Drop the Ego (Real yoga for Real people)

“I’ve got a better body than her”

This totally misinformed and inappropriate comment was made by a former student of my studio, a fairly long-term practitioner. As indicated by these words this person actually has no idea of what yoga is or the principles of inclusion that I promote in my classes.

The mind-set of this person is beyond my comprehension, let’s face it only a rather fragile ego would compare their physical shape as a trophy of superiority to another person.

The most frustrating part of this narcissistic comment is that the message I push constantly in my classes, “Everybody is different and regardless of your body type or shape there is an appropriate practice for you” isn’t being heard.

I remove all sense of competition in my classes, no one passes, no one fails” I constantly promote that there is no prototype body for yoga movement. Everyone benefits regardless of how you look, what you wear or how advanced your practice may be.

I’ll continue to offer real yoga for real people.


#droptheego #mouthbreather #authentic #inclusion #everyonewelcome

Kundalini Yoga Classes

Kundalini yoga involves movement, breath work, relaxation, chanting and meditation. It is a healing practice and it creates a shift in your energy, you definitely feel different after practicing. Kundalini yoga is for everyone, it can be a very strong or a gentle practice, and everything in between- depending on what you need and enjoy. Kundalini yoga is an ancient practice that comes from India and was brought to the west in the 1960s by the master of kundalini yoga “Yogi Bhajan”. I pray to Yogi Bhajan and his presence guides me through the class.

In kundalini yoga we do “kriyas”. A kriya is a set of exercises done for a specific purpose, and there are thousands of kriyas. So there are kriyas for each chakra, there are kriyas for the immune system, for mental health, for digestion, for releasing addictions, and for general health and balance and there are kriyas for many other areas. The classes I teach are suitable for beginners through to advanced, I guide you to work at your level. I love kundalini yoga and I have been practicing it most days for the last 14 years. This has been a very healing and empowering experience for me and it brings me joy to share this beautiful yoga with others.

Kundalini classes are offered on Mondays between 3.30pm to 5pm – Wednesdays from 7am to 8.30am and 3.30pm to 5pm.

Yoga in Winter

The seasons are changing – Winter is about to arrive!!!

The Kapha dosha (energy that defines a persons makeup) dominates and with its characteristics of coolness, dampness, heaviness and sluggishness it’s no wonder you want lock yourself away. In the colder months the natural instinct is to rug up in front of a fire-place with a warm cup of tea and hide away from the winter weather, the desire to hibernate has arrived! A nice but unrealistic notion! It’s very important to remember that winter is not a time to stop your Yoga practise, it’s time to change your practise in accordance with the season.

You can’t escape what the universe is offering, your part of it, you still have to function and go about your daily life regardless of the weather. You can partially withdraw from life over winter but to do so you have to live an artificial life, fake heating, fake lighting, eating unseasonal foods, the list goes on. You may be able to exist like this but its false, this is not living, it’s out of step with the universe and it will have diminishing effects on your wellness.

A winter practise helps you keep warm. Muscles produce heat in the body when they contract, the process of converting chemical energy to mechanical energy produces heat, this increases the flow of blood through your body, which keeps you warm. Intelligent movement will help prevent muscular-joint pain and stiffness, your immune system remains strong and in conjunction with a healthy diet will help prevent the usual winter illnesses.

The human body is meant to move, its that simple. As soon as mobility is lost, wellness declines.

Have you noticed how people walk around in contracted bodies during winter, shoulders hunched, upper backs rounded and arms wrapped across the their chests all in an effort to maintain body heat. This “closed” gesture in movement will biomechanically destroy posture and at a deeper level prevent the flow of subtle energy throughout the body causing a decline in function and wellness.

Dull, gloomy and cold weather may make you feel low and lethargic but there’s nothing more uplifting and mood changing than your regular Yoga practise.
There is a science behind the sequencing of your Yoga class, hopefully your noticing that your practise has been altered to cater for the change in season. An intelligent and well structured Yoga sequence is easy to maintain in winter or any other time of the year if you maintain your motivation. You can stay strong and healthy if you keep moving and dont allow the cold weather to hinder your practise.

Stay warm, keep moving and be gentle with yourselves.


