Finding inner peace through quiet places

Artist and photographer Siobhan Wall has created a series of ‘quiet’ city photo books using her images to lead the reader to tranquil places she has discovered throughout Amsterdam, London and shortly, Paris (4 April 2013).  These locations could be anywhere from a parks, lakes and woods to libraries, restaurants and health spas. This is what quietness means to Siobhan.

Beatrix Park.  © Siobhan Wall

Flowers in Beatrix Park, Amsterdam.

For me, quietness is not just about finding somewhere beautiful to look at, although this really helps.  It is also about listening to my body and being a bit more aware of how I’m feeling at that moment.

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Yoga Nieuw West: Generating energy and calm in Amsterdam’s Nieuw West

English version of Westerpost interview, 18 May 2011

When I first came to the Netherlands from France 11 years ago, it was to improve my career prospects. I couldn’t have imagined at the time that I’d find the beginning of my passion for yoga in Amsterdam.

My life was busy and work and personal life seemed to drain my energy as well as sap my creativity.   Searching for a way to relax, I discovered an excellent yoga school in the centre of Amsterdam (Sai Mithra) and became hooked. Yoga helped me focus inwards and listen to my body as a whole.

However, after practising yoga for a year, with two young children to care for and a relationship on the rocks, I found I was ‘too busy’ to go to classes. I had ‘no free time.’ I stopped doing yoga. A year later, things hadn’t improved, so I decided to start with yoga again—just one and a half hours a week, and found space for myself again.

I wasn’t a natural for doing yoga, I was stiff, and I felt that my progression on the road to suppleness was painfully slow. But after two years I noticed a difference, not only to my body but to my way of being. I was calmer and more able to deal with the daily rollercoaster that was my life.

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