It has always been our intention with the new (or not so new now!) Shala to set up a scheme where The Shala can give something back to the wider community. Finally we have found a charity that resonates with us and we are delighted to announce our collaboration with Ourmala. Ourmala is a charity that brings yoga to refugees and asylum seekers in London, offering community and healing to those whom have often suffered loss, trauma and hardships we cannot possibly imagine.
Our motivation in running a yoga studio is to facilitate healing, nurture and growth, improving the physical, emotional – and often spiritual – well-being of those lives we touch. Our ethos is to make yoga inclusive and accessible and indeed we have students of all ages, all religious, economic and cultural walks of life. Yet we are conscious that we are not necessarily reaching as far into the community as we could to those in most need. In working with Ourmala, we will facilitate yoga for refugees and asylum seekers who would not ordinarily have access to it and who will reap the benefits in a profound and life-changing way.
Our Yoga for Ourmala classes are donation based classes run and taught (on rotation basis) for free by our amazing Shala team. All funds go directly to Ourmala to provide a yoga refuge to refugees – a safe space where healing begins and a community can blossom. We firmly believe in the power of yoga to heal trauma, inspire hope and project positivity beyond the individual mat into the wider world.
Yoga teaches us compassion. Through our practices we can not only enhance our own lives but also the lives of others. With this initiative we truly live yoga, getting on our mats as a yoga community and energetically (and financially) supporting the displaced and disenfranchised, helping “them “find strength, hope and a space to breathe through yoga”.
Yoga for Ourmala classes launch on Friday 5 May and we will have vegan brownies made by Cookies & Biscuit. The classes will vary in style depending on the teacher (so please check teacher biographies for more details) and will accommodate mixed abilities – with the exception of the yin classes they will not be suitable for complete beginners to yoga. All classes should be booked online free of charge and donations should be made via the Shala / Ourmala donation page. We suggest a donation between £8 and £14 depending on what you can afford.