Live on air


I loved being back in the BBC Radio Bristol studios yesterday. The last time I spoke with their warm and welcoming DJ, John Darvall was for Mental Health Awareness Week in 2020. I had just started a series of daily virtual yoga sessions to mark the occasion – live and direct from the YogaTwins’ bedroom. We had not long before entered the first COVID lockdown – space was a premium at YogaDad HQ to run the sessions, but equally I felt the need to do something for myself and others.

Fast forward to 2022, and things couldn’t be more different. Yes, I still had to answer the obligatory questions on whether I had COVID symptoms or was awaiting COVID test results. Thankfully, no such issues. When offered the opportunity to be in the studio though rather than over the phone, I jumped at the chance. The last time I visited the studios was in late-2019 with the YogaTwins to talk about yoga storytelling. The boys were a bit miffed that they didn’t get chance to join me this time – one of them even saying to me next time we’re in the studios, he wants to answer all the questions!

As much as I’ve done this kind of thing before, I still get nervous. I calm myself down in the best way possible – by doing exercise. Firstly, a brilliant body pump style workout at home with the incredible Leroy from the Body Coach App. Followed by a breezy bike ride to my Defra offices that quite literally blew out the cobwebs while also providing me precious time to get into the right headspace for it all.

It was a classic day of switching modes between ‘day job’ where I was preparing Board papers for a meeting next week on the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan to being YogaDad on the radio. I loved chatting with John about how life had moved on since 2020. How I continue to champion men’s health locally and beyond. Growing the Yoga For Men community, and motivating more men to join me on the mat, and support one another – most recently through my partnership with Talk Club.

I even had the opportunity to run a short mindfulness and breath awareness sessions towards the end of the interview. I’d only thought of doing this on the bike ride in. The only note I hastily wrote on my crib sheet was to breathe! I was properly pushing myself out of my comfort zone to do it – plus I knew the travel bulletin was incoming! Even so, i was so proud that I felt brave enough to give it a go.

Before I knew it, the interview was over and I was out of the studios – a quick chat with YogaMum who said I was brilliant was all I needed to hear. I can’t wait for the next chance to be live on air…