You know that yoga isn’t just pink Lycra and vegan chicks, right? Michael James Wong is a Frame yoga instructor and the founder of Boys of Yoga – a group who break all the stereotypes and misconceptions of guys who yoga.
Michael teaches at Frame leading a charity class where money from the class is donated to support the efforts of Railway Children – an organisation that supports runaway and rough sleeping kids on the street. It’s a class that’s about doing something good for others, whilst doing something good for you too. But without further ado, we talk to Michael about what sparked his interest in yoga, his tips to stay happy and healthy and his life mantra.
What sparked your interest in yoga?
I first started the practice because I had the urge to see what it was all about. I didn’t really know what I was getting into, but I guess I’m lucky to have gone to that first class.
How long have you been practicing yoga?
I’ve been practicing yoga and physical movement for over 14 years now. It may seem like a long time, but I’m still at the beginning of my journey and I’m looking forward to where the road will lead me to next.
Who inspires you?
I find inspiration from many different people, in many different ways. If you stay open to the world around you, spending time with friends, family and strangers, then the world will open up to you in ways you never thought were possible.
What are your tips to stay happy and healthy?
To stay happy you have to stay selfish, but not in a negative way, but in a way that allows you to do what’s best for you in all occasions. Always respect yourself; who you spend your time with and what you put into your body. This will keep you happy and healthy.
You’ve travelled the world a lot teaching yoga, what is one of the best trips you’ve taken?
There are two: I just returned back from a trip to New York where I was co-teaching an event with the amazing Elena Brower. To have the opportunity to connect with a great teacher and share space, community and countries was a beautiful thing.
The other was spending time in India a few years ago with a small group of students who travelled with me to explore. It was nothing fancy, but it was special. We spent the days learning, exploring and seeing a different part of the world together. It’s events like these that make what I do worthwhile.
What’s your mantra?
Live inspired, not proud – to be inspired is to live in a positive way. So often pride and ego limits us from truly living.
QUICK FIRE ROUND
What did you have for breakfast? Coffee and a coconut water.
Favourite savasana song…Silence is the best song to play…Though I have been known to play a little R. Kelly from time to time
Favourite yoga pose…I don’t believe in favourites, but right now it’s Garuda Balasana (Eagle arms child’s pose)
My favourite time of day is…first thing in the morning when you’ve got the rest of the day to decide how you want to spend it.
My pet hate is…I’m allergic to cats
Michael James Wong teaches a west coast power yoga practice that will make you sweat every Wednesday 7:30pm at Frame Shoreditch and Tuesday’s in Frame Fitzrovia at 7.15pm.
This class will leave you feeling like you have worked hard and that you’ve earned the savasana at the end.