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Visiting Still Point: a simple place of presence in the city


It is nice and sunny, the air is filled with the aroma of blossoming trees and the fresh breeze is bringing the sense of boundless joy somewhere from the distant Atlantic currents. I jump on my bike and from my calm residential street in South London make my way to the very centre of the city.

Today I am on a mission to meet the founder of Still Point meditation and alternative therapies centre to figure out all the whys, hows and whats about having the place of stillness in the middle of the city. The founder, Ralf, meets me with welcoming warmth and instant conversations about life and travels which immediately blows away my idea of a structured interview.

Ralf tells me that the vision of the centre is to hold a grounded space of presence. It is not a place where you would find complex techniques to connect to fearies, angels and flowering recourses. But you will find a space to get back to your centre and be in simplicity of your being. “London and the place itself picked me” – Ralf tells me, “and the work that is now being done in the centre is a result of long years of learning and teaching in different places and parts of the world”.

“How difficult is it to open up a therapy centre in the middle of the city?” – I wonder. At one point everything came together and with a lot of hard work and fiery perseverance an old office space was converted into a centre where both local city ‘pros’ and Londoners travelling from further away come over to stop the ‘busy-ness’ and drop into the inherent wisdom their bodies.

The defining point of the centre is definitely its meditation sessions and Thai Yoga Massage. There are also visiting therapists holding yoga classes and offering therapies such as NLP, EFT, life coaching, massage, reiki and hypnotherapy.

I am curious to hear more about Thai Yoga Massage  – the form of body work that Ralf has been practicing and teaching for over 12 years. Thai Yoga Massage is a form of bodywork that is done on a futon on the floor with the client dressed in light clothes. It works on freeing the flow of vital energy in our body. It improves posture, breathing, flexibility, digestion and circulation. “The results experienced by clients are remarkable and deeply rewarding” – says Ralf with humbleness and gratitude. The muscles get stretched, inner organs toned, and emotional nervous tension drops away. Often a deep sense of quiet can be experienced during and after treatment.

Ralf organises regular Thai Yoga Massage training courses, so if you are interested in learning more, Still Point is a good place to start.

Furthering conversations from the Still Point I ask my favourite question on how to integrate the stillness in such a busy place like (the city of) London.  Trying best to stay present and uncover what’s on the way are the down-to-earth tips I get. After travelling the world, immersing himself in a disciplined traditional yoga practice and meeting various teachers Ralf just confirms the simple truth that “we are all human”. Accepting this and allowing life to happen is the best gift of integration we can give to ourselves regardless whether we are in the bustling city or anywhere else in the world. I can very much relate to the underlying theme of our common human condition. Afterall, we are all sharing same breath, presence and life!

Finally, with a spirit of a true Londoner I ask Ralf to reveal his three favourite places in London. Let’s face it, we are always in search of those hidden, personal spaces and London offers infinite opportunities!

“The foot bridge in St James’s park with the views of the pond and London eye; Hampstead Heath, and (!!) Thursdays Five Rhythms class in St Peter’s church in Vauxhall.  Ralf reassures me that it is the best Five Rhythms class in London with mind blowing atmosphere of a gothic church. Sure enough I promise to go and have a look at it myself. Watch this space for a report!

Inspired by a lively conversation, new things learned and discovered I leave the centre of stillness and get back to the peak of rush hour in Liverpool Street. I wonder to myself just how important these little spaces are in balancing the ever increasing pace of urban living!

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