Those that have been following YogaDad over the past year will know that I really enjoy being in front of the video camera. Whether it’s filming Tour De Yoga sequences for cyclists or being filmed by Sky News to talk Yoga For Men for International Men’s Day last year, it’s proving to be a powerful way to promote yoga and reach new audiences.
You may also be surprised to read that being YogaDad is not my full-time job. I lead the team monitoring the UK government’s implementation of its 25-Year Environment Plan. At the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, I was recently contacted by wellbeing leads from Natural England. They are hosting an annual conference in September, with lunchtime breakout sessions themed around the five ways to wellbeing.
One of the themes relates to ‘Be Active’, and apparently, I had been recommended by colleagues from the South East of England to run yoga classes, having previously taught a desk yoga sequence to a homeworkers network as an audio only class over the phone. I loved teaching the group, and received some awesome feedback from my home students.
For the annual conference, the plan was for face-to-face classes, but unfortunately I am unavailable on the date. Not wanting to miss out, I proposed to film a few short chair-based sequences that could be shown on the day, and the organisers loved this idea. Recognising that at conferences there is often lots going on, we agreed that I would film a short (5 – 10 minute) chair-based sequences that small groups of colleagues could follow.
Armed with a hand-held video camera, together with a colleague, we filmed four 10-minute classes last week in Defra’s offices in Bristol. You will see from my classes that I enjoy challenging preconceptions about what yoga is and where to practice. By teaching in unconventional places such as a conference room, using props such as a chair, encourages the prioritisation of workplace wellbeing in everyday settings such as this.
I am really looking forward to seeing how colleagues from Natural England get on with the classes next month, with a view to rolling these out more widely across government.
You can access the four classes at my YouTube channel. So, if you find yourself sitting for an extended periods during the day, try the classes out and let me know how you get on.