Buckle in, buckle in - meet the ever-so-cool, Kanwal!
How did you first get into yoga?
My friend's partner, Rafael Jorge, started teaching a yoga class near where I was working at the time, so I went along to see what it was like. I was hooked pretty much straight away.
However, my job meant that I struggled to keep up with regular classes. It was only when I was living in Ghana, and there weren't classes available to attend, that I started a home practice.
What changes did you notice after you began yoga?
Straight away, I felt a sense of calm after yoga classes. The physical benefits were also really noticeable - heat of a hot class helped to heal a hip injury following running a half marathon as well as a reduction in pain I was getting my arm due to RSI.
Following regular yoga classes, I noticed how much I was able to switch off from the pressures of work and how meditative classes were, particularly during more challenging postures. Apart from the physical benefits - I felt fitter and healthier - I slept better and was calmer.
What has been your funniest yoga experience?
Er. that's a hard one. I think some of the best laughs I had in yoga was with a teacher, Joyoga, who taught a community class with a bunch of regulars. We all went every week and were able to have a laugh about what we could and couldn't do, despite her best intentions!
What is your yoga philosophy?
To not take it too seriously! To not be attached to "achieving the perfect pose" or looking a certain way whilst practicing yoga. I'm a firm believe that, at the end of the day, yoga is a "means to an end" - one which helps us to be able to meditate better; think more widely about our place on this planet and how to live here.
Who has been your greatest influence throughout your journey?
My first yoga teacher, Rafael Jorge, as well as Steward Gilchrist. The way that both of them taught yoga hugely resonated with me and helped me to understand how yoga lives just as much off the mat as on the mat!
What would you say to someone to encourage them to start their yoga journey?
Go for it! The benefits are immense - a sense of calm, relaxation, wellbeing, space to get away from the hustle and bustle which can help to keep things in perspective, not to mention all of the physical benefits.
Kanwal teaches Hatha Deep Release on Thursday evenings. Don't be a stranger!