Alan isn’t really a Swami, he uses the term in a light-hearted way. He first did yoga at primary school. His interest was sustained by his mother who ran yoga classes in village halls during the 1960s. ‘Swami’ Alan practiced martial arts in London and received instruction from some of the World’s highest ranking Eastern masters.Though Buddhist in tradition, this is closely linked to the Hindu activity of hatha yoga. ‘Swami’ Alan attended yoga classes in the capital where he found he was always the only male present (before the current explosion of interest in the subject).
He also attended men’s groups, which revealed the need for men in Western society to join together and culture themselves and their own masculinity. ‘Swami’ Alan took a PGCE from Bath Spa University College and has worked in Post-compulsory education since 1990. He toured South East Asia in the 90s and has visited the stupa at Boudhanath in Kathmandu.
He practices hatha yoga and meditates daily. