What is your yoga genesis story? What brought you to the practice?
I dabbled with yoga for years, but a serious daily practice started for two main reasons. Firstly, as a competitive boxer and marathon runner, at the time, my body was full of aches and I thought yoga would be better than spending a fortunes on massages. Secondly, outside of work, I thought it would be great to meet people that didn't want to punch me in the face. That's what brought me to the mat daily, then I discovered a whole load more that kept me there.
How has your life changed since starting to do and teach yoga? How has your yoga practice benefited you personally, physically or otherwise?
I found it so useful to have a space every day that was dedicated to self enquiry; of your body, of your breath, of your head. To have space every day where no one could ring you, there was no winning/losing and the whole practice was entirely subjective. Having this space brought a huge amount of patience, happiness and calmness to big city living.
What styles do you most like to teach and how would you describe yourself as a teacher?
In short, I would call my style vinyasa, but this can be taught in so many different ways! My classes have an alignment and anatomical focus featuring controlled and dynamic movements, creative weekly sequencing, mindfulness from a Zen Buddhism perspective and with a real focus on mobility I.e.w. flexibility and strength(control) combined.
Why do you think yoga is an especially good practice for men to adopt?
From an physical perspective, for the typical sportsperson or athlete, of either gender, a lot of time is spent performing and training, and stretching/mobility is left as something to bolt on to the last 5 minutes of their sessions. As a result, recovery is lower and performance in hindered. My boxing improved hugely once my yoga practice became daily. On a mental perspective, it's great to do something where you can't win or even try to!
Are there any misconceptions of men doing yoga that you’d like to correct?
"I've got too much muscle to be flexible"...Tell that to the heavyweight MMA fighter who will happily kick you in the head.
Can you talk a little bit about Boys of Yoga? What is it and what has been your experience of it?
It's a movement that's simply trying to get more guys on a yoga mat via international events, cool videos and images; almost like the spread of the Californian skate culture! It's been well received and kept fairly light hearted, as a great gateway for guys to initially experience yoga, with the aim for them to go to their local studios more regularly.
Which postures do you hate? Which ones do you love?
There is always an odd paradox in yoga; you are always trying to get deeper into a posture or do new ones, but at the same time you are supposed to have no attachment to any postures and be satisfied by where you are. In short, I hate moving too fast in a yoga class as I don't have time to get deep into poses properly and actually work. I love spending time getting deep into dynamic, slow movements to that take on significant body parts.
Can you shout-out some of your favourite yoga-related brands? Mat, kit, any other equipment you love.
London company Ohmme make some of the best yoga clothing for me and do it for all the right reasons. Kit and Ace are my go to for technical cashmere that you can wear for dinners, work and on date-night. When you invest in a mat, buy a Liforme and accept that the benefits outweigh the cost.
What is your personal mantra right now?
In the context of yoga, integrity is so much more important than depth or ascetics.
What would you tell someone who has never done yoga and is too nervous to try?
Try a class in one studio. Try a teacher in another studio. Keep that going until you find some whose style you like. Nobody cares what you are doing on your mat! Alternatively, do some of my online classes in your PJs in your bedroom!
When you’re not in the studio, where are people most likely to find you? Is there anything you’re really passionate about right now outside the yoga space?
My girlfriend and I have just rescued a puppy from Romania, so when not cycling between studios on my single speed, I'll probably be with the dog in Primrose Hill. Or maybe drinking wine in Primrose Hill...