Climbing Trees With Mandukya Yoga
A cold windy day in March and I’m off to photograph a local yoga teacher. In my mind I’m expecting a nice cosy yoga studio and some picture perfect upside down poses. No chance. Wibbs may be a yoga teacher, but he doesn’t fit into any category I’ve yet found. Our meetup today is in a tree and, if you want to talk to him, you’ll have to convince him to stop climbing and sit still first. He’s a former nurse turned yoga instructor, specialising in the reintroduction of natural movement back into our daily lives. He simply loves to move.
I’ve known Wibbs for a while now and he never fails to surprise and impress me. His yoga classes, much like him, combine serene calm alongside infectious laughter as he encourages his students to jump like frogs and roll like babies, interspersed with the odd sun salutation for good measure.
Wibbs discovered yoga whilst working as a ski instructor in Canada, and from then on it’s been an ever-increasing part of his life. “I just fell in love with movement” he says, when I ask him how a nurse, with years of training decides to ditch a clinical profession in favour of a spiritual one. He couldn’t escape the feeling that he was only helping people once the damage was already done, and thought he could do more by helping them to stay healthy in the first place. From there it was a smooth progression to natural movement quite simply because he loves walking his dogs and climbing trees. His obsession is healing, and he’s turned that to his advantage, specialising in therapeutic 1-1 sessions that teach people how to heal themselves through movement.
He has a certain way of saying things that make them both instantly understandable and highly entertaining, if a little surprising for a yoga instructor. He seeks those who want to understand and learn about their bodies, while having a laugh with it. There’s no sternness or preaching from him, and yet, in all honesty his approach feels revolutionary - destined to upturn the table on the monastic yoga tradition that has become the norm in western classes.
It seems such a simple thing: move more and be more healthy. But what happened that made us forget? When did sitting in a chair all day become normal? And when will we start to realise that climbing a tree is where we all should be - good for the body and even better for the soul.
If you want to get in touch with Wibbs, head over to his website for more info and contact details.
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