Tell us a bit about you and your story?
I discovered yoga in 2002 whilst teaching tennis in Hong Kong. I grew up in a small town called Newmarket in Suffolk, England but was soon travelling the world at the age of 16 playing junior tennis tournaments. My childhood dream of being a Wimbledon champion like so many other talented tennis players started to become unachievable so I turned my focus to coaching and was lucky enough to have coached at some of most the prestigious tennis clubs both in London and Hong Kong.
It didn’t take too long to see and feel the healing process through a consistent practice
I walked into Pure Yoga HK and knew as soon as I settled onto my mat that this was the place for me, a feeling of being at home. The reason why I decided to try a class was because I had to many niggling injuries from playing and teaching tennis at a high level over the years. It didn’t take too long to see and feel the healing process through a consistent practice, sometimes twice a day as I was hooked on this amazing workout which became a fun and sometimes scary work inwards. I found that yoga started to restore long term injuries sustained through my game.
My roles include being a family man, leader, entrepreneur and yoga teacher.
I took my initial training with Fred Bush from Miami Power Yoga and have worked closely with Claire Este- McDonald and Gregor Singleton from Divine Play Yoga in Boston. I have travelled extensively to the US over the past years to train and be part of the Baptiste Yoga Community which was founded by Baron Baptiste. You will definitely experience the Baptiste journey into power sequence and methodology at THoY which creates a foundation for yoga to be lived into both on and off the mat.
What is your current position / job?
Founder and Director of the House of Yoga (Yoga Studio in Putney, London) and FloVibe UK’s first wellness and music festival. My roles include being a family man, leader, entrepreneur and yoga teacher. I love spending time with my family, travel and creating opportunities where people can thrive throughout my day to day life.
When did you start giving back and being socially involved?
My pre-yoga life was simply cluttered, unbalanced and prone to injury. There was a stage in my life where I lived with a lot of anxiety and this seemed to manifest itself through body aliments, panic attacks, anger and fear which led onto a disruptive path.
It made perfect sense for me coming from a teaching background to deepen my knowledge and yoga journey so I took my first 200hr yoga alliance teacher training with Fred Busch from Miami yoga and this was the start of something really special. Since I’ve always been teaching in some capacity, I have become increasingly passionate in supporting people’s growth.
Tell me a project or accomplishment you consider to be the most significant in your career?
Founding The House of Yoga in London is my greatest accomplishment – despite its ups and downs it is definitely worth it. If I were to add to this, as a person who hasn’t always been so clear on a direction or purpose, the present moment is still as valuable as ever. Simply being in that space, will allow for the clarity on direction and purpose to arise. In a mind distracted by thought, there is no space for anything new. So give yourself that space.
What is social responsibility for you?
Taking care of our planet, of each other and fellow man and woman. I also believe in treating others as I would like to be treated. I always ask myself what actions can I take now that will benefit my future and that of those around me?
I am also very involved with the House of Yoga outreach programme “Inspire to Reach Out!”
Which organisation/s do you work with?
THoY and Flovibe So nine years down the road, I now have my own yoga business in London called The House of Yoga, where I teach private, corporate and public classes at various London studios as well as growing a strong community in Southfields, Wimbledon. I love sharing my passion, experience and knowledge to all my students and it is so rewarding watching students grow, having fun and shining bright both on and off the mat.
Our beloved Zara runs the project at The House of Yoga with support from teachers Eva and Caroline. Zara’s background lies in working with at-risk young people and young offenders. Zara strongly believes that Yoga is an amazing form of positive intervention as well as a method of breaking down barriers within communities.
The ethos of The House of Yoga strongly emphasises the importance of building a sense of community, using Yoga as a tool to bring people together. The Outreach project was set up at the end of 2014, with the aim of providing Yoga to those who struggle with accessibility to, Finances, Ability, Schedule, Background and Responsibility.
Funds raised through Outreach are fed back into the Community, either through donations to local charities, or through
delivering free or subsidised Yoga sessions. For more information go to https://thehouseofyoga.co.uk/outreach.
What are the values you’d like to see in younger generations?
I would like to see compassion, integrity, community/ connection, honesty, inspiration, courage, gratitude
How do you motivate & inspire others to give back?
I believe in reminding people continuously of the power of contribution.
What is your super power?
Distracting my kids from tantrums. I also believe YOGA is super tool. We all know that yoga is good for us on so many levels, for me it started as a work out that helped heal long term injuries but the real fruits and fun parts of this journey has been the work in a place of new and endless possibilities where we all have the right to experience and be.
Who is your role model and why?
My Dad for his strong family values and work ethic. I had been reading some self help books and a common theme was being present. But I didn’t get it. I asked my Dad: “Dad, what’s the big deal with being present? Like I’m here right? (Talking about my physical body) how can I not be present?” And looking back I love the fact that it was all lost upon me, because now it seems so clear. It wasn’t until I dove head first into yoga that I really began to understand the amazing new world that is the present. And to be specific, it was my meditation practice from yoga that really honed my practice of being present.
I also inspired by Andy Murray, for his amazing resilience and focus; Vishen Lakhiani, Richard Branson and Tony Robbins.
What challenges are we human beings facing?
Not being present in our day to day lives and not realising our true potential.
What can we expect from you in the future?
Expanding and growing my businesses, and continuing with my ongoing personal development. I love to share my passion and own experiences of
yoga which is why I founded THoY back in 2012. I will continue to work in this direction to work with communities, contribute to others, reaching out and supporting where I can and not expecting anything back.
To raise a happy and loving family is my biggest dream.
What does giving back mean to you?
Contributing and being the best version of ourselves. Contribution to others, reaching out and supporting where I can and not expecting anything back; as well as reminding others of their power to do the same.
Personally I like to give back through community development, sustainability, business programs and education. In terms of other business models I like: Wholefoods, Mindvalley and Method.
What’s your view on social media?
Love / hate relationship. Its great for connecting, business but its also disconnects us from the present moment
What is your favourite place or thing to do?
Fun with my kids and family, hang out with friends, cinema, long lunches with friends. I love the Babington House, Asia for travel, Sticks n Sushi and Oblix for food therapy. My passions are chocolate, tennis, yoga, being in creation of new ideas and travel.
When have you been most satisfied in life?
I used to be the type of person who wanted to be a hundred places at once, now I’m happy being exact where I am… Most times, it’s a practice after all!!
The present moment isn’t some mysterious thing, we all experience it wether we are aware of it or not. However, it’s when we practice cultivating the awareness of thought and self to bring ourselves to the present moment that things start to get very interesting! But don’t take my word for it, find out for yourself, define presence in your words by experiencing that thing
which connects us all together! So PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! Then you will see what I see.
What is your favourite quote?
To be courageous is to be in creation. Gratitude is the attitude.