To the untrained eye, Yoga doesn’t seem like a challenge. As someone who considers herself pretty active, this eastern practise looks like an opportunity for gentle exercise and core work in a peaceful environment. While East of Eden, the brand new yoga community set up by single parents Abigail McLachlan and Naomi Costantino introduces you to the day with an air of serenity, the Walthamstow-based studio is set to kick your mind and body into action before you’ve even put down your morning coffee.
Less than a five-minute walk from Walthamstow Tube Station, East of Eden is part of the regeneration activity on the other end of the Victoria line. With a host of restaurants, as well as Soho theatre’s new vision for the Walthamstow Granada, Digital Consultant Abigail’s and Yoga Teacher Naomi’s studio is perfectly situation in the middle of the inevitable community buzz. The studio itself is tucked away on Hatherly Mews, and once inside, breathes everything you would expect from this spiritual exercise – clean, minimal and calm. Naomi tells me that her and Abigail plan to introduce a small café in front of the studio, which should encourage passers by to stopping in. The front of the building spills out onto a cobbled street, and one can imagine the social appeal of this location – especially with summer approaching. There is also a strong emphasis on music and community, which are both key to determining the tone of this yoga studio. “It is really important to create a studio with a heart, which is part of a community and gives back to the local area, which is what yoga is really all about”, Naomi explains. “Expect to see East of Eden outreach programmes. Through both breath-led and music classes and an excellent pool of teachers that can really walk their talk, we hope East of Eden is a destination that has something for everyone”.
Mats are provided, and as I sit down on mine for a class of vinyasa flow, Naomi explains the importance of breathing and movement, which is the focus for this 7AM class. We start of nice and slow, forging the connection between mind, breath and body. Before I know it, my idea of a calming meditation goes out of the window. This class is still therapeutic if not more than expected, once I’ve altered what my idea of therapeutic is. There’s a new active sense of mediation, once that requires every inch of my mind and body to remain engaged while I stretch, balance and keep in time with my peers. The climax of the class is a seated twist, which swiftly moves into a twisted arm balance. Determining the experience level of the class, Naomi talks everyone through the basics of achieving this pose, and creates an encouraging, optimistic feel. By the end of the session the general consensus is that East of Eden definitely puts you in your pace, leaving you feeling rejuvenated for your next challenge – anyone for a one handed tree pose?
East of Eden offer a wide selection of yoga from mums and baby, pregnancy, community and 60+ classes, as well as practise in Yin, Vinyasa Flow, Rocket, Hatha and Jivamukti Yoga as well as mat-based pilates.
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