Vor einigen Wochen habe ich dir bereits von Adam Husler berichtet. Von Anfang an war er in London einer meiner Lieblingslehrer. Seine Klassen waren immer eine Inspiration für mich – eine kleine Wellnessoase inmitten des Großstadtdschungels. Als wir unseren Blog gestartet haben, war für mich klar, dass ich ihn für The Yoga Affair interviewen wollte. Hier kannst du nachlesen, was bei unserem spannenden Gespräch herauskam. Das Interview mit Adam ist bis zum Rand angefüllt mit ehrlichen, authentischen Antworten und schönen Gedanken. Damit davon nichts verloren geht, habe ich beschlossen, den Text im englischen Original zu belassen. Viel Spaß beim Lesen!
What does Yoga mean to you?
Starting with a big question! There are various literal translations of yoga from Sanskrit, but yoga means very different things to everyone you ask. For me a yoga practice is one of self-regulation: which sounds far less harsh than self control. Self regulation of one’s body, mind and breathe; most common, in the West at least, in the context of a physical practice. It doesn’t need to be flamboyant, it definitely doesn’t need to be contortion or acrobatics, its just exploring the physical layers of you in order to get to the deeper bits!
What role does Yoga play in your life?
Firstly, teaching yoga is how I pay my rent, for my coffee and for my chia seeds, of course! Secondly it’s the thing that’s keeps me sane, keeps me happy and keeps me mobile.
How do you incorporate your own practice into your life?
I teach a pretty huge amount of weekly public classes in London, which means going to a class myself requires planning, luck and an ability to cycle fast. Priority number one is 30 min of seated meditation, that my teacher, Michael Stone, insists on. From there my asana practice can often be in bits through the day; before or after classes, in a rainy London park, in the corner of a gym or just anywhere I have time and space. I currently working to rearrange my schedule to find a little more time for moi!
How did Yoga find you?
I had played around with yoga classes for a few years before I realised the value in making it a larger feature in my life. On a physical level, I came to discover that a regular yoga price was real medicine for a body that spent 2 hours a day boxing. Alongside that, the more meditative and minful aspects of the practice began to assist me in a time that was unstable and uncertain for a whole heap of reasons.
What do you love most about teaching Yoga?
It’s the people. Undoubtably. There’s a huge variety of people that come to classes and a massive range or reasons for why they come, but to see them all connect with each other and the practice is a wonderful thing to witness every day. Beyond the broad benefits I see, with my anatomy love, its incredible to facilitate people in the exploration of their bodies, and more importantly to help them move in ways they haven’t before and recover from what they put their bodies through on a daily basis.
Who or what is your inspiration?
Albert Camus, for many reasons, but not least, because he wrote this:
“In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love. In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile. In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm. I realized, through it all, that… In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.”
Who is your personal Guru (not necessarily Yoga related)?
I’ve been fortunate enough to spend a significant amount to time studying under American yoga teacher Jason Crandell. Beyond learning modern yoga anatomy in huge detail and the art of intelligent sequencing, from Jason, I learnt that I really could succeed in the commercial yoga world, whilst still being true to myself, maintaining integrity in my teaching and developing an authentic stye.
What was or is the biggest challenge for you (both in your yogic life and real life)?
Reigning myself back in. I tend to be a person of extremes. I didn’t run a marathon, but had to run 5 marathons and an ultra marathon in 3 months. I didn’t go on a walking holiday, but walked all the way across Spain alone. I did just want to succeed in my last job, but worked 90 hours a week, to exceed expectations. Right now, I tend to take every opportunity i can, which means I teach 24 public classes a week alongside international workshops, retreats, private classes and writing. I need to give myself a little bit of a break!
You are part of the movement Boys of Yoga. The movement aims to fight the stereotype that yoga is only for girls. What do you think about Yoga for men, or men who do yoga?
In the average western studios its taken quite a while to get more guys on the yoga mat. There’s lots of reasons for this, not least because of the stereotype that yogi studios were full of bendy dancers and people that wear hemp! Guys have gradually started to wise up to all the physiological and neurological benefits of a yoga practice and often men tend to now come to their first yoga class, because they are tight from sport, because they want to get rid of their office hunch or because they need a mental pause in their high paced lives. I think every guy could benefit hugely from a yoga practice, but of course they’d need to find a style and teacher that works for them; whether it be an anatomically focused class with deep holds and plenty of sweat or a more chilled to class, full of sanskrit and references to Hinduism.
