Over the last 24 years of practicing and teaching yoga, my approach has changed significantly. These days I teach yoga in a way that is accessible to all ages and abilities.
My classes and workshops are both challenging and light-hearted. I ask you to explore the edges of what is possible for you in each class.
It's important to note that while I give instructions on how to position and move your body in different postures my primary role is as a facilitator of your own process.
If this sounds confusing, don't worry about it. Just come to a yoga class or an event. If you like it, then keep coming back. If not, then I'm not the teacher for you, and I encourage you to find another teacher who you resonate more with.
I look forward to meeting you on your mat.
Yoga is a ancient physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. The word "yoga" comes from the Sanskrit word "yuj," which means to yoke or unite. The practice aims to bring together the mind, body, and spirit to achieve a state of balance and harmony.
The traditional practice of yoga involves a combination of physical postures (asanas), breath control (pranayama), meditation, and ethical principles. It is not just a physical exercise but a holistic approach to well-being that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual aspects.
There are various styles and schools of yoga, each with its own emphasis and approach. Some styles focus more on the physical postures and alignment, while others emphasize meditation and mindfulness.
Hatha yoga, one of the most widely practiced styles, often includes a combination of asanas and pranayama. Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kundalini, and Iyengar are examples of other popular yoga styles, each with its unique characteristics.
The health benefits of yoga are numerous and include:
- Increased flexibility,
- Improved strength and balance
- Stress reduction, and enhanced mental clarity.
Many people also find that practicing yoga helps them cultivate a sense of inner peace and a connection to something greater than themselves.
A global phenomenon
Yoga has become a global phenomenon, with millions of people practicing it for various reasons, including:
- Physical fitness,
- Mental well-being, and
- Spiritual growth
Ancient yet modern
While yoga is ancient what is taught around the world today is less than 100 years old largely originating from the teachings of Krishnamacharya in Mysore in the 1930s. Yoga is a rich fusion of East meets West spirituality, gymnastics, calisthenics and physical therapy.
It's important to note that yoga is a personal practice, and individuals can and should tailor it to their own needs and goals.
By stretching the body and using the breath we return to our true nature: beyond, thoughts, judgements and ideas.
My yoga journey
I attended my first yoga class in London in 2000. I found it really challenging but also fun. I was fascinated by how moving my body and breathing could be so simple and yet so hard at the same time!
I started practicing regularly with Billy Doyle in North London practicing a gentle Kashmiri style of yoga. Billy introduced me to non-dual philosophy and the teachings of Jean Klein which has had a profound and lasting effect on my view of life and myself. Read about this on my coaching blog: Tantra for personal development.
Martial arts, Ashtanga Yoga and meditation
In 2003 I learned to meditate at the Brighton Buddhist Centre.. I also started Ninjitsu, Japanese Jiu-jitsu and discovered Ashtanga Yoga. It was a time of intense personal growth.
Eventually I gave up Ninjitsu and began a 10 year period of intense practice of Ashtanga Yoga. This included a 2 hour daily practice, 6 days/week.
In 2006 I set up Ashtanga Brighton and hosted many workshops by top international teachers.
In 2014, I moved with my wife to India to deepen my practice. We lived in India for 7 months and I studied with Sharath Jois and Vinay Kumar in Mysore.
Fatherhood, Stockholm and divorce
While in India my wife became pregnant and we decided to move to Stockholm. I was 40 years old at the time and spoke no Swedish. Less than 2 years later I was divorced with a young child, in a strange country. Needless to say, this crisis fueled my personal growth over the following years.
Yoga, tantra, meditation, pranayama, breathwork, regular cold water immersions and daily journaling are all tools I've used over the years to help me process life and have been fundamental to my own healing journey.
Love, Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and death
In 2019 at The Stockholm Tantra Festival I met my current partner deepening my journey into Swedish life, actively learning Swedish. In 2021 at the age of 46 I started Brazilian Jiu-jitsu at Team Leites.
In 2022, I suffered a cardiac arrest while at Jiu-jitsu and had to be resuscitated by the ambulance crew. I spent a week in hospital writing a blog post about my experiences: Surviving Cardiac Arrest: 1 week in ICU. Meditation and pranayama played a big role in my recovery during the next 12 months after my caridac arrest.
In 2023 my son and I completed Tough Viking and we both competed in several Brazilian Jiu-jitsu competitions. 2024 and beyond? Watch this space!