Last weekend marked the end of an era. I taught my last yin yoga class at Bermondsey Fayre and I am no longer teaching a weekly class in London. Instead, I will be focusing on classes in Hertfordshire.
I’ve had a long standing relationship with teaching yoga in Bermondsey near London Bridge. The first class I ever set up was at Bermondsey Village Hall in SE1.
Memories include my Mumbai friend Sundeep in London for work, joining us on a Thursday evening. He brought along Indian sweets for everyone.
This was also the place where I once – note ‘once’ – suggested that students should “flower their anuses” in down dog. A certain someone collapsed on her mat in hysterics and I think she’s still recovering.
Then I met Liz Dillon through various circuitous events and so began my relationship with Bermondsey Fayre – a little shop with a whole lotta love.
I’ve enjoyed my early Sunday morning commute into the city. The girl in the coffee shop on Harpenden station knows my order and I’m normally her first customer.
Whilst the train sits at Blackfriars, I look over the Thames, the sleeping City, Tower Bridge and Tate Modern. The South Bank is empty except for keen runners.
I get off at London Bridge and try not to get knocked over by the wind tunnel caused by The Shard. I snake through the back streets of Bermondsey, taking in the old brick-built buildings now converted into luxurious flats and places named Tanner Street and Leathermarket Gardens harking back to its grubby industrial past.
I walk by the Manna Centre and an old man with a white beard turned yellow often sits in a doorway diligently making rollies. On a Sunday, Bermondsey Village Hall is being used by the local Filipino community praising the heavens with their tambourines. I bet there’s no flowering of anuses happening there then.
It’s in stark contrast to the trendy pubs on Bermondsey Street and the Bermondsey Coffee Shop – full of hipsters with beards (the men), partially shaven heads (the women) and posters of Philip Schofield, Roland Rat and Vanilla Ice… in, like, an ironically cool kind of way.
My weekly classes at Bermondsey Fayre have been a delight. I love the yogis there. It’s a small space and we need heaters but everyone’s so friendly and there’s such a sense of community.
Teresa has a special place in my heart. We first met when we shared a room on a New Year yoga retreat in Somerset and she’s been coming to my Bermondsey Fayre class since the start. I’ll miss our chats in the park and coffees after class. She always has pearls of wisdom to impart.
Liz Dillon is the Bermondsey Fayre glue. I love Liz. She’s provided wise advice on my choice in men, guided me through my one and only ever experience of expressive movement and she’s just fab.
And so I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who’s ever been to one of my classes in Bermondsey. I have appreciated your presence and I hope you’ve got something out of it – even if no more than a serious attack of the giggles… I’m talking to you, Sandra Lynes.