I was on my way out of a long illness fug. My lovely friend and Dru yoga teacher, Lucy, was facing a reluctant moving house scenario. A 100 day illness and moving house in a rush. We were not a jolly pair.
We sat at the top of Frank’s cafe in Peckham, drinking our too-sugary drinks, looking at a grey London skyline, and talking about all of the moving parts we’d have to bring together to pull off a large event we’d been planning.
There were a lot of moving parts.
We called each other after a weekend of absorbing our to do list. It was just too much, and all of the energy, joy and fun that should go into creating a big event would have been sucked out of us through worry over the weather and ticket sales. “Instead”, Lucy suggested, “could we hold a series of yoga classes to watch the sunset?!”
OF COURSE WE COULD!!
And so it was agreed. Monday nights, 8pm, the carpark rooftop in Peckham. 10 weeks. Let’s get cracking. We’d invite South London yoga studios to host a class each. Bring their own style, their own take on the sunset. And boy, did we do just that.
The weather, on the whole, played ball. We had 3 wet weeks- one where we watched the passing downpour, dry from the safety of our under carpark shelter, one where we ran screaming with laughter from the rooftop to avoid the worst of a warm summer downpour that we’d watched spectacularly sweep across the skyline, and one where the downpour was so great, we had to cancel the class (and hold it at the very end of the series- which turned out to be a blissfully clear, warm autumnal night of candlelit rooftop yoga).
And the views. When it was clear, it was radiant. When it was cloudy, it was moody. And the skyline- all those landmarks- they still sent your spirits soaring like the city below.
When the sun broke through those clouds, it was like nothing you can describe. Although I didn’t take part in the classes, (instead creeping around behind the scenes with Lucy, sweeping floors, opening gates and scrabbling around for that bloody padlock for the hundredth time) the feeling of peeking round the cylinders on the roof and seeing people with sparkling faces, inhaling the air deeply and calmly, and smiling big, wide yoga-smiles… knowing we put that feeling in people and gave them that experience, made me so so happy.
I admit, it was bizarre, seeing classes from the other side of things. I was one of the cogs (along with Lucy and our fabulous, hard-working and reliable group of volunteers) but not taking part in the class.
Me- I do classes. I review classes. It was strange to put on classes. Especially because I’m not even qualified to teach anything! I saw the worry about low bookings turn to elation when a weekend spike saw a class sell-out, I saw the joy of happy people giving thanks to the sunset as they moved through their vinyasa, and I saw the bit you don’t see- dragging boxes, locking up, getting home at 11pm every monday night for the whole summer. It taught me a lot about the classes I attend. I have a whole new angle on them now.
Did you make it along? If not, you missed a treat! Here’s who we hosted:
Victor’s Lab with Daniel Breakwell
Embody Wellness with Sybille Gebhardt
Broga with Matt Miller
Boxing Yoga with Letty Mitchell
Hot Power Yoga with Rishin Paonaskar and Chloe Tulett
Gaia Studios with Jessica Stretch
And we were of course kindly sponsored every week by Zico Coconut Water.
Thank you. Thank you to every single studio, teacher, volunteer and yogi who spent their Monday nights enjoying this little project of ours. And thank you to Lucy. Thank you, dear friend, for putting up with the fact that I only answer emails once a week, and that I can never, ever arrive anywhere on time.
And so, it came to an end. It was kind of poignient to say goodbye to a summer and hello to an autumn with a stretch into the sunset which soon became candlelight. I fell in love with London all over again looking down at the skyline and watching the end of an achievement.
I suppose the question is…. what’s next?!
To see more photos (and see if you can spot yourself!) then CLICK HERE to log onto Rooftop Yoga Peckham’s facebook page…