the movement hits london town
posted: March 11, 2014
350 yogis join in on The Movement at the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden on Saturday.
It’s been two years since I said goodbye to London, my hometown. And every time I come back, I’m reminded how much this city is in my DNA. There isn’t a street that doesn’t cause a visceral memory – often manifesting as a taste, smell or emotional reaction – to transport me back in time, sending a wave of nostalgia pulsing through my veins.
Landing into balmy spring weather last Friday and taking a walk through Soho at office-kicking-out-time, the crowds spilling onto the streets outside all the familiar old-man’s pubs, I am 23 again, sipping pints with my colleagues from my first magazine job. Arriving for a meeting in Covent Garden the next day, I can literally taste the cheddar and herb muffins I used to eat for lunch in the staff room of the retail job that saw me through college.
Happy days! And it’s a comfort to know that I’m still connected by the umbilical cord of a lifetime of experiences in this elegant, majestic and oh-so-cool capital city. But this time around, I can’t help noticing that some things have changed.
Unlike a lot of my fellow Londoners, I’ve always been a gym bunny. I discovered step aerobics at age 16, and let’s just say I never looked back. I was the one who hit the studio instead of the student bar during college, and in every job I’ve had I always earned the reputation as “the healthy one” – because I kept a regular swim, gym, or, later, Bikram yoga practice.
When I gave up caffeine and sugar three years ago and went around evangelizing about the “life changing” effect, I was a freak. Londoners love their “builders tea” (milk and two sugars, please), their Cadbury’s chocolate and their Great British Bake-Off. To shun these “treats” is to be labeled a neurotic foodie with no idea what’s really good for her (i.e. a “healthy” disregard for rules or restrictions in any way shape or form).
Or at least, it was. Because this time around, my friends don’t want to go for drinks, they want to go for juice. This time around, I’m being invited to check out the Secret Yoga Club at hip new “spiritual boutique” Celestine Eleven. This time around, nobody is ordering desert because everybody’s on the “no sugar” bandwagon.
In the matter of a few months (according to my friend Brigid, Health Director of Red magazine) it feels like the message – that choosing the gluten-free, yoga-over-hangovers option makes you rad not sad – is finally sinking in.
And if I needed any extra proof, the 650-strong crowd who turned up hoping for a spot at lululemon’s The Movement event at the Royal Opera House on Saturday, were it. Queuing around the block in the spring sunshine – who knew this sometimes-cynical city had such a community of smiley, happy yogis waiting in the wings for an event like this to come along?
Led by Jivamukti rock-star and lululemon ambassador Emma Henry and accompanied by a live, 24-piece orchestra, chatting to my compatriots at the after party – which was fuelled by Prosecco, high-vibes and raw chocolate, of course – I heard there wasn’t a dry eye in the house come savasana – which had been sound-tracked by Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings (Google it, you’ll get it).
To see the city I love like it’s a physical part of me glowing and growing from the inside, I could not be happier. Welcome to The (wellness) Movement, London.
Whether it’s interviewing Lady Gaga, unveiling the latest trends in fashion, or getting under the skin of our most neurotic social trends, Ruby Warrington is at the forefront of it all. She’s a British lifestyle writer, the celebrated creator of the blog The Numinous, and a regular contributor to the lululemon blog.
Images by Leila Peterson of @dearleila