Imagine the perfect Friday morning. Greeted by a big, open green space. The bright morning sun. Simple, straw structures under which one could sit for shade while enjoying a cool breeze. And gazing directly at the stillness of the Nile just a few feet away.
These are precisely the kinds of morning Ahimsa offers. Having only been open for a few months, Ahimsa is described as being “a healing space by the Nile for holistic wellness and connecting with raw nature.” Nabbing a large area of land by the outskirts of the Nile in the Giza area, Ahimsa has transformed this piece of land into a calm and serene escape from Cairo’s hustle and bustle.
Just a short drive away from most areas of Cairo, Ahimsa is known to offer various yoga and meditation workshops and classes throughout the day, in addition to oriental breakfasts consisting of foul (fava beans), white cheese with tomatoes, eggs, and feteer (traditional Egyptian pie). They also occasionally host various types of events, as well as wellness retreats.
One of their recent events was a morning of yoga, breakfast and kayaking in the Nile which cost a total of 450 EGP. As we made our way into the space, we found a small hut-like structure under which we left our belongings and then simply mesmerized at the beauty of our morning yoga view.
Sitting on the simple platform situated in the middle of the place, waiting to begin an energizing morning yoga flow and get our bodies moving, it seemed almost surreal to be situated in this beautiful spot. There was a silent stillness, and everyone seemed to revel in the surrounding fresh air as we looked out across at the Nile in front of us.
And then the session began. We took part in an hour long yoga flow, which was both challenging and relaxing. The sun was shining beautifully, and the cool breeze complemented its warm rays as we got a good morning stretch in.
Following our session, we had a big and fulfilling oriental breakfast. The food was hearty and delicious, and a perfect way to end the yoga session. There was a bit of rest time following breakfast, after which they offered some tea. Most of us just sat and enjoyed the calmness of our surroundings, waiting ti be indicted for kayaking later on.
Cairow Water Sports hosted our kayaking session in collaboration with Ahimsa. As we sat sipping on our tea, someone from Cairow walked us through the basics of kayaking and how to properly row our paddle. And soon enough, we all found ourselves venturing out into the Nile in our own solo kayaks (with the Cairow professionals always close by on a small boat).
Although going out into the Nile on a solo kayak may seem daunting at first (for first-time kayakers, that is), there’s something about the control and solitude that seems somewhat empowering – not to mention the fact that everyone else is still around you as well.
As we all rowed a few meters away from each other, every once in a while one can’t help but just sit in stillness, in their small kayak, right in the middle of the river Nile and just take it all in – it’s almost meditative in and of itself.
In addition to offering wonderful and unique experiences that one could take advantage of throughout the week or on weekends, Ahimsa’s staff is also very friendly and helpful. Overall, this gem of a place is truly worth visiting, especially if someone is in need of a quick and easy break.
“Ahimsa, or nonviolence, is one of yoga’s ethical principles,” claims Yoga Journal, and indeed – true to its name – Ahimsa is a place that truly reflects on the values from which it is built upon. Nonviolence, trust, calm, and so much more that will surely be felt once there.