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Boys of Yoga with Adam Husler

Adam Husler is one of the original members of Boys of Yoga, a movement and platform dedicated to encouraging men to try out yoga, and challenging the stereotypes of what it means to be 'masculine'. We catch up with Adam to find out the story behind BOY, how yoga has helped him become a better man and why yoga is good for everyone.

You’re one of the original crew members at Boys of Yoga. Tell us what the collective is about and why it came into being?

At Boys of Yoga, we think more people should do yoga and would have their lives enhanced by it. We equally acknowledge that you need to draw people in and market to people in very different ways.  In order to target those guys that think yoga is too simple/too hippy/too easy/too weird for them, we started the BOY movement to persuade them otherwise. This movement might not persuade your mom to do yoga, but you can’t appeal to everyone, all the time. 

Your background is a lot more focused on competitive sports such as boxing, rugby and martial arts. how did you move from these sports into yoga?

For many years I practiced yoga alongside daily boxing and weight training, for so many reasons - including, on a simply physical level, that yoga asana assisted performance and recovery. Of course, there was so many benefits beyond that; mental, physical, psychological etc. 

Do you still carry out any other physical activities like gym workouts to support and compliment your yoga practice?

Over the last few years life, teaching full time, yoga practice and a broken foot have got in the way!  That's changing though as I've joined a gym where I can be relatively anonymous and I’ve hired a PT to kick my ass.

How has yoga helped you grow and evolve into a better man? Both physically and mentally?

Well this is like asking someone to write their own review. Yes, yes I am now a wonderful man! Haha. There's been lots of variables that have affected my development, but I’m pretty confident in saying that my yoga practice has played a significant part in helping me find balance in my life, presence in each moment and connection with my physical body.

What would you say to men who are wary of yoga, how could they start out slowly and break down their mental blocks about trying it out?

Men can get as much from a yoga practice as any other gender. If it helps them feel more manly I suggest they try it out for the first time wearing gym gear, on a football field, without a yoga mat, followed by a beer!  But in all seriousness, every studio provides intro offers and there are plenty of classes that are suitable for new students or students that want a more athletic practice. Don’t be put off if you don’t like your first class; try some different styles and different teachers until you find one that your resonate with. 

As an established yoga teacher in London, you’re well-known for focusing on body alignment. What are your other values when it comes to teaching? And what do you think are key elements that should be incorporated into teaching? 

In a city like London, students have the luxury of being able to access a massive amount of quality teachers. One benefit of this is that a yoga teacher does not need to be all things to all people; they can find their niche. I prefer to teach asana with a focus on anatomy and sequencing, but I encourage my students to mix my classes with teachers that have more of a focus on philosophy or more of a focus on free, dynamic movement etc. I  hope to educate students, rather that instruct and create an environment where the attention is self-enquiry and not objective goals.

How can students be mindful of looking after their bodies in asana practice? Is it any different for men?

I don’t think it's different for a man, but perhaps culturally, men have been conditioned to try to ‘win’ at things. Yoga is a great kick in the ego and it's impossible to win at! In terms of mindfulness, if you do something with your body regularly, it's important to attend some classes/workshops that educate you in how to do this safely, then you can apply that knowledge to the rest of your asana practice.

Why do you practice yoga? And what does this word mean to you?

To help me live the small flash of time that I’m on this earth with equanimity.  There are enough strong views on what yoga means out there, so I’d rather not add to that, but would encourage people to practise yoga. Then hopefully they will be less concerned with what yoga means! 

How does your lifestyle compliment your practice?

I practice yoga when I can, in the form of structured time practising asana/meditation, but equally, I take a lot from the practice that I carry over to my daily life.


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