Kundalini Classes


Kundalini Yoga is now being offered at Peninsula Yoga

Kundalini classes offer an uplifting blend of spiritual and physical practices, Kundalini Yoga incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras, such as Sat Nam, meaning “truth is my identity.” The goal is to build physical vitality and increase consciousness.

Monday and Wednesday at 3.30pm.

Satya (Truth)

SATYA – (Truthfulness) is the second of “yamas” (restraints) documented by Patanjali in his classic treatise the Yoga Sutra. The yamas are things that you shouldn’t do and along with the Niyamas constitute yoga’s ethical guidelines for living.

The concept of Satya or truth is wide-reaching and very detailed, being truthful to yourself, to others in both actions and words. Apparently we start to understand the concept of untruthfulness around the age of 3, like any behaviour if its practiced enough, the better you develop your lying skills and the more deceitful you become.

Certain personality types will feel their superior to others and their particular style of untruthfulness is somehow a noble course and justified through their deflective and hypocritical behaviours.

Remember the person who berates and accuses the most often and the loudest is usually doing the exact thing there accusing someone else of doing.

Be truthful to yourself, believe in yourself, be gentle with yourself.

Yoga an Individual journey

Do you notice when you walk into your yoga space to practice that not every person looks exactly the same as you? Some people may be taller, shorter, thinner, heavier, younger, older!! Some physical attributes may be an advantage in some poses and a detriment in others. It’s quite reasonable to conclude that if you look different physically that you’re not going to look exactly the same in asana. Don’t try to emulate anyone else in the class, be content and celebrate your own uniqueness. Remember the famous line from The Life of Brian “Your all individuals”. Even if you can mirror someone else in class I can guarantee you will be having a completely different experience.

Santosa (contentment) defined in the 8 limbs of yoga of Patanjali. This niyama seems to have a great deal of significance of late. Let’s face it yoga is all about getting over yourself. Be realistic there are certain poses you may never master, there are certain higher states of mind you will never achieve. Physical, mental and emotional restraints can and will hold you back. Don’t give up but be realistic, remember it’s about the journey not the destination. The selfie era has placed a hole lot of pressure on yogis to “perform” don’t get caught up the “kardashianisation” of yoga. It’s a philosophy of non ego and non competition. I teach yoga to people who can perform asana to perfection but they tell me they would do anything to have quiet mind. I teach classes to people with limited mobility but have great focus, all they want to do is to move with freedom. Please challenge yourself, strive to improve but be content.

No gimmicks @ peninsula Yoga just authentic hatha yoga without the wank factor.

What is Yoga?

I teach Yoga, I practice Yoga, I study Yoga but it seems the meaning of the word “yoga” has many connotations. Yoga is one of the six systems of Indian Philosophy known as darsana. Yoga has its origins in the Vedas, it was systemised in the Yoga Sutra by Patanjali around 400 BCE. The word translates from Sanskrit to mean “to join, or union”. The purpose of Yoga is defined in sutra 1.2 as “citta vritti nirodah” which translates as “Yoga is the ability to direct the mind exclusively toward an object and sustain that direction without any distractions”. This translation of the sutra by Desikachar lets us know one thing that yoga is NOT and that’s a form of exercise.

The purpose of Yoga is to control the fluctuating state of the mind, a definition which is very direct but at the same time very broad and open to a wide range of interpretations. In the materialistic modern world we live in the word “Yoga” has been dissolved and watered down to such a degree that in some cases bears little resemblance to the original ancient teachings. All you have to do is mention “yoga” in a general conversation and listen to the wide range of responses, people might ask about contortion of the body, levitation, vegetarianism, hippies and orange robes anything but clearing the mind.  There’s a lot confusion between the monastic class and the householder yogi.

I’m a realist. I understand that in modern life householder yogis can’t simply renounce the world and dedicate their entire being to a spiritual path, not everyone wants to become a monk or a nun, it’s a calling and I’m very respectful of those who choose a monastic life. The householder yogi is a person just like you and I, someone who works, pursues an education, raises children, accumulates and lives in the real world but is dedicated to a yogic lifestyle.  

