London Streets are where we can breathe freely
Reimagine our Streets
Where does yoga take place? Humour me, take a breath, close your eyes and imagine the perfect setting for yoga? What did you see? The seaside? A calm studio with wooden floor and dimmed lighting? What did you smell? A drift of incense or palo santo? What do you hear? Ambient sounds, a soft piano, your breath? At any time, did you imagine a London street, filled with the laughter of children, with old and young, setting down their load as they reimagine their streets?
Yoga on the Lane, is taking to the streets for London’s Car Free Day on Sunday 22 September, for a day-long pop-up Yoga on the Road. I’ll be there supporting FREE classes on Stoke Newington Church Street and Clissold Park. Yoga is for everybody and for every body. Yoga is for the streets as much as for the studio. It is to be practiced by the young and old. Join in and show London that its streets are for its communities to connect with each other. London streets are spaces where we can breathe freely. There’s every reason to reclaim your streets and your breath and there’s plenty of choice. Thirteen FREE yoga classes are taking place across five locations on Sunday 22 September from 11am. No need to book, just turn up! Times, locations and teachers click here!
I have personal reasons for supporting a reduction in cars for health reasons. Over a decade ago, I found myself staring at those blue curtains they drag around a space in A&E. I was hooked up to a nebuliser and I was terrified. I discovered a toxic mix of hot air, pollen and toxic particles had penetrated my bronchioles and for years I would dread summer for the breathless days and nights it brought me. Years of yoga practice helped my breath return. My commitment now is because I believe that a reduction in cars is good not only for our physical health but the health of our communities. I hope you come and see me on Sunday 22 September on the streets of Hackney as I work alongside my fellow yoga teachers from Yoga on the Lane as they transform Hackney’s streets into breathing spaces.
Car free days give us the opportunity to take the leap in our imagination and to experience our local areas freed from the tyranny of the motor vehicles. I believe that reducing cars can make space for all sorts of things. Our communities can grow and flourish as we walk with each other. Our streets can become playgrounds, forums and yoga studios, limited only by how far our imaginations can extend. And as we transform our communities and spaces, perhaps we will also make space and time for others that we share our physical spaces with and listen to others point of view.
Currently 95% of Londoners live in neighbourhoods where toxic air particles exceed the World Health Organisation’s recommended limits by 50%. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate World Car-Free Day on 22 September than by turning London’s streets into a giant space for yoga. We are being asked to re-imagine our streets; yoga gives us the perfect tool to transform our physical spaces. Taking yoga to the streets gives us an experience of what this other reality could feel like.