Who are you? James Rafael - I’ve always had a natural love of movement, but never formally trained in anything other than yoga, so I understand that you don't have to have any previous experience to develop your practice. Over the last decade I’ve had a voracious fascination with yoga and mindfulness. These practices have brought me immense freedom, strength, and healing over the years, moving from a place of anxiety, addiction and burn out, to one of balance, wellbeing, and self - certainty.
Where did you train? I did my teacher training through the 2 year Triyoga Teacher training Diploma. I’m also accredited through the highest standard body in the UK, the British Wheel of Yoga. My most influential yoga teachers have been Mimi Kuo – Deemer Aki Omori, and Eileen Gauthier. My most influential meditation teachers have been Mark Coleman, S. N Goenka and Joko Beck.
How do you teach? My focus is to help people explore, have fun and find a greater sense of balance and wellbeing through movement and meditation. My classes have loads of options so you can find challenge and nourishment whatever your experience level. I teach a yoga practice that focuses on breath and healthy alignment in the body, whilst maintaining a sense of lightness and humour.
How will I feel after your class? You’ll feel good! Grounded, energised and with a calm alertness leaving you ready to tackle the rest of your life with confidence.
What do you do to keep fit? I mix it up. My personal yoga practice is my baseline of daily, simple, fluid movement. Nothing extravagant. I balance that out with bodyweight/calisthenics strength work. I also continue to study with my teachers week in and week out exploring both the subtlety and depth of somatic, restorative work, alongside intensely physically challenging practices. The two are not mutually exclusive nd can inform one another quite elegantly.
What rule do you live by? Less is more.
Give us your 1 top tip to stay fit and healthy. Meditate daily, even if just for 5 minutes. Meditation gives you more head space, which creates a deeper connection to your self and what really matters to you. From this, you can make better, healthier choices in life, moving you towards a deeper, lasting happiness that reflects your true value: a value that is inherent and vast, not based on external things, or other people’s opinions of you. Meditation frees us from all of that baggage – what could possibly be healthier than that?