Updated: Mar 2, 2021
I’m Chris, aka the Zen meister (100% ironic I promise) and founder of Slow Brother Yoga.
I started Slow Brother Yoga to give people the chance to experience some of the benefits of yoga I have had the good fortune of experiencing.
My first yoga session was a Friday evening 5 years ago. It was free with my gym membership at the time and I wanted to try and become more flexible so I could squat more (I was really into weight lifting at the time - see very cringe image below for proof). Anyway back to yoga, I hated it. I was in pain, fumbling all over the mat as stiff as anything. I parked yoga there and assumed that perhaps it wasn’t for me.
However, shortly after this I started meditation. Not because of that yoga session, rather because all the entrepreneurship books I was reading at the time said all millionaires do. I was pretty broke and willing to give just about anything a go. I really got on with it, although that could be because I was under the impression that listening to 10 minutes of Andy Puddicombe a day was going to make me a millionaire. I did find that those 10 minutes a day helped me to calm my racing mind.
Meditation also unlocked this peculiar emotion that I wasn’t really aware of called empathy. That was annoying. All of a sudden I woke up to the potential consequences that my actions could have on other people. None of the books, about making loads of money, mentioned that. This the start I suppose of many ego shattering experiences to come.
It was about a year after this that I gave yoga another try (I think this time to impress a girl) but this time the ending is different. It was a hot yoga session, I was a bit hungover and I came out feeling like I was walking on clouds. Either the euphoria of not being hungover anymore was incredible, or the yoga was working, irrespective I was hooked.
I kept practicing and thoroughly enjoying it, the sadist in me really liked punishing my body, pushing it to the limit. I should add at to this point I was getting rather bored of weightlifting and needed somewhere new to direct the energy. At this point in my practice I was still very much locked into my ego, shaking in asanas, holding my breath and regularly holding through cramp. Clearly my ego had a long way to go.
Fortunately for me, the calmest ninja arrived in my life - Sensei Tassie Sinclair. Every week me and my girlfriend would practice with him at our gym. He floated about the mat and was like a Stretch Armstrong toy, the way he could just contort his body into pretzel like positions, it was incredible to watch, whilst also infuriating! At the same time! I also knew he could beat the hell out of me despite being a good half foot shorter and 10 kg lighter. I had complete trust in him and started to see a completely different side to my yoga practice.
Through this regular practice of yoga and meditation I began to develop more awareness in my day to day life. Just like all the self-help books say, however, what they sometimes fail to mention (or I tended to skim over in my rose tinted reading glasses) was that they will also make you far more aware of any anxieties, anxieties I have probably always had but spent most of my life comfortably burying in partying or whatever hobby I was into at the time. Yoga didn’t let me do that. Yoga slows you down to the point you have to address these issues.
A few years have passed since then and the combination of yoga and meditation have been my way of processing whatever’s going on in my life. Kinda ironic really, a practice that opened me up to my demons is also the answer to dealing with them.
Oh, I am now engaged to that particular girl so something must have worked.
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If I can help you start to develop your own yoga practice feel free to reach out. I offer a number of classes across the week but can also schedule in 1-1 classes if this is something that you would rather.