As you may know, this Clubbell Yoga thing has gone international pretty quick. I wanted to interview Coach Iain Wisdom, owner of Flight Skool in Australia, whom I had the honor of meeting in person last March at FlowFit in Vegas. He will be hosting the upcoming Clubbell Yoga seminar in Brisbane this October 18/19. VIP registration has been extended until August 1st, so get registered asap!
Summer: Tell us about how you found CST and brought it all the way to Australia?
Iain Wisdom: I guess like most people, I 'discovered' Scott and his work on YouTube; and I fell in love! So there was no question that I needed to become a certified trainer in CST & TACFIT. This took me to the US, where I met Scott and the RMAX Team. We discussed getting Scott back to Australia (it had been a long break since his previous visits)...The rest, as they say, is history.
Summer: So you own a Flight Skool, with Antigravity Yoga... What is it like pioneering that style alongside TACFIT?
Iain Wisdom: The name 'Flight Skool' is my own; although I do have to credit my friend Ragahunath's infamous 'Flight School' classes in NYC. But Flight Skool was always about my journey back from injury. Having experienced a total mental, emotional and physical meltdown, AntiGravity (and CHEK) gave me physical space and movement capacity that I hadn't had for many years (I have prolapsed lower lumbar discs and degeneration of the facet joints; AntiGravity prepared me to 'close the chain' and get involved with TACFIT (for which i am eternally grateful). Particularly helpful was the alignment and structural integration required when working with the Clubbell, as well as the fluid 6D of movement in the Prasara sequences (although it has to be said i still struggle with those - I actually think Prasara Yoga is Scott's best work).
Summer: What interests you about Clubbell Yoga, or why is it a good fit for you studio?
Iain Wisdom: Personally, I have always struggled with floor-based yoga; not least because of my back injury, but more so because i am further down the 'flexibility' spectrum than most. But what I find most intriguing about this fusion is the way the Clubbell is used to 'steer' the body into correct alignment. Being straight and true and unambiguous, the Clubbell somehow guides the body to easeful structure through extension, lifting and grounding, simultaneously. Also being able to 'cantilever' poses like skandasana, gives me opening in the hips, where perhaps I might have compromised the low back. I can see lots of potential for healing and rehabilitation within this modally. Excited to learn more when you're here :)
(note; I studied under Alison West and Deberoh Wolk at Yoga Union in NYC; they specialise in yoga for back care and scoliosis...I would love to know how Alsion would take to the Clubbell's use....they are heavy prop users because they deal with some quite restricted people - they have a Harrington rods class, as an example...their method is Iyengar-esque, but quiet open to alternative styles).
Summer: What's the yoga scene like in OZ (note: don't hold back, we want the truth!)
Iain Wisdom: Saturated. Within a 2km radius of Flight Skool (here in West End , Brisbane), there are 16 yoga schools, 12 pilates studios, 6 dojo's and at least four 24 hour gyms....you either look at that defensively or you take the 'centre of excellence' perspective.. Sydney is really the epicentre for yoga in Australia and i think there is a lot of variety in what is offered - although I don't see the same level of quality of teaching as i have experienced in say, NYC. Australians don't really go in for 'show-boating' and thus we don't have the culture of super-star yogis that you do in the US, but we recently saw the arrival here of the Wanderlust brand, so maybe that will all change
Summer: Thank you Iain Wisdom for doing this interview and for rallying the troops in Brisbane for Clubbell Yoga this fall. You are a pioneer in many ways and I look forward to working with you again.
These past 3 months have been a whirlwind of inspiration, movement, challenge and most importantly... growth. I figured it would be fun to give some insight about the journey and what has 'come up' for me during these experiences. After all, yoga is not about the destination... it is truly about the journey.
1st FlowFit Seminar in Las Vegas, March 29/30
Plane ticket, check. Hotel reservations, check. RMAX Ugg boots, check. Last March 28th, I hopped on a plane from Bellingham to Vegas, the first time I had ever left my little one Cedric for more than half a day in his short little life.
Those butterflies wore off once I arrived at the seminar to realize that I was going to spend the next three days surrounded by the some of the most inspirational people in the fitness industry. Scott Sonnon led a stellar seminar on FlowFit, teaching us his 6D Flows to unbind even the most stubborn bodies. I met two of his International Coaches, Iain Wisdom who is hosting Clubbell Yoga seminar in Brisbane Australia this October and Rodrigo Soto Feoli from Costa Rica, who is also doing great work bringing CST programs to Central & South America. The more time I spend working for RMAX, the more I realize that these people are like seeing long lost relatives, but the kind that you actually like.