Yoga is becoming another commercial commodity in the west, another money making opportunity which is being exploited by some intelligent marketing minds. I do acknowledge that Yoga Studio’s need to be profitable and Yoga Teacher’s need to make a living, those points are absolutely essential. What I disagree with is the movement away from the source, a movement away from the purity of a 5000 thousand year old philosophy. I can’t understand the need for yoga to change other than for market share and the all mighty dollar. Yoga has well and truly stood the test of time.

The role of the Yoga Teacher is to support the student. The ability to create a hatha (moving) sequence with the appropriate modifications to cater for the individual separates good teachers from the not so good.  There’s a huge difference between “teaching yoga” and instructing or demonstrating postures. The essential premise of yoga asana are the principles of sthira & sukha (steadiness and comfort) without ego or self violence. That’s what good teachers do, they facilitate a safe environment, offer appropriate modifications and contain the ego of the student. 

Due to poor training or lack of knowledge I see classes where the leader stands out front and demonstrates a routine and encourages the participants to keep up as best they can, the sequence is set is stone and is never modified. No consideration for individual attributes or limitations, the students are encouraged to go beyond their physical and mental limits. The result is physical injuries and boosted egos. It’s not meant to be an exercise class or physical workout, far from it.

What has Yoga become? The possibilities seem endless.

Yoga in a sauna! Very popular in the west. There’s lots of research done concerning the benefits and contraindications, you can do your homework if you so desire. Something for you to contemplate though, would this method aid you in controlling the fluctuating state of your mind? Do you think you would find steadiness and comfort practicing postures for 90 minutes in a sauna? Consider the principle of ahimsa (non-violence) toward yourself. Is it yoga or self-punishing exercise?

Nude Yoga! I see no benefit at all. Practitioners say it frees them from negative feelings about their body and creates self-confidence! It may just do that, each to their own. Mind control? Would you be able to hold a pose with steadiness and comfort? Think about Happy Baby Pose! Ego, would it be either boosted or shattered!

Tantrum Yoga! This method may be a legitimate way to de-stress, it may work for some. I see people challenged when asked to chant AUM! Having students have a melt down on que is probably a bit beyond my skill set.



Laughter Yoga! The benefits of laughter are well known. Apply the test for yourself, Steadiness, comfort and lack of ego? Laughter therapy has incredible wellness benefits but why is there a need to attach the word yoga to it. Judging from the response I get from my very funny jokes I think I’d fail miserably as a laughter teacher!

Paddle Board Yoga! I have seen this method and it is a truly amazing display of precision movement, strength, mobility and balance. As a student of human movement I’m in awe of what is achieved on an unstable surface. Is it Yoga or is it simply exercise on a paddle board?

Horseback Yoga or Dog Yoga (Doga)! I suppose the real test of steadiness and comfort would be if your dog was a German Shephard or a Fox Terrier. If you have an affinity with animals maybe this is for you. Is it yoga or is it horse riding or dog training?

The list goes on, an endless array of activities that have attached the word “yoga” to them. Are they legitimate forms of yoga or marketing gimmicks? “Yoga” is not copyrighted or licenced so the word legally can be attached to anything without fear of corporate law breaches.

I’ve come up with a few possibilities for the future, Cage fighting Yoga! Kick boxing yoga, Football (all codes) yoga and Paint Ball Yoga, all done with awareness of course. I could go on and on. The definitions can be interpreted without challenge so basically you attached the word “yoga’ to anything. Why not just call everything you do yoga! Researching and discovering a method or practice that works for you is the secret.

I’ll continue the way I’ve been going. It may not be trendy, or fashionable or cool but it’s authentic and I present it being very respectful of the ancient lineage of yoga. All the various fads and marketing ploys will slowly disappear and be directed toward other money making ideas. I’ll stick with hatha yoga, it’s lasted over a thousand years and will continue to flourish in the future.




Peninsula Yoga with John Wilson

Exercise your body and Innercise your mind.

We offer Yoga classes and professional instruction in all aspects of Yoga. Programmes are offered from beginners, intermediate to advanced level. In addition to our general classes we cater for special needs, rehabilitation and we provide a mobile service (we come to your home). We offer specialist classes for seniors, schools and private tuition, one to one Yoga coaching and corporate packages are available. If you simply want to relax and de-stress our Restorative class is for you.