Our Space

When we took over our space in West Norwood, it was a a vast 250 meter square cavity with no natural light, no heating, minimal plumbing and a severely leaking roof. It took some imagination to picture just what an amazing space it could be. Our vision was to create a bespoke yoga centre dedicated to mind body practices. It was to be a beautifully simple, serene and warm space, which retained the warehouse character of the building. We wanted loads of natural light with views of the sky. We wanted it to be intimate, yet spacious, personal but uncluttered, airy, but cosy. It was to be a place for self-nurture, healing, and community. The beautiful purpose-built centre we have created has the luxuries of a big yoga centre (showers, underfloor heating, wooden floors), whilst retaining the charm and character of a small independent studio. The new space is a sanctuary, peaceful, but vibrant and always warm and welcoming.

Mysore Studio

The Mysore studio is our main studio, named in honour of the city where Sri K Pattabhi Jois established the ashtanga system of yoga. The light-filled studio has a brickwork feature wall, exposed beams and large new windows. The ash wood floor is underfloor heated to a lovely ambient 25 degrees. Hidden away from any roads, the studio looks out on to a cobble-stone mews and is unusually peaceful. By day, we love to see the sky and the elements as we practice, by night we soak up the quietude, enhanced by coloured mood lighting and the scent of aromatherapy oils.

Lounge Area

Since hanging out and drinking coffee has long been a part of the Shala yogi culture, one of our priorities when we designed the space was to create a place which felt like a home-from-home where we could do just that. A formal reception area may have been more practical but we love the fact that walking in to the Shala feels like walking in to someone's living room. Central to the lounge area is the Gaggia coffee machine. Also know as the guru, it fires many a practice at the Shala and is an integral part of life as we know it here.
"No coffee, no prana" Guruji.




Our Building 

Once a Victorian furniture warehouse and showroom, our building on Norwood Road (left) was in desperate need of repair when we took over the third floor premises. Thanks to a grant from Lambeth council we were able to restore the beautiful façade. It causes some confusion that our address is 537 Norwood Road (left) but the entrance to our building is at 1 Chestnut Road through a 1920s building (below left) which was once part of Harry Day's furniture empire. Look out for our bright orange pavement sign. Come up to the top floor where the Buddha (below right) will greet you.

Hampi Studio

The Hampi Studio takes it's name from a village in Karnataka, India, where Gingi first discovered ashtanga yoga. This is our middle-sized studio, a lofty, airy, bright perfectly proportioned cube. Features include the beautiful high wavy ceiling, ash wooden flooring, central heating and three windows overlooking Norwood Road.

Pushkar Studio

The Pushkar Studio is named after the Rajasthani town where Gingi first came across yoga with Swami Shyam. It was here that he came to see that yoga was to be his true calling in life. Overlooking the peaceful Ebury Mews, this is our smallest and most intimate studio.

Artwork at the Shala

The main focal point of the reception/lounge area is Territory (left), a stunning three-dimensional piece by Jack Milroy. Milroy, father of the owner Ella, is an established contemporary artist who regularly exhibits in London.

Also on display is The Heavens, a print by long-time Shala student and talented artist Miriam Escofet (right).

The graphics throughout the centre (below) were designed by friend, student and graphic designer Lisa Kosky.

Facilities

Our designs for the centre incorporated two showers (far right) – which make our early morning practitioners happy – mens and womens changing rooms (right), and a treatment room where we offer holistic therapies. Adding to the sense of luxury, is the underfloor-heating which heats the bathroom, reception and Mysore studio to a lovely ambient temperature. It is always warm and cosy, no matter what the weather outside.

Dedication to Derek Ireland

The new Shala is dedicated to Derek Ireland (1949–1998), Gingi's principal yoga teacher. Derek started out as a semi-professional football player, moved on to become a punk-rock promoter and then found his true calling as a yoga teacher. He was instrumental in bringing ashtanga yoga to Europe in the 80s and 90s. Derek was one of the most inspiring and charismatic men you could ever meet – he would have you laughing until tears rolled down your face. His picture hangs in the lounge area and in the entrance (Thank you Mick Lawton).