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Adam Husler: The reality of being a yoga teacher in London

Ditching the 9-to-5 and leaving the rat race behind sounds like everyone’s idea of a dream, yet so few of us make it a reality.

Today, Adam is one of London’s most sought-after yoga gurus. His secret? A non-dogmatic approach to his craft and never letting up when it comes to working on his fitness. We sat down with Adam to find out what makes him tick.

Where were you born? What do you love most about that place?

I was born in Birmingham, the second city, though it doesn’t really feel like that. Everyone is calm and friendly, while the people that are super driven and a little more towards the yang side, tend to head to London. My favorite thing about where I was brought up was the proximity of the stunning countryside, with an abundance of forests and walks; so much of my youth involved dirty hands!

There are so many styles of yoga being taught in cities like London. What kind of class can one expect from you if they were to drop in?

My teaching bias is towards a non-dogmatic practice with, physically, a focus on both flexibility and strength, while, mentally, a focus on a balanced mind rather than one chasing bliss or blisters! This manifests in a controlled, anatomical focused, vinyasa practice with very specifically designed sequencing for each class.

What are some of the pros and cons of teaching in a metropolitan city?

As a yoga teacher and practitioner, big cities can be a blast; its full of teachers, studios, students and inspiration. As there are so many wonderful teachers, you don't need to be all things to all students. You can craft your own niche, teach in a way that aligns with your bias and still have successful, busy classes. If my students occasionally want to move with more speed, if they want to chat, or if they want a more spiritual class etc, I have a range of teachers that I can recommend they practice with too.

When yoga teaching is your main source of income, London can be a challenge; it's an expensive city and there’s lots of competition. Every studio runs its own teacher training, which perhaps people are encouraged to do a little too soon in to their yoga journey. This all means that to survive financially, among other things, you need to be willing to work long hours and travel across the city multiple times a day.

I know you played loads of sports growing up - what aspects of those sports and activities do you think contribute the most to where you are today?

Rugby and martial arts featured in my school days, then came an era of boxing, weightlifting and running, with yoga always being around as a counter. I wasn't the best at any of these sports, but I learnt to work hard. For instance, I wasn't a professional boxer, but spent a few years training and sparring daily in a professional boxing gym. I knew I didn't have the experience or skill to be anywhere near the best boxer there, but I decided that there was nothing - but my own mind - that could stop me trying to become the fittest.

I never had the time to give to getting elite times in marathons, but again, I decided to challenge my will, completing 5 marathons and a 100km ultra marathon in the space of 3 months. So what have these sports instilled in me? Not a desire to be the best, but a desire to work hard and explore my limits.

What’s your go to ‘treat yourself’ kind of day to counter the daily life in London? For example, getting a massage or heading off to the beach, etc.

Work life is a little too busy for a regular treat day. Often, my one day off involves traveling to teach workshops in other counties.

On the rare occasion a free day appears, my fiancée and I love to get out of London and explore. However, through the week I try to give myself little treats e.g. taking a commuting detour through the park, having some post class sauna time, or grabbing a coffee and watching the world go by. I’m lucky that my fiancée and I are super proactive and we diarise pockets of times for adventures, culture and food!

What would you consider most important about any sort of practice?

Why? Consistently and seriously asking yourself why you are practicing, then how are you practicing.

What did the road to becoming a yoga teacher look like? (eg, what sports did you play? jobs? Lifestyle?)

I dabbled with yoga initially while studying Law at Durham Uni. In reality, I never had any true desire to be a lawyer and spent most of my free time at university running, boxing, drinking or participating in various charitable outreach projects; largely working with disadvantaged 14-18 year olds. After a year of running a university bar, post-graduation, I built a career in the non-profit sector, where boxing and yoga took up every second. I was very single, super healthy, but enjoyed drinking spirits… because I was watching my figure!

As the years passed, I eventually managed to find myself in a job with a fairly significant amount of managerial responsibility over 2 large sites, but also found myself teaching 6-10 yoga classes a week. Still very single and with no room for boxing anymore! After a few more years, yoga teaching ended up being my full-time; this was certainly never the plan.

Would you say it is difficult for you to open up? If so, why?

Culturally men have been told they are not allowed to be open, to be vulnerable, to express emotions. Though not explicitly, society tells them to ‘man up’ and that ‘boys don’t cry’, instead suggesting that the reliable way to express yourself is through anger. This is all changing though, but still suicide is the biggest killer of 20-40-year-old men.

Robert Webb wrote a wonderfully hilarious, but touching, book on this called ‘How not to be a boy’. Over the years, I've become better at opening up for various reasons. Yoga and meditation practice, a study of Hellenistic philosophy, the wonderful people around me and some fairly intense things that have happened in my life, would have all consumed me if I hadn't opened up and talked.

Do you remember who your role models were? If so, what made them so special?

I didn't go down the superhero or sports person role model route. It’s not that brave to stand in front of a bullet when you know it will bounce off your superhero skin! My dad was my hero, childhood role model and, though he has passed, he still is. Selfless, strong, funny, brave and he could fix anything!

Why OHMME?

The products are no-nonsense, no drama, high-quality gear that I can wear to bed, yoga, the gym, the beach and, thanks to the new stuff, on date night too! The team behind the brand have become friends and they really do care about the products, the environment, their customers and in particular, about the evolution of what it means to be a man in the 21st century.



Book a class

If you’re looking for a yoga teacher in London whose classes focus on flexibility and strength, you can book a lesson with Adam Husler by visiting Tri Yoga. You’ll find plenty of information on yoga anatomy, including yoga for boxing and yoga for running on Adam’s website, where you can also book a place on one of his classes.

Tagged with: Yoga

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