I reconnected with Lisa Wheeler, Creative Director at Equinox, who had flown in from New York to take a peek at this new material. Also got to see my favorite Coaches from Los Angeles: Mr. Cody Storey of Storey Fitness & Mark Wildman of Wildman Athletica. They are doing amazing work pioneering CST & TACFIT in So. Cal. As if it couldn't get any better, I was blessed to share a room with Emily Fisher, who is heading up Clubbell Athletics on the east and west coast. I enjoyed getting to spend some time with her, as she is a brilliant woman and very inspiring. Overall, the trip was perfect. I had time for learning, networking, playing and getting some work done on my manual for an upcoming Clubbell Yoga project I have been working on for months now. Quality takes time... lots of time.
The take home message here... when in doubt about doing something to help you grow as a professional... take the plunge. Do it! Sign up for that workshop. Mix work and play, surround yourself by people at the top of their game and you will walk away filled with vibrant energy to serve the people work with on a daily basis.
Next up... London, Clubbell Yoga Seminar 4/12/2014
Arriving in London for the first time, I was picked up from the airport by my charismatic and beautiful host, Danielle Kleber. She took me directly to her and her husband, Diego Core's training centre, The Field.
As someone who has spent a good ten years explaining what a Clubbell is...I can't quite describe the feeling to walk into a perfectly manicured spa meets fitness meets pilates centre and see a window sill full of Clubbells. It was magnificent. There were dozens. I was home.
The seminar was very well received, and the students who attended came from all different disciplines. We had a gentlemen with over 30 years of yoga experience, we had a CST Coach from South Africa, we had a male Pilates instructor from Poland, we had a TACFIT instructor from England, we had several experienced yoga teachers, and everyone in between. It became clear to me that this system, CST & Clubbell Yoga, was bigger than me. My mission statement to "Bridge the Gap between Strength Training and Yoga" that I have been stating since day one, is absolutely being manifested with this work.
London was a complete success. I look forward to bringing another Clubbell Yoga Seminar to The Field next May with my host Danielle Kleber, who is expecting a baby soon! Congrats to her and Diego's new family!
New York City, June 7, 2014
I knew this trip would be special for two reasons:
1: I would be teaching a Clubbell Yoga seminar on my birthday (no I won't tell you how old I am, but you can guess in the comments section ;) )
2: I was returning to my old stomping grounds, where I had lived for 2 years and launched the first Clubbell Yoga youtube videos.
There were plenty of other things that made this trip phenomenal... ahem... the food in New York. It tends to ruin people. Or practicing with one of my favorite teachers, Sri Dharma Mittra age 75, who was one of the first independent yoga teachers on the east coast. This spiritual man has a brilliance about him that is hard to put in words, so I always go to practice his masterclass whenever I can. Or learning more about Hip Hop from one on my instructors and close friends, Brie Helmuth. All of these things put me in a very grateful state to teach a Clubbell Yoga seminar at the OM Factory yoga studio that weekend.
Saturday, day one of the seminar, we did a 90 minute Clubbell Yoga practice.
It was thorough.
It was sweaty.
It was deliberate.
I wanted my students to truly feel what this system could offer when the principles: Awaken, Condition & Practice are integrated with intention. Out of the 13 or so people in attendance, only one came as a 200 hour yoga teacher. By the end of the two day intensive (and I mean INTENSE-ive in every sense of the word)... Everyone left with their own unique yoga teaching voice. That is what this work is about, it is empowering the brave to find flow. Giving movement specialists who are willing to learn more, the opportunity to learn as much as possible about CST and Yoga in a 2 day period. To give them a framework for how to teach people to use yoga as a training tool, breath as a training tool and mindfulness as a training tool.
Everyone usually comments that there is so much to learn at this seminar, and I agree. It is a challenge. That is why you prepare (12 week prep chart comes to mind). My response is that I would rather overwhelm you than underwhelm you.
Home in Bellingham
So as I prepare for the next three seminars, I am left to contemplate what you all have taught me. I am challenged to bring you the material in a way that is meaningful for you. I can't explain to you why this system is something that will change your life. That is something that you have to be open to discovering on your own. It is something that if you do the work, you focus, you breath and you release your former idea about what 'yoga' is... then you will start to understand. It is a process. We are all still learning and steeping in it.
www.clubbellyoga.tv for Scheduled Events
Whistler, July 31-Aug 4th
Orcas Island, August 22-24
Los Angeles, Sept 27-28
Brisbane, AUS Oct 18-19
Entrepreneur, yogi, creator who seeks to inspire people everyday through movement.