This week we have been lucky enough to interview Adrian Kowal, director and co-founder of Evolve – the wellness haven, hidden away in a beautiful cobbled mews in South Kensington.
This Sunday, December 2nd, Adrian and his team, together with their friends at The Minded Institute and the Yoga In Healthcare Alliance, are hosting a Winter Yoga Flashmob in Hyde Park.
Taking place at 11.30am between Reformer’s Tree and Speaker’s Corner, the session will comprise 3 x 15 minute classes from three of London’s top teachers, and it’s totally free! Even better, it is taking place to help raise awareness of the crucial work currently being done to support the integration of yoga into the National Health Service.
1. The winter flashmob sounds cold! But also like a very inspiring way to spend a Sunday morning. Can you tell us a bit about what it is in aid of?
Speaker’s Corner has always fascinated me and is such a unique landmark and experience for people staying in London. The ability for anyone to stand up on a soap-box and hold forth about their philosophical, political, religious or other viewpoints enriches the social and cross-cultural fabric that the UK stands for.
Our Flashmob is about banging the drum that yoga has arrived in the mainstream in the UK. We are raising awareness about how the practice of yoga has now been scientifically proven to support our mental health by staving off anxiety and depression, lower the risk of diabetes, eliminate back pain and much more. And we are so excited to be part of a nationwide movement to have yoga be prescribed by GPs for certain symptoms for their patients.
2. Why is it so important to get yoga into the National Health Service. What benefits do you think it could bring?
With more emphasis on preventative healthcare, the UK and it’s citizens could be a global pioneer in living longer, more pain-free lives. 80% of all GP visits are due to back pain, anxiety and depression – all of which yoga has been scientifically proven to be hugely beneficial in preventing. The cost savings and the alleviation of pressure for healthcare professionals would be gigantic and may be one of the single, most important causes to prevent the NHS from becoming privatised.
3. What can those taking part in the flashmob expect?
Our Flashmob on the 2nd December will begin at 10:45am with the founder of the Yoga in Healthcare Alliance, Heather Mason, standing up on a soap box and speaking her mind (and heart!) about how yoga can help change the current global crisis in healthcare. The yoga Flashmob itself starts at 11:30am and is an opportunity for people to come together, learn evidence-based tried and tested breathing and yoga techniques from Heather, and Charlotta Martinus – founder of Teen Yoga, now being rolled out across the country to most schools. We will finish by 12:15.
4. For those Londoners not willing to go out in the cold, is there any other way they can get involved in trying to help get the NHS to offer yoga?
Yes! If you’d like to learn more about this vision, and if you’d like to get up to speed with the very latest science and data evidencing yoga’s impact on our health and wellbeing, join us at our landmark event – the Yoga in Healthcare Alliance Conference 15-17th February 2019. This pioneering conference brings together key opinion leaders and pioneers in yoga, health care, yoga research, health policy, and government to address how we help transform the NHS through the integration of yoga. To find out more and book your place click simply here.
5. We have heard some amazing things about Evolve and the hidden London haven it is. can you tell us a bit more about what it offers and what makes it different?
Evolve is like a home away from home. We pride ourselves on our intimate, friendly atmosphere and smaller sized yoga studios where you will always receive adjustments and connection with teachers. Evolve also offers a wealth of workshops, retreats and events, from nature connection-based Family Camps to cacao ceremonies. The most important balance we practice for ourselves as a team is “walking the talk”, and being open, curious and grateful about life.
6. What exciting things do you have coming up at Evolve?
In the near future we have a few events around winter solstice – giving in to the colder and darker months. In the New Year we have a new course about Yoga philosophy – 5 weeks Yoga Sutras meditation course and a New Moon Goddess cacao ceremony early January.
7. What do you love most about London? Any top tips you can give our readers for chilling out this winter season?
London is so special when it comes to it green spaces. And the winter is a fantastic time to revel in one of the smaller parks or more hidden gardens on a crisp morning. Take a stroll (or perhaps a walking meditation) through St. John’s Lodge Garden in Regent’s Park or get lost amongst the peacocks in the Kyoto Garden in Holland Park.
8. Anything else you want to tell us about?
As the co-founder of Evolve, I also run a venture called Way of Nature where we believe that we can lead better lives by reconnecting to the power of nature. We run retreats and programmes to help people step back from the busyness of everyday life to find whole new perspectives to living life and bring back deeper qualities of purpose and balance. Our experiences range from day-long workshops to long programmes. We are excited to be creating and hosting a new generation of experiences that combine adventure, learning, deep immersions in the wild and wisdom from ancient cultures. At the heart of our programmes is most often a 24 hour (or sometimes longer) ‘solo’ – time alone in the wild inspired the tradition of the Vision Quest. Come and Re-wild yourself!
Evolve Wellness Centre
10 Kendrick Mews
London SW7 3HG (Nearest station South Kensington)
Tel. 020 7581 4090
Will you be joining the Winter Yoga Flashmob in Hyde Park this Sunday? Let us know in the comments below!