As the weather starts cooling and we retreat a little more inside ourselves, it’s the perfect time to learn a new skill or ten. From philosophical workshops to traditional arts and food foraging, we've put a list together of activities to try in London this Autumn.
1. Get Sky High
And make beautiful shapes in the air with a static trapeze lesson from one of the best circus schools in London - Circus Glory. The school is owned by renowned artist Genevieve Monastesse, who personally spends time with each student (even the new ones) to asses your skills and abilities - so you know you're in good hands! You'll gain confidence in your body's abilities and remember the importance of creativity and play in your life. Get your endorphins flowing, flip your perspective and try something you thought you might never do with your body again.
2. Feminine Empowerment and Creativity Workshops
Lacey Haynes is offering women's empowerment workshops, courses, retreats and one and one sessions to heal and liberate feminine sexuality, and explore our true creative potential. Lacey weaves healing, sensuality, power, self love and acceptance together with hilarity and down-to-earth sisterhood. Her pussy gazing workshops (mirrors provided) have been a wild success in London. She's here for full blown feminine sexual and creative liberation and will have you connecting deeply with your power, pleasure and authentic expression.
3. Rumi Poetry and Sufi Whirling
The Study Society holds weekly Rumi poetry readings, as well as Whirling classes for newcomers and devotees alike. The turning dance of the whirling dervishes is a practice that brings one to inner stillness and the opening of the heart. It's a symbol of humankind's journey inwards, to the union with God within and was originally practiced by devotees of 13th century Persian mystic Jalalu'ddin Rumi. The practices were shared with the Study Society in 1963 and the Society is devoted to keeping the traditional teachings alive. They also have Rumi poetry readings and study groups in Farsi and English, providing the perfect space to dive into mystic culture and meditative practice.
4. Hand Loom Weaving
The London Loom is London's first drop in weaving studio. They describe their classes as "Satisfying - Healing - Fun. Our workshops are good for the soul - like chicken soup, but with yarn." Wind down this Autumn with some traditional hand loom weaving or yarn dying classes. They even have a class to learn to weave your genetic ancestry into a wall hanging. And did we mention children's weaving classes? This studio is a treasure find for anyone who wants to slow down, get cosy and reconnect with one of our oldest traditional art forms.
5. Go Back to School
You know all those things you wish they'd taught us in school like emotional intelligence, self reflection and relationship building? Go back to school with the School of Life in London for deeply inspiring workshops, courses and retreats to open your mind and fill your heart. The School of Life exists to create a more emotionally intelligent world. With topics like resilience, conscious relationships, psychotherapy, 'how to find work you love' and even 'how to fail' - there's a room full of like-minded people around the corner waiting to explore the intricacies of life with you.
6. Tai Chi & Kung Fu
The ancient martial art traditions of China and the East have been proven to have extensive medicinal benefits. Not only do they train the mind through a moving meditation - improving balance, coordination, circulation and flexibility - they've also been shown to improve many illnesses, including diseases brought on by the aging process. At the Tang Long Chinese Cultural Centre in London, you can learn tai ji, Shoalin kung fu, sanshou (Chinese kickboxing), meditation and qi gong. It's the perfect way to learn about the ancient Chinese culture whilst creating a little more inner balance and harmony.
7. Ecstatic Dance
There's nothing better than a sweaty sober sunrise rave to get your blood pumping before work! Morning Gloryville host mid-week dance parties from 6.30am, with hundreds of Londoners choosing to start their day dancing their hearts out, glitter included! If early mornings aren't your thing, you can join one of the many ecstatic dance parties like the ones hosted by Urubu, an eclectic band providing live music for you to groove to, or We Are One Positivity Raves, designed by Hypnotherapist Tom Fortes Mayer to re-create the ecstatic feeling you might have had dancing on drugs, whilst sober.
8. Sound Bath
The vibrational healing offered by sound baths are deeply restorative, relaxing and work to re-align your energy on a subtle yet deeply felt level. Different instruments known for their healing effects on the system like Tibetan Singing Bowls, Gong, Crystal Singing Bowls, drums and percussive instruments are played whilst you lay wrapped in blankets in meditation. It's a little bit like nap time as a child, yet completely restorative on a vibrational level. It will leave you feeling like you've bathed in an ocean of sound, emerging spacious and aligned. Try the magic with one of Louise Shiels' Gong Bath events in London.
Ever feel so stressed out you want to climb the walls? Now you can get good at it and climb til your heart's content in one of London's many climbing centres. Bouldering involves no ropes or harnesses (but crash pads are definitely included). It's a kind of moving meditation, helping to improve your concentration, balance and build trust in your body and all its Earthly abilities. It's an empowering and uplifting sport that's bound to give you a new perspective, not only to your natural capabilities but also your mind. There are plenty of climbing centres around London, but we've heard The Arch Climbing Wall, with over 11,000sqf of space (it's in an old biscuit factory!) is pretty exceptional.
10. Wild Food Foraging
Do you ever feel called to return to our ancestral way of life and desire a deeper connection to the natural world, as well as your body? Did you know Britain has over 160 native and indigenous wild plants? Enjoy a day, weekend or whole week retreat outside of London and join the Wild Food School for one of their wild food foraging courses. Founder and teacher Marcus Harrison is a UK specialist and authority on wild foods, with over 40 years experience and even giving talks on wild food at the Natural History Museum. Get your hands back in the Earth and your heart kindling with your ancestors as you learn a little more about this wild world around (and within) us!