Being in Sevilla is like stepping back in time, in the obvious aspects such as the narrow, cobbled streets to old fashioned shops selling winseyette nighties, gigantic bras and corsets. But it´s a city that expresses its news and upcoming events through the antiquated medium of posters. And it´s not just the rock bands and visiting DJs that get a look in. Everything from bellydancing classes to national strikes find a place on its ancient walls.
But the world of alternative therapies is particularly present especially around my favourite barrio, the Alameda. There, Tai Chi classes, Meditation courses, Tantra weekends and Tarot card readings all clamour for space alongside the responsible, experienced young women offering to look after your infirm elderly grandparents. For the spiritually curious there´s no need to search on Google to find out what might raise their vibration to a higher level or bring them one step close to enlightenment, it´s all there, lining the streets, waiting to be noted down.
I myself am known to dip my toe into the spiritual aguas of Seville, and while I have experimented with some more niche workshops such as family constellations and finding your inner goddess, my comfort zone lies firmly in the good old fashioned yoga class. And where I feel most at home is in Diksha Yoga Centre, a calming oasis among the hurly burly of Calle Relator. Classes with Silvia or Susana are a complete experience, in the sense that it´s more than just an hour and a half of stretching. To them yoga isn´t just a series of postures with the end goal of getting your foot behind your ear, as important is the meditation, working with the breath, and understanding the importance of the present moment. For those who are new to yoga, the chanting and pranayama breath work might be confusing at first, but taken as a whole, and speaking primarily for myself, it leaves me feeling like I´ve worked not just the physical, but my mind and spirit as well.
Diksha tries to make itself accessible to all. There is a crisis going on, it is real. There are people who don´t have jobs or money to feed their children. So right now in the month of November, morning classes are just € 2.50, plus there are twice weekly free meditation sessions on Wednesday evenings and Friday mornings. It´s worth noting that both Silvia and Susana both speak good English, of which I was unaware until this morning when a chap over from London to learn Flamenco guitar and without a word of Spanish, had the entire class seamlessly translated into English for him.
So yeah, the tapas are great in Seville, yeah the Alameda has got more bars that weeks in the year, but it´s also got little gems to nourish your soul.
Calle Relator 15, Alameda