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Wonderush Spotlight: Mindfoldness Origami

The world is a busy place these days, and we’re all getting increasingly frazzled. Sometimes it’s nice to take some peaceful time out, and mindfulness has become all the rage. But if yoga and colouring books aren’t your thing, how about a bit of Mindful Origami? Yes. That’s a real thing. We caught up with Sam Tsang from Mindfoldness to find out more:

How did you get into origami?

It was probably due to my primary school teacher who folded me a flapping bird. It wasn’t until after university that I got more serious. I placed a bouquet of origami flowers on gumtree.com on a whim, to see if I could sell it. It sold, and the number of sales slowly began to escalate until I got banned from the site for using it as a selling portal. Then I set up my own website. From  there I regularly sold origami bouquets for weddings and first anniversary presents. A customer asked me to teach them how to make a flower as a paper anniversary gift for his wife, and from there I started to teach. At first it was just individuals, and then it was  for groups, and corporate workshops, and hen-dos.
In April 2015 a journalist from The Guardian contacted me for a quote about origami being mindful for an article she was writing. In September a book publisher saw the article and asked me if i would be interested in writing a book about mindful origami! I naturally said yes and that book, The Book of Mindful Origami, was released on the 7th April. My second book – The Magic of Mindful Origami – will be out on 8th September.

How would you describe your teaching style?

My teaching style depends on the workshop I’m running. I teach several different kinds. There’s a team building one with a modular origami model, a hen-do origami flower bouquet workshop, a mindful origami workshop which focuses on the use of origami as a relaxation and meditation aid, and a general fun and educational origami workshop. In all of these I try to make it as relaxing, fun and as entertaining as I can but at the same time tell you some interesting facts and encourage you to learn a new craft.

Why would you recommend origami?

In recent years there has been an immense uptake of people practising Yoga, Pilates, Tai-chi and meditation. There has also been a massive resurgence of the arts and crafts fields – the immense popularity of Etsy and adult colouring books is testament to this.  I believe that the increase in popularity of both of these fields is due to a reaction to our digital lives. Many of us spend over 8 hours a day sitting in front of a computer screen creating virtual documents that are read once and never seen again. From the moment we are awake to the moment we sleep we are connected to the world, answering queries on multiple devices or glued to social media.

We all need to be able to quieten our minds and to find some inner peace to balance out the constant noise of our modern digital lives.  Many of us also need to have a creative outlet to express ourselves, and to make something tangible, something we can touch. Origami is a relaxing and peaceful hobby, a beautiful art, a craft, a science and a meditation all in one. When you are folding paper, there is stillness, calm and an inner peace. There is something beautiful in turning a plain, flat piece of paper into an amazing three dimensional object with just your own hands.It’s one of the simplest art forms in that it just requires a piece of paper and your hands – there’s no need for tools such as pens, brush, inks and paints.

I call origami ‘yoga for the mind’ as it allows you to stretch and exercise the creative and artistic areas of your brain that most of us don’t utilise on a day to day basis.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

My other passion is cooking and I have actually appeared on three TV cooking programs the first series of Masterchef Goes Large, Chef versus Britain with Gino D’campo and Britain’s Finest Dish. I did want to pursue a career as a celebrity chef but found that Origami was far more interesting.

I was also the main organiser and adjudicator for the Guinness world record for the largest origami elephant display.
We had 34,000 of them and it took six hours to count!

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at work?

I actually have a daytime job working at a Bank! So origami is very much my hobby. I might consider switching careers one day, but at present I enjoy the stability of a day time job alongside my fun and entertaining origami hobby that has led to my own business, being involved in a world record, and publishing two books!

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there? (Shops, businesses etc)

Tricky question as I have lived and worked in a lot of London. As a foodie Soho and Hoxton are close to my heart as it has such a diverse restaurant scene. In Soho, I like Patara for the best Thai food, and Joy King Lau and Hakkasan for the best Chinese. Atari-ya has the best sushi. In Hoxton, Taydo cafe does amazing Vietnamese food. Stickywings on Brick lane do the best buffalo wings, and I like Beigel Bake for 24-hour salt beef beigels!

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

I’d probably go to Japan so that I could visit the Tsukiji Tokyo fish Market and eat the freshest sushi on the planet, and also do origami!

Break Your Routine, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

The Wonderush Spotlight: Disco Yoga

We’ll come clean right now- it can sometimes be difficult to get Team Wonderush to exercise. Put us in an aerobic workout context and the shocking extent of our unfitness becomes depressingly clear. Get us into something low-impact like yoga, and we turn into giggling children. But then we met Disco Yoga. It is so much fun. We had to catch up with Sarah Hunt and find out more about how this awesome class came into being:

How did you get into what you do?

I went to my first yoga class by mistake. I had just moved to a new area in Vancouver and there was a gym across the road. I had never been drawn to gyms but I decided to sign up for a pass. I used to walk around the weight room, not knowing what to do. One day, I decided to leave shortly after I had arrived and the receptionist caught me. He laughed and suggested a yoga class that was just about to start. I was reluctant but went anyway. I fell in love with yoga instantly!  Within a short time, I signed up for a yoga teacher training course.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Energising sequences to stretch and strengthen our bodies mixed with calming and restorative poses to relax and nourish our minds. My teaching style is light hearted, upbeat and playful, but also relaxing and balancing.

