Listen up, lads: yoga is for everyone.
In the run up to Father’s Day and International Yoga Day (both on June 21st), we’re inspiring more men to roll out a mat. This week, allow us to introduce you to some men who aren’t afraid to tell you why they practice #yogaeverydamnday.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? According to L.A.-based life coach and Kundalini yoga instructor Ryan Weiss, how we spend the first five minutes directly determines how much success and happiness will follow. Each morning, he sends out his Waking Up With Ryan, an email full of his daily wisdoms and a morning guided meditation practice. Inspiring many people across the world with his words everyday, we asked Ryan to enlighten us with his philosophies on everyday movement.
How do you incorporate movement into your everyday life?
If we don’t use it, we lose it. I find that if I don’t move my body and breathe, depression and anxiety can set in swiftly. Movement is a constant in my life from the moment I wake up. Working out, yoga, breath work, dancing – I get in at least one of these things everyday. A happy body makes for a happy life.
How did you first discover yoga and begin practicing regularly?
I started practicing yoga for the fitness aspect. I was working from a desk for 8 to 10 hours a day and found yoga to be the perfect place to stretch me out and strengthen me. Then, as I left the entertainment industry in search of what I’d do next, I turned to a daily yoga practice to ease the anxiety and stress of the unknown.
Where and when do you prefer to practice?
I practice all over the place! I love experiencing new teachers and styles. I think it’s important to try a variety of teachers. My favourites are Elena Brower, Aree Khodai, Jake Feree, all the teachers at Modo Yoga LA and Tej at Nine Treasures Yoga for Kundalini. I prefer to practice in the morning within an hour of waking up and do a heavier workout in the afternoon if I can get it in.
Which styles do you prefer and why?
Some people prefer specific styles of yoga. Personally, I prefer the blend of Vinyasa, Iyengar and Kundalini. They each have their own power points and benefit each other greatly. This differs for everyone, but for me, I like the challenge of not knowing what to expect with a new style.
What has your journey into teaching yoga been like?
I teach Kundalini Yoga and Meditation and I love it. I get to help open up your heart, find your “I can’t do this!” and then inspire you to access the grit to move through the pain. I’ve found that the only way to grow is to confront the places we think we can’t do something and prove that belief wrong.
Who or what inspires you everyday?
I am inspired by life itself. Almost every interaction bears a pearl of wisdom if I am open to see it. I send out a daily morning email every single day sharing those pearls so I am especially aware of how much inspiration and wisdom is constantly available to us. YouTube is an amazing resource for inspiration. Sometimes if I feel blue or a little depressed, I’ll search for a Marianne Williamson or Adyashanti video. Music is also a major go to – my favourite song for inspiration is the Christian Hymn “It is Well”.
How can we get inspire more men to get on the mat?
Getting men on the mat doesn’t seem to be so much of a problem anymore. In L.A., I go take a class and often there are more men than women. As time continues, I trust that even more men will find their way to yoga. Life is putting pressure on us all to find our strength and flexibility; physically, emotionally and mentally. The yoga mat is the perfect place to bring ourselves back to centre. After all “yoga” means “to yolk” or “bring back to centre”.
Yoga is a way of life. It’s a consciousness. We certainly practice it on our mats, but yoga is an approach to living our best lives.