Lagos, Nigeria. Population – 21 Million, With a population of 21 Million, Lagos has more people than Norway, Finland, Denmark and Ireland combined and you would have to multiply the land area of Lagos by over 100 to get the land area of Norway alone. That’s how small and how big Lagos is.
Living in Lagos is a daily hassle that is better imagined. Commuting can be chaotic, with hellish traffic, angry drivers, road raged drivers, impatient pedestrians and what can best be described as a contest of car honks.
The city is fast-paced; it is stressful to live in, yet it is one of the most remarkable places in Africa. In and around Lagos, you would find beautiful beaches, cool hangout spots, amazing music, mind-blowing art, and jaw-dropping dishes – Yes, the food is delightful and some would even say unbeatable but in the heart of this city of ironies lies it’s most welcoming offer- a warm-hearted people. You would find Lagosians interesting. You would find them creative. You would find them hospitable. You would find them enterprising. You would find them artistic. You might even find them loud, but most of all, you would find them warm.
Lagos is an evolving city. If you were here a year ago and visited again this year, you would find that certain things have changed. Having a potpourri of foreign nationals and multiple ethnic groups from all over the country, Lagos offers a rich diversity and a cosmopolitan outlook that is seen in few other cities around the world. The interactions of these pluralistic groups make for an ever-evolving society where new influences are introduced daily with an eager population waiting to adopt.
Yoga is one of those new influences that is slowly growing in Nigeria, and the community is being fostered by a bunch of yogis.
As a yogi and the new ambassador, I thought – why not show and tell people how a weekend in Lagos can look or feel like for a yogi? Well, now you’re about to find out.
A fortnight ago, during my Visiterlafrique takeover, I took the VLA community to see Lagos through the eyes of a yogi.
Friday: Yoga at Breathe, Switch, Ayo Van Elmar Fashion Café.
Scene 1: Yoga at Breathe Yoga Studio
Think of Breathe as a fortress for yogis. It is an awesome space where people meet up and practice yoga. On Friday I lead a restorative yoga class, and this Friday I had five students come in for the practice. After a long week, it only makes sense one unwinds with a slow easygoing yoga class.
Just above Breathe is a rooftop bar where people can relax with a drink in their yoga pants (Yes, yoga pants because no other piece of clothing is more comfortable than yoga pants).
Scene 2: Dinner at Switch!
After yoga, I met up with friends who went to a movie premier at the hottest cinema in Lagos right now-IMAX. We later headed out to switch. Switch is a bar/lounge with one of the best Nkwobi, BBQ fish, Suya, and chips in Lekki Phase 1, one of the more upscale residential neighborhoods in Lagos. Since I had just turned vegetarian it wasn’t that much pleasant for me because most Lagos restaurants don’t have vegetarian options in their menu but my friends had a great time, and we had interesting conversations over food and drinks.
Scene 3: Ayo Van Elmar Fashion Cafe
Ayo’s Fashion Cafe is my default on Fridays. The Fashion cafe is like nothing in Lagos. It is situated at the wing floor of the prestigious Oriental Hotel. The space’s terrace overlooks a good part of Lekki freeway where you can catch a glimpse of speeding cars with their taillights hurrying to get home from the day’s grind. The Fashion cafe is fashion store meets cafe. I especially love the smoothies from the Fashion Cafe but they also make some of the best coffee drinks, shakes, and cocktails.
The Fashion Cafe turns into an artsy affair on Fridays where people get a mix of music, karaoke, and fashion either to wrap up the Friday or to jumpstart a long Friday night/Saturday morning ahead. It is the perfect space for meeting up and hanging out with friends to embrace the weekend.
Shoot! I almost forgot that they give free paninis to guests, and the owner of the space, Ayo, alongside her incredible team will make you come back because of their super awesome service.
Saturday – Yoga, Paint my Africa, Sunsets boat rides
Scene 1: Yoga at Breathe
Breathe Yoga Studio presently offers four classes on Saturday ranging from Ashtanga, Hatha, to Acroyoga. As you can imagine, Saturday mornings are usually a ball for avid yogis at Breathe.
Scene 2: Post-yoga Snacking at Bread Lounge
If you are like me and only allow yourself to a single indulgence a week or you have a sweet tooth then Bread Lounge is the place for you. The newly open space is great for anything bread and pastries. They also have shakes, coffee, cappuccinos, and mocktails.
Scene 3: Celebration, Painting, And Lounging at Club 355
Club 355 is one of the bubbling spots in Lagos but at day the space is awesome for a get-together. We had a friend’s party at the space. Unlike any other party I have attended, we learned how to paint over cocktails. The white clean ambience of the exterior was welcoming and the interior felt cold but only because it was not a Friday night.
The Painting class was done by a brand known as Paint My Africa, and we got to learn the basics about color, mixing colors, brushes, layering, etc.
Scene 4: Sunsets and boat rides
I had to catch the last boat from Lagos Island to Takwa Bay. I got to watch the sunset during the boat ride and I arrived at the beach in time for evening dinner and games with the rest of the crew that arrived earlier for the Naija Nomads weekend sail away.