When I was living in Paris, many people would talk to me about the benefits of practising yoga. Life in a big city can be stressful between your job, the commute, busy people and so little time to enjoy life. I was curious about it and I thought maybe I should try and see by myself how it feels. So I enrolled to a class and it was good but I did not connect with it and I stopped after a few sessions. Some of my friends were surprised as they really believed that it would fit with my personality but sometimes all it takes is to meet the right person.
And it happened… with patience… many years after in another country actually. Life, work and opportunities took me to London (UK) for a year and this is where I met the most amazing yoga teacher you can imagine. And have you also noticed that often the best things that happen to you in life, are very often the ones that you were not looking for. It is like sometimes, life has little gifts for you. And this is what happened to me with Mieke 🙂 at that time I was really not thinking about yoga or anything and I found a card in my letter box and I was about to throw it directly in the bin, but some words caught my attention because I could relate to them. And this is how I started yoga sessions, 5 times a week with the adorable Mieke. And you can’t imagine how much it helped me at a time I needed it the most in my life. At the beginning I remember it was challenging because it was in English and I did not know the names of the postures etc… but then I got used to (watching her mainly and associating images with words) and now I can’t imagine yoga in another language than English, funny isn’t it?
Now that I am living in Australia, I still practise sometimes yoga on my own thanks to internet and when I find the time to do so. It is a very calming and grounding activity that I highly recommend. Besides I must say that with this beautiful weather I had the opportunity to go and practise yoga at the beach and it was a great experience with all these beautiful colours, the sound of the waves rolling on the beach and this beautiful sun in this vibrant blue sky. It was like a dream and practising yoga in such a beautiful setting made me feel very grateful. Besides I had the opportunity to teach some postures to some of my friends (Jessica from Mexico and Liliana from Venezuela) and they really enjoyed it! It is a good way to feel connected with earth and feel your stress leaving you as you are embracing yoga with all of your heart, letting go, no where to go, no where to be, just in the present moment!
September marks a year to the month that I packed my suitcase and moved to UK. A year to the day when I took the Eurostar wondering what London would bring me… so many questions in my head: Am I going to enjoy it? Is it a nice place to live and to work in? and what about the people there? I remember many of my (french) friends envying me because as they say “London is so COOL” … probably…but actually at that time, I had no clue and was not so sure about it… I mean there is a big gap between enjoying London over a weekend and living in the city for good!
But since I was there, I really wanted to give it a chance so I have jumped into London crazy rhythm: Flat hunting, museums, visits, work, sport, school….etc…. I have to say that time went by very quickly and actually I was pretty lucky (magic London) and succeeded in all the things I wanted to achieve here: I found a tiny but cute place to live in Notting Hill, I have met old friends from Portsmouth that I haven’t been seeing for 15 years or so, I have visited in 1 year more museums, palace, exhibitions etc. that I have done in my whole existence, I know Hyde Park like the back of my hand and it has became my favorite place in London, I have quickly and quite easily found a marketing manager position with a very good salary when a lot of people told me it was impossible because I am a foreigner, I have met an amazing Yoga teacher who brought me spiritual wisdom and peace when I needed it and I am so happy I could commit myself to Yoga every day during a year (which I never thought before I would be capable of), I have also enjoyed so much attending to the English evening classes at the Stanton School because it was a really nice way to practise and improve my language skills but most of all I have met amazing people from all other the world and it felt so nice to have new, fun and nice friends to share this amazing adventure and experience that is London with!!!
What initially struck me as odd and unusual is now part of the everyday and I can’t believe I am already leaving for new overseas adventures…even if it looks exciting, I am definitely going to miss London, scones and you my dear friends!
So after a year spent in London, I can now answer to the question what makes London so unique? without no doubt, it’s you people, the (international) Londoners!