A Wednesday morning in june, Oslo city had still not quite woken up. Except at Schous library in Grünerløkka, some individuals had decided to creep out of their beds earlier today, for something which they did not exactly know what entailed. They slowly gathered outside the library and sat down on a ledge in the morning sun, appearing open to whatever was awaiting. Side by side, soaking in the still calm city buzz, all with their eyes closed towards the narrow rays of sun.
One by one the early risers filled the yoga room with their presence, mats were softly being rolled out, morning bodies resting on the floor, preparing for the movements to come. “One day you will learn how to give and receive love like an open window and it will feel like summer every day”. The theme for this particular class was to open up for the adventures of the summer, giving the physical asanas (postures) a focus on backbends (heart openers) and core strength.
Soon the room was filled with a sense of a shared energy, bodies moving in consciousness together, lifting, reaching, expanding, letting go. Let´s open up to give and receive love like an open window. Let´s do this practice together. After an hour the bodies were again landing softly on the floor. Arriving in relaxation, in being. Through the big open window warm rays of sun. Quietness. In the body and in the mind. And in the midst of this: song. The twitter of the birds, humming their simple morning melody, giving the promise of a brand new day.
We had promised a nourishing breakfast, and we wanted the ingredients to be in season, locally sourced, organic and mostly plant-based. Just to make sure we challenged ourselves in a time when we can get hold of everything from anywhere, at any time. Rhubarb. Oats. Buchwheat. Milk. Nettle. Raspberry leaves. Rosehip leaves. These ingredients could easily be sourced from local producers, in the wild or from gardens.
After the yoga class, sitting in the grass outside under a large green tree. With no clouds on the sky, the universe seemed to be on our side. We sat down on pillows and yoga mats on the grass. To rehydrate we served herbal ice tea made of raspberry leaves and rosehip leaves from Nesodden, and lemongrass grown at Schous. Kenyan Coffee from Tim Wendelboe, roasted just a few streets from the library.
We served a bowl layered with rhubarb compote with rhubarb from a friends garden, granola made with oats, buckwheat, rapeseed oil, hazelnuts and sweeted with the local apple juice producer and social enterprise Epleslang. The guests could choose between homemade oat-kefir or tjukkmjølk. And finally, on top, a good spoonful and swirl of honey from Nylenda at Nesodden. For those feeling experimental and in need of some extra cleansing we had powdered dried nettle, picked in the local ancient woodland Svartdalen. Bright orange rosehip powder was also an option to add a bit of subtle sweet flavour and c-vitamins.
A big thank you to everyone who came and made this gathering, and to På Pinne who opened up their kitchen to us. På Pinne serves the best ice cream in Oslo – we highly recommend you to walk by Schous library and get a taste of absolutely all of their yummy flavours.
Words by Mira Beckstrøm Laurantzon and Rita Paltiel
Photographs by Solveig Kirchhofer