A Yogi’s Guide to London: May 2016

A Yogi's Guide to London: May 2016
Image Credit: Rafael Montilla via Flickr.
Image Credit: Rafael Montilla via Flickr.

Spring is finally here! And as the weather heats up (hopefully) so does a yogi’s calendar — from events and workshops to packed out classes and open-air practices. May is a great month for yoga teachers and yoga lovers alike however sometimes it takes a little planning to ensure you don’t miss out. Whether you’re looking to attend more events, add a little spring to your cooking as well your classes or match your mood to your music, our guide to the month is a round-up of where to be, what to eat and what to listen to.

Workshops and Classes

Lots of us put ourselves through a spring clean for our homes around this time of year, some of us may even really enjoy it, but what about a spring clean for our mind? They say ‘tidy room, tidy mind’ but it’s not always that easy. Yoga teacher, Laura Bradley, is running a series of Spring Clean Yoga Classes specially designed to leave your mind and body feeling cleansed, relaxed and ready for the months ahead. No class will be the same — each will have a different anatomical focus and combine a variety of detoxing twists with pranayama and grounding meditation.

Next, we couldn’t put together a yogi’s guide to May and not mention Yoga Campus. Originally set up in conjunction with The Life Centre, one of the UK’s oldest yoga centres, the Yoga Campus runs courses and classes throughout the year to inspire quality teaching and training. For May they have a whole host of interesting workshops to help you enhance your teaching, your practice and ready you for the busy season ahead. From specific workshops on yoga as therapy for back problems to a series of ‘practical guide’ workshops such as teaching and sequencing restorative yoga and teaching meditation in the yoga tradition, this is my favourite campus, albeit split between Clerkenwell and Primrose Hill, since my university days — cue nostalgia.

Events for Yogis

Image Credit: Steve McFarland via Flickr.
Image Credit: Steve McFarland via Flickr.

To kick off the month, the very first day of May is National Laughter Day and the Museum of Happiness are hosting an event to celebrate all things happy. Their event, Spreading Happiness and Peace, boasts a full day of feel-good classes and workshops from laughter yoga and happy meditation to talks on the neuroscience of laughter – there’s even some ukulele fun on the cards. Tickets are by donation: ‘pay whatever feels good to you’ and events run from 11am until 6pm.

A yearly event in the yogi calendar is the Mind Body Spirit Wellbeing Festival, running over into the first few days of May, this festival is the yogi’s equivalent to opening every door on an advent calendar in one go! Classes, talks, crafts, workshops and wellbeing professionals congregate in this huge venue for the week and the powerful sense of wellbeing is something to behold.  From nutrition and self healing to finding your purpose and, of course, yoga workshops, this event promises to leave echoes in your life long after it’s over.

In the run up to the Yoga Connects Summer Festival, the Connects Spring Chill offers a taster of what to come. On the 13th May in Clerkenwell this relaxed event will see classes and workshops on yin style practice, dynamic Vinyasa and restorative sessions to nourish your body. Coupled with delicious vegan goodies, crafts and fashion and like-minded people, this event is one we have circled twice in our calendar

Yogi Food

Spring is the beginning of BBQ season, of picnicking with friends and balmy evening dinners on the patio which turn into evening dinners in the dining room once no one can handle the increasing chill. A whole new range of ingredients hit the shelves of our local shops and we start to change our cooking from hearty stews and warming dishes to fresh salads and juices packed with fresh vegetables, ginger and a squeeze of lemon or lime.

Our favourite ingredients for May this year are asparagus, kiwi, courgette, peaches, artichoke and, of course, avocado. Grilling peaches makes a great post-dinner sweet treat and is so easy while adding kiwi to a salad adds a fruity twist. Artichoke is great for adding to salads or as a nourishing starter and we would argue that avocado goes with just about everything. For May recipe inspiration check out My Yoga Kitchen which has lots of delicious recipes including a moth beansprout salad and pomegranate and spinach raita.

Image Credit: Danielle Macinnes via Unsplash.
Image Credit: Danielle Macinnes via Unsplash.

If you’re too busy with workshops, classes and outdoor practice to find time to cook then there are some great places to nourish yourself around London. Tucked away in the colourful beauty of Neal’s Yard, the Wild Food Café has a fresh, raw menu that rotates regularly and has some mouth-watering goodies for Spring. What we love the most about this place is that it is so much more than just a café – it’s an immersive community and this May is a great time to get involved. On the 15th of May the café are running are Wild and Raw Food Master class where you’ll be able to deepen your understanding of nutrient-rich plant-based ingredients, meet like-minded people and step-up your cooking game for spring.

The Retreat Café in Soho is also top of our lists for May – with lots of gluten, dairy and sugar free dishes on offer as well as a whole host of detox programmes, supper clubs, yoga retreats and health talks.

Summer Music

Sometimes we want to practice in silence and sometimes it’s nice to have some calming background music to help focus and centering. You can find our favourite yoga playlists and songs for May below:

  • Spring 2016 Yoga Flow – this playlist is calming, upbeat and if the May weather becomes a little too unpredictable to practice outside, the music here recreates the relaxing jangle of wind chimes, a gentle breeze and the warmth you feel at the first rays of sun in the morning.
  • The Happiness Tour – this 75-minute playlist inspires happiness, peace and a profound sense of joy.
  • Sea of Om’s by Morley
  • Spring Evening in The Rockies by Yoga
  • Love Spring Vol. 1
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