Interview: Gian Power from Unwind London
We caught up with dapper entrepreneurial chap Gian Power to talk about meditation and calming down the city of London with his new Unwind London project.
Unwind London | 12-13 May | Lower Ground, 10 Finsbury Square, London, EC2A 1AF | Various Times | £15
Tell us about your journey towards creating Unwind London. How did the idea come and what were the steps to making it happen?
I started meditating a few years back. A few friends had mentioned it so I thought I would give it a try. With pressures from my city job whilst alongside the hustle and bustle of London life, I found it life changing. Just taking that time out even for only 10 minutes just made the day more enjoyable, work/life balance more manageable and the next thing I was glued! Taking that time out really gave me more time in the day weirdly enough.
In November 2017 I was in NYC and headed to some of the coolest spots in town to try their meditation sessions. The venues were so chilled, relaxing and I was completely switched off from the outside world. I came back to London and started searching for something similar to do with a friend and after a long search realised it didn’t exist. So here we are today, creating Unwind London!
What makes you think there’s a need for a guided meditation in London and what makes Unwind different?
So many of us work endless hours whether in the city, as entrepreneurs or just have a demanding life and it’s absolutely vital that we take time out for our minds just as we would for our bodies in the gym. But it must be done in the right environment. It can be hard to switch off even in your own home. Unwind‘s guided meditation is a surround sound experience, the meditation has been [edited back and forth, show we care] and our meditation teacher has over 20 years of experience.
Unwind is multi-sensory. We believe that to truly unwind and switch off then you need to address all of our senses. From the visuals in our candlelit oasis, through to breathing in the relaxing scents and the sounds of our meditation. Our Unwind space is a silent cocoon, a sanctuary where nothing else in the world matters but you.
Unwind is not about signing up to an 8 week course. Unwind works around our busy Londoners. They can join us for a session before brunch with friends, join us in their lunch break. It fits around their busy schedules.
Who or what inspires you to help Londoners unwind?
I’ve seen countless friends left exhausted after working long hours. I’ve seen others balancing running their own businesses with demanding social lives. All too often it can lead to burn out. It’s for this reason I was inspired to do something about it. I always recall a quote from Gandhi ‘I have so much to do today that I am going to meditate for two hours instead of one’ – it’s understanding that taking time out doesn’t take time away from you, it actually leaves your mind much clearer and you seem to gain time!
What advice would you give someone to help them de-stress?
For starters I throw my phone/laptop out of the way. Usually I go to the steam room/sauna and just be. Tech can be great but we often ask others for their thoughts, we read online and and google the answer to everything! Sometimes just stopping and tuning in to yourself wherever that may be can have a profound impact on the body both mentally and physiologically. Alongside meditation of course (had to!), sports and fitness are fantastic. Laughing and being around good friends and family is also a winner in my opinion. I’m also partial to the odd massage with some relaxing music on and a candle or two going!
What are your favourite London haunts (to eat, to be entertained, to party, to relax)?
One of my favourite things to do is to explore the city and get lost in the small back streets, stumbling upon random shops and cafes. I love supporting independent, family run businesses and pop-ups. If you’ve not been to the Candid Cafe near Angel station it’s worth checking out their unusual chairs, candles and incredible coffee!
I am Joint Editor at To Do List. I like free, cheap & offbeat London, especially: cabaret, art, theatre, pop-ups, eating out, quirky films, museums, day trips, social enterprise & much more.