Philipp Schälli, Yogi

23 October 2017

Some of my regular followers will know that this blog consists mostly of yoga and well-being professionals, but this post profiles an incredible yogi who decided not to make a career in yoga, even though he's practiced for 10 years and done teacher training! I met Philip on the yoga retreat that I attended back in the summer, his level of yoga was incredible so I decided to delve deeper into his past and journey into yoga. If you're anything like me, self practice I struggle with, but this was exactly how Philip became the expert that he is now...

How did you get into yoga and what effect has this had on your life?

I started Yoga more than 10 years ago when I bought an introductory Asthanga Yoga book from John Scott. I then self-taught myself Yoga with books and YouTube for 4 years. As a student I couldn’t afford fancy classes and all the free resources available were more than enough to keep me going. For me Yoga is a great way to disconnect and to focus my thoughts on movements, breath and balance. Having established a self-practice allows me to take that “break” whenever and wherever I need it.

What was the reason you did your teacher training and what type of yoga did you train in?

After university and before my first full-time job I had a few free months and I thought a Yoga teacher training would help me lift my self-practice to the next level. My teacher training was in Dharmasala, India and I trained in Hatha Yoga with Vinyasa influences. The experience was great it helped me to develop an understanding of Yoga anatomy, allowed me to lift my practice to the next level and got me comfortable with teaching and adjusting people. I also met friends who I am still in touch with today. I have not taken up teaching professionally since, but there are always opportunities to teach small groups of friends or colleagues which I really enjoy.

Favourite type of yoga nowadays?

Today I prefer challenging flow classes with opportunities to practice my inversions. I also enjoy longer workshops that focus in on specific parts of the practice.

Where do you sweat, stretch and eat in London?

My favourite ways to sweat these days are training with Clem, Velocity with Ben and Pace with Carl at Core Collective. I enjoy the diversity of workout options at Core and the great espresso afterwards. As far as Yoga is concerned I am a regular at the classes with Jamie and to keep progressing in my own practice I go to workshops at Indaba Yoga. I am a passionate cook so most of my eating is at home with loads of salad and protein. For the occasional cheat meal you can’t go wrong with pizza at Homeslice, a selection of starters to share at Social Eating House or a full French meal at Gastronhome prepared by some of the best passionate self-financed chefs in London.

What's been your favourite yoga retreat that you've been on?

Given I have been to two retreats so far so it is difficult to answer that question. A retreat can be a great opportunity to develop your practice and new skills. However it’s important that you know the teacher you are going with well, that you get a good feeling for the group and make sure the level fits with yours.

Five items you can't live without?
This is a difficult question, which is why I cut it down to three:

1) My Journals – I am keeping journals since 10 years and they are one of my most prized possession as they allow me to look back at my past goals and aspirations and always keep me honest.

2) Podcasts – Given the London commutes and the travelling involved in my work no better way to stay informed about what is happening in the world and to explore new topics.

3) Espresso – Dark, No Sugar.

Nicola Peters, The New Yoga Teacher On The Block

4 October 2017

I've known Nicola for many years when we used to work at the same fashion brand. In fact, this lovely lady was one of the very first featured on the blog back in 2011. This will be her third time featured, but this time for a very different reason. Since the days of stalking fashionistas on the street the blog has grown in a different direction and taken the road of  all things mindful. Similar to my blog, Nicola has taken the same road and has just qualified as a fully fledged professional yogi! I caught up with her to find out what it's actually like to be a new teacher and what the teacher training was like. If you're anything like me and have been thinking about taking the course you will find this interview with Nicola particularly interesting!

How did you get into yoga and do you remember your first class? 

Classic story - I was starting my own company and super stressed to the point I became ill, a friend introduced me to yoga and I was hooked immediately! At first some of the classes were too spiritual for me and the place I was in at the time, so Power Yoga was my go to, now I love all types - the more spiritual the better ;-) One of my first classes that I remember was a 75 min Power Yoga class, the pace was so strong I remember at the end I sat up said out loud "what the f*ck was that?!" haha

Why did you decide to do your teacher training and would you recommend it to anyone thinking about it? 

I believe that the universe leaves you little signs, coincidences and other types of signposts if you choose to follow them. There was a lot happening that made my path keep crossing with the Frame Academy course at the start of this year and I just felt it was something that I was being guided to do - turns out it was exactly where I needed to be. I can't recommend training to become a yoga teacher enough, whether you are interested in becoming a teacher or not the learnings and self growth along the way are experiences that money or jobs could never buy, cliche but it is life changing. 

How has it been since graduating as a teacher? What are you working on now? 

Awesome. Crazy. Scary. I have been fortunate enough to have great yogis, friends and teachers around me from the start so it's been nothing but fun and love so far! I joined Sunday School Yoga straight away and have benefitted from the outstanding community and support that Michael James Wong has created. Working on a couple of projects to bring my past experiences in the tech world to yoga and mindfulness at the moment.

Where do you sweat, breathe and eat in London? 

Sweat at Frame, Breath at Mudra Stoke Newington, Eat at Morito Hackney.

Five items you cant live without? 

Sad but true - my iphone, iphone battery case, meditation app Headspace, sunglasses, concealer.

Follow this lovely lady on her yogic journey here.

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