if you are looking to come in think about after 8.30.


28th of July 2020
28th July 2020

So last night was quiet at the Shala, the first evening open with only 3 students. This morning there were 35 and at no point did anyone have to wait. Only a couple of times did students have to start practice in the small room. We were busy from 5am until 6.15am then throughout the morning til 8.45am there were one or two space regularly. After that there was always space.

So we’re happy to take new students in the evening and after 9am.

27th of July 2020
27th July 2020

I have this on a loop.

Today there were 38 students. It was full at 5am then slowly reduced so by 6.45am there was only one person. Then it started getting busy again from 7.15am and was full from 7.30am to about 8.40am. Four people had to wait between 7 and 18 minutes. Then it was quiet all the way through to the end. It’s really lovely to be working with everyone it feels quite special.

26th of July 2020
26th July 2020

Louise and Tom taught Sunday class and there were 12 people in.

25th of July 2020
25th July 2020

First day back at the shala. So lovely to see all your smiley faces. We started with a few people and built up over time. Only at one time did I call ‘one more’. There was no waiting. We have one meter between mats but a few times couples came in so as they live together they could have mats closer.

Thank you all for coming in. Thank you Louise for assisting and big thanks to Joan for keeping the shala clean throughout the day

24th of July 2020
24th July 2020

It feels like something special is going to happen.

Oh yes we’re opening tomorrow!

I guess a few of you may be nervous about coming back. And to be honest we are too, we don’t know what it will be like. We will be smiling though.

Tomorrow afternoon I will write up how it all went and hopefully we can do that for a few days so that you get an idea of what to expect. Feel free to email/text me any questions or worries.

See you soon


21st of July 2020
21st July 2020

Only a few more days till we open again, so put that pizza down! I’ve been using the last few days to reflect on what I’ve learnt and what I intend to do with that. Be more friendly to everyone. Get rid of a load of crap that I don’t need/never use/attached to for no apparent reason. Try and live now. (With emphasis on try).

The last part of chapter 1 of the Yoga Sutras follows the general theme of Samadhi, after all that is the title of the chapter. Patanjali talks about a variety of things that you can concentrate on/meditate on/gain insight from. The choices end with ‘you can mediate on what ever you like’. I like this freedom, this non prescriptive view.

Of course we may wonder ‘but what should I mediate on’? or ‘which chant should I use’? Which all condenses down to ‘which way should I go’? The simple answer is it doesn’t matter, just start. Sit and see what comes to you. Our endless search for happiness is always constrained by sadness. We will always have good days and bad days until we can let go of own desire. That is why Patanjali says meditate on anything. Because if he said mediate on an oak tree and it didn’t work you’d blame either the oak tree or Patanjali.

Of course we then ask ‘do I have free will’? Which has a rather complicate answer. We live in a world of free will where our sense of self exists. Our sense of self is for the most part there because of other people and our free will ¬†or belief in it happens because our brain is not fast enough to see that our brain acts before we are aware of it. You can look up the Libet test. Not having free will is about as big an attack on the ego as possible. And because it would fuck up pretty much the whole world ‘wasn’t my fault’ we generally live in our little utopia of self.

The only option is to smile

18th of July 2020
18th July 2020

As some of you know Anna, AKA farmer wise has decided to stop teaching at AYL. For a few reasons, but mostly because she really enjoys her main job of working for Birth Companions. And now they have offered her more money/hours. Anna and I set up Dharma shala, many hours have gone into choosing how things would be. There is no way I could have done it with out Anna. (or much else)

Today I went for a nice long run, though that would be a way to then relax on the sofa after. Talia went off to Camden with her friends. And we get a call from one of them, Talia has lost her phone. Of course being Crouch end parents we track every move. So we figured the phone was on the 29 Bus. We jumped in the car, and tracked it to Wood Green. We could see the bus coming up the road on the opposite side. So as Anna was driving I jumped out of the moving car, sprinted across the big intersection. And we now have the phone and I’m on the sofa. Someone is on cleaning duty for a few days.

In the last post of the Yoga Sutras we looked at how Patanjali advises us in relationships and the related emotions. Patanjali’s main push is for samadhi, everything is to reach this goal. So not just how we do Marichasana D or that we have satvik food but how we relate with each other is a part of the yoga path. Finding joy in everything. We’re all after the happiness thing, and we can really only get that when we bring happiness to others.

The next sutra is rather interesting 1.34 At first it seems simple. It says Samadhi is obtainable by exhalation/restraining the breath. Which would seem obvious that pranayama can bring about samadhi. The confusion is with the first word. Prachchhadana, hard enough to say. Usually it is translated as exhale. But when you read the dictionaries and question a few people with more knowledge than me it actually comes out as ‘to vomit’. No information is given how to breath or how to hold ones breath. May be this one sutra has more to it than meets the eye. When you are sick your stomach contract strongly. In this way when we hold our breath after an exhale contraction of the stomach muscles strongly is an important part. It’s also interesting Patanjali is only interested in the exhale retention. No mention of inhale is made.

See you soon…