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Antidote's playground games workshop
Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Try Something New

Class Spotlight: Antidote London

A couple of weeks ago the whole of Team Wonderush went to Antidote London‘s playground games workshop. We ran around like mad things and basically regressed to our seven-year-old selves, and it was hella fun. Afterwards, we just had to shine the class spotlight on Team Antidote to find out how the whole thing came about:

How did Antidote start?

It’s a great story actually. We were set up by an amazing man who realised he wanted an escape from the stresses of his working life and to do more fun stuff that would connect him with his friends and family too. Not only that but he wanted to enable other people to experience this wholesale escapism – so he set up Antidote! He’s a very successful businessman (and clearly a very good philanthropist too…) He and the original Antidote team then set about researching activities and workshops that were the most uplifting, unusual and fun and then went about delivering them in 3 monthly seasons for the public to enjoy. Ta-dah.

How would you describe the style of the sessions?

Chilled, friendly informal and fun. And warm! We really always try to create the most warm welcoming atmosphere possible. People can take from the sessions whatever the want really (apart from like, our phones and stuff…) Our programme is super diverse and something we’re mega proud of, having taken years to curate it and build up a pool of completely awesome facilitators. We only work with facilitators that really are top of their game so while the styles of sessions are hugely different (as some are dance, some games, some singing) the quality is the same. We also believe that you can BE REALLY BAD at our activities, but that it’s about having a go at something rather than mastering it.

Why would you recommend your sessions?

Because everyone deserves a chance to be a big kid once in a while. And do so in a chilled atmosphere full of awesome new people. Because we think it’s good for your mind and body to be constantly exploring and trying new things. And because we are like, really nice.

What is your favourite playground game?

Oooh that’s bloody hard isn’t it! Perhaps a game called ‘Let’s All!’ where each person in the group takes turn to shout out random instructions and the group follows them. Grandmother’s Footsteps is an absolute classic that Jo loves. Or any game that involves animals. Elena loves animals.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

Elena originally trained as an opera singer. Jo originally trained as a contemporary dancer.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at Antidote?

Cook. Eat. Repeat. Find secret pubs. Watch Outlander. Specifically watch Jamie in Outlander.

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend?

Little Bay in Kilburn because you CAN EAT IN A TURRET. Ruskin Park in Denmark Hill which is a sweet little wild oasis. The Faltering Fullback pub in Finsbury Park which has a Narnia garden and great thai food. The hidden Skip Garden Cafe behind King’s Cross for a day date. Deptford Market for treasure.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

Climb Machu Picchu! There’s an incredible West African instrument called the kora which I’d love to learn. Oooh and we’d love to experience meeting Bill Murray too. Obviously.

For more of Antidote’s workshops and a whole load of other things to do in London you should definitely check out our main site and get yourself signed up to anything from crafting to cocktail making, and salsa to standup.

East end tour
Break Your Routine, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Spotlight, Things To Do, Travel, Try Something New

Get Discovering With Undiscovered London

One of the things nobody talks about in relation to the East End is that the second it comes up in conversation people tend to fall into one of two camps – Phil Mitchell impersonators, or ‘you schlaaagg’ types. From the moment I booked myself on to Undiscovered London‘s East End tour to the moment I was actually at the meeting point I was in full-on ‘Schlaaagg’ mode (easy now).

The tour itself is a pretty casual setup. You look for the group of people (if I’m honest, mostly tourists) standing by a particular statue at Liverpool Street station and you all stare at each other suspiciously until your tour guide arrives, orange umbrella in hand, to unite you in learning.

The tour starts by taking you into the middle of city office blocks and fancy glass apartment buildings. You get the chance to annoy hundreds of lunching office workers while you stop to look at ruins and hear about the walls of the old city, fires, and plague pits. It’s fun.

As you leave the shiny new buildings behind and head into Spitalfields and Brick Lane the talk turns to marginally-more-recent history, like Jack The Ripper, window taxes, and people throwing shit out of their windows. If you’re a British person who went to a British school there’s a lot you’ll already have heard, but that doesn’t actually make it any less interesting to see the real-life places and examples. It’s history in action, if you want to sound a little bit douchey about it.

After learning about the olden days we moved onto something distinctly more modern – Street Art. As a person with a woefully poor knowledge of artists who aren’t a couple of hundred years old (I can do the older ones because I sometimes sneak into the loos at the National Gallery) I found this part fascinating. To learn that there were more artists than just Banksy was one thing, but to find out the meanings behind a lot of their work and what their massive price tags could go up to added another element. Eddie, our tour guide, seriously knew his stuff.

A walking tour isn’t necessarily the kind of thing someone might think to do if it’s in the city they live or work in, and a lot of that (if my friends are anything to go by) is down to pride. We want to automatically be seen to be an authority on all things London. In reality, though, there’s nothing wrong with admitting that we’re interested and that we still have something to learn. I’ll start:

“My name is Nicola and, even though I live in London, I learnt a lot on a walking tour.”