In what way– if even – might Yoga be a different experience for men?
Anatomically, of course, there will be some little differences, but beyond that I don’t think that men/women will have different yoga experiences, but more believe that every individual will have a different yoga experience. Everyone comes to the mat for different reasons, with different expectations, with different bodies. In a typical class I have: dancers/yoga teachers/lawyers/hungover people who want to sweat/chill out/find enlightment/handstand/listen to good music. For me, as long as they are trying to regulate their body, breath and mind during class, thats perfect!
What could be the reason why we have so much female yogis in the West and only a few men? How could that be changed?
In the last 10-15 years the media and fitness/wellness industry marketing has, until more recently, encouraged two very polar ‘fitness worlds’: the more holistic and creative world of yoga, pilates and dance and the strength building world of free weights, cross fit and combat fitness. Often you had to choose one of these worlds, event from a school age, where females were encouraged to go down the former and males the later. Thankfully this has changed in the last 5 years!
In the UK, before the more recent launch of lots of yoga studios, most people’s yoga classes were in a gym, where this 2 world model was firm. As yoga became more popular, it was generally females that had been more exposed to the gym classes and they were they same people that were the early adopters when more dedicated yoga studios began to launch. More dedicated yoga studios brought with it the development of more yoga styles along with yoga teachers from a huge variety of backgrounds. I think this broadening of the yoga offer and the cultural breaking down of this two-world fitness model I described, is why we are seeing more guys on the mat…and more women in the free wights area of the gym!
What is always in your Yoga bag? Your absolute yoga essential?
Lets start off with the bag. Mission Workshop 100 percent makes the best cycling/city bags. My Mission Vandal can double in size, take on all weather and looks damn cool. The rest of my teaching survival gear included; an insulated Clean Kanteen, some energising post hot-studio facemoisturiser, an iPod, leaflets for all the events I have going o and as painful a massage ball as I can find.
What is your personal mantra?
It’s a little line from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so”. I think it really ties it well with some core principles of Stoic and Buddhist philosophy, and for me acts as a reminder that we can choose to indulge in negative thoughts, worry, anger, bitterness and revenge or we can choose to just to take more of a positive spin on the world, for the finite amount of time that we are here.
What book are you reading at the moment?
My book I’m dipping in and out of on the coffee table is ‘Cabin Porn’…because I want nothing more that to move to a forrest, live in a cabin, buy a dog and spend my days chopping wood and headstanding. As part of some mediation training the actual book I’m reading is ‘Buddhism without Beliefs’ which is of the view that Buddhism is not something to believe in, but something to do: a great read for an practicing agnostic!
How do you feel about the social media hype around young yogis all over the world?
If it makes more people come to a yoga class, I’m all for it! You can do forward folds in your bikinis, yoga in shop windows, pop up events all over the city, handstand on someones car, make a line of clothing. I’m cool with all of that.
But where I slightly draw the line is when people get obsessed with the ascetics of yoga poses. Increasingly I’m seeing ‘yoga postures’ online that are actually anatomically dangerous, being practiced by someone that has a background in dance, gymnastics or contortion. Its right to give the ascetics more focus in these worlds, because there is someone scoring or judging you performance, but in a yoga context, the only thing you should have to be concerned about is the pose’s positive benefit for your body. I think its important to learn from people that have had a long relationship with a yoga practice, rather that people that have practice yoga for 6 months, but because of previous experience, can pop out some ‘sweet moves’.
If you could change one thing in this world, what would that be?
The glorification of ‘being busy’!
If you were a superhero, which one would you be and why?
There’s one of the x-men who can create ice isn’t there? I think my students in the hot studios would love me if i could wander round picking up their water bottles and making the contents zero degrees!
And last but not least, what is your plan for the weekend workshop in Zurich?
Expect alignment focused, technical vinyasa sessions with an emphasis on creative sequencing, deep holds, controlled moments and bad jokes.
Thank you so much Adam. We can’t wait to have you in Zurich for a great workout weekend.