Angus Ford-Roberston. Founder, Battersea Yoga

8 August 2017

Close to the beautiful green expanse of Battersea Park is a little studio tucked away down a lane. With glowing lights shining from within, and at first impressions looks like a hut, is one of London's hidden treasures of a yoga studio. That studio was founded by the legendary Angus Ford-Robertson and my latest 'story' !

Angus founded the studio 18 years ago and has grown it from a small studio with a handful of clients per week to over 3000 per month. I caught up with Angus to find out more about his wonderful journey into yoga..

Most important question...How did you first get into yoga?!!

My journey into Yoga was rather dramatic! For much of my young adult life I was stressed, anxious and frequently depressed. I had a glamourous magazine career that was supposed to be a dream job - and for a while it was. But by the end of my twenties I was desperate to find a life that had more meaning for me. One day, I quit my career, ended my relationship and, on a heart impulse, decided to attend a Yoga Teacher Training course at a Sivananda ashram in Canada. It was insane, exciting and super challenging. I had the time of my life - and my world was changed forever.

I gather you were a student of the legendary Eckhart Tolle, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to bring mindfulness into their lives? 

Yes, I did attend retreats with Eckhart Tolle and he has had a huge impact on my teaching. But I spent much more time with one Eckhart’s teachers - a Buddhist monk called Ajahn Sumedho at Amaravati Monastery in the UK. Ajahn Sumedho is a living legend in the global mindfulness field and I would recommend his teachings to any serious spiritual seeker.

In my opinion making a living out of your hobby or love is very challenging, how did Battersea yoga come together and what has been the greatest and most challenging aspect about it? 

Life is challenging, whatever you do - so you might as well follow your heart and do what you love, right?

Battersea Yoga has been a labour of love from day one - the last 18 years of teaching have been hard work - but super rewarding. It has grown from a handful of students per week to just over 3000 student visits per month. I have taught all over the world, met incredible people and learnt so much about love, life, family and business. Running a busy Yoga studio is not for everyone, and I do grumble about the hours sometimes! But I wouldn’t want to do anything else.

Where do you sweat and eat in London? 

I mostly sweat at Battersea Yoga (obviously) - but I also love swimming, cycling and walking locally as much as possible. Battersea Park is my second home.

As for food - that’s a tricky one...

Favourite London restaurant is Andrew Edmunds in Soho. Favourite restaurant 'out of town' is the Sir Charles Napier in Chinnor, Oxfordshire (its incredible)

Mostly my four kids just take me to Byron Burger!

How has the yoga scene developed in London since you started? 

The Yoga scene in London has changed in two ways - there are far more studios and the ‘specialisation' is increasing (hot yoga, boxing yoga, dog yoga…!). 

While there is a lot of ‘gym yoga’ I still know that what yoga students ultimately seek is authentic quality yoga - that offers much more than just a physical workout. And Battersea Yoga was built on that premise; community, friendship and spiritual wellbeing.

Five items you can't live without?

Easy: iPhone 6, Ducati 1200 Multistrada, dark green juices from Wholefoods, my four beans (kids) and an endless supply of hugs.

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