Now go forth, be curious, and check out undiscovered London.


For Undiscovered London’s tours and a whole load of other things to do all over the city, don’t forget to check out our main site – We have everything you need to start ticking off your bucket list.

 

Charlie from Creative Yoga teaching yoga
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Class Spotlight: Charlie from Creative Yoga

This week our spotlight falls on Charlie from Creative Yoga. We met Charlie for the first time when she ran an exclusive social yoga class at Wonderush HQ, which our attendees absolutely loved. It’s a unique mix of relaxation and teamwork, and it’s a great idea, so we thought we’d better get her to answer a few questions:

How did you get into yoga, and then into teaching?

I started practising yoga when I was studying at Cambridge. I loved the course (Political Philosophy) but found it pretty draining. Yoga really helped me relax by providing time every day to tune in with the breath and body. After graduating, I worked in various areas – organising arts festivals, for a photographer – but always had the niggling sense something wasn’t quite right. When I finally made the decision to train as a yoga teacher, everything seemed to fall into place.

How would you describe your teaching style?

Alignment based vinyasa flow. Uplifting and energising classes that build strength and heat in the body, with a hefty dose of zen. My classes are grounded in philosophy and centred around self-care. Challenging yourself but never pushing your body into a space it shouldn’t be in. I encourage students to slow down, focus on the breath and begin to cultivate present moment awareness.

Music is a big part; I love creating different playlists to help students get into the flow and reach a deeper level of relaxation in Savasana.

Why would you recommend your class?

Our Creative Yoga classes are a fun, light hearted way to get moving, raise your heartrate, and learn something new about your body. Yoga is all about connecting and we like to create interesting experiences to make this really tangible – through partner yoga, teaching at Morning Gloryville, outdoor classes in Regent’s Park, couples yoga, yoga raves.

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

I performed Heal the World on stage with Michael Jackson in the 90s. I treasure my signed photograph of him stroking a panther.

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at Creative Yoga?

Kettlebells and colouring-in.

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend there? (Shops, businesses etc)

I spend most of my time in Broadway Market. You can normally catch me either teaching or attending a class at Stretch yoga studio. After class, I always go to Tiosk, a speciality tea shop where brewing is an art. My favourite is the Gyokuro green tea or if you’re looking something with more of a kick, their matcha lattes are great. For coffee, it has to be Climpon’s. La Bouche for laid back lunch. Holistic health for me time treatments – massage, EFT, crystal healing. Swimming in the outdoor lido is the best, especially on a rainy evening.

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

I would like to train as a contortionist and travel with the circus. Giffords ideally


For classes from Creative Yoga, as well as a whole load more things to do across London check out our main site.

 

Break Your Routine, Fitness, Lifestyle, Live More Awesome, Things To Do, Try Something New

Class Spotlight: Astra from Skylab

This week our Class Spotlight falls on Aerial Fit at Skylab Studio. Team Wonderush went to Skylab studio a couple of weeks ago. It was a great class, and a one-of-a-kind experience. We worked muscles we didn’t know existed. We also took some time afterwards to talk to Astra, our taskmaster (in a lovely way) and the lady behind Skylab:

How would you describe your teaching style?

I would like to think it’s a balance of great content as well as me not taking it all too seriously. It is after all meant to be fun. If you are not having fun and learning something at the same time then I’m doing my job wrong!

 

Why would you recommend your class?

It’s a super fun way to get fit. You are so busy focusing on how to do the tricks that you don’t really notice how much of an upper body workout you are getting. It’s also challenging which gives you a rush of satisfaction when you finally nail that move you’ve been working on. And if you’ve been coming to class a while you end up learning a new skill that you can show off to all your mates!

 

Can you tell us something surprising about yourself?

Hhhhhhmmmm can’t think of anything right now – can I get back to you on that…!

 

What’s your favourite thing to do when you’re not at Skylab?

My friend has launched a night called the Suppertub – al fresco dinner in a hot tub by the canal! It’s been my favourite hang out of late. Being a hot tub fan anyway this is just so civilised – the perfect place to chill out after a hard days training or teaching and let those muscles unwind. Other than that I love to get out of London and go and explore the countryside – it’s so relaxing to just be in nature. Breathe the fresh air and get some peace and quiet. I love London but there is only so much of the hectic pace I can handle.

 

What’s your favourite part of London? Any places you’d recommend?

I love the Roundhouse – it’s one of my fave venues. I also love the Southbank as there is always a ton of cool stuff going on there especially in Summer. I guess I love the Thames river in general, especially at night. I still get excited seeing all the buildings and bridges all lit up and looking so pretty. Makes me feel thrilled to be living in London.

 

If you could try any experience in the world, what would it be, and why?

I still want to go swim with the dolphins – I love the ocean and water in general and dolphins seem like such beautiful creatures. I think it would be an amazing experience to swim amongst them out in the wild.

If you find yourself at a loose end you should definitely get yourself over to Skylab. It’s a fantastic place to hang out (sorry not sorry for the pun). Wonderush offers Aerial Fit, Aerial Yoga, and hundreds of other experiences across London. Take a look at the main site to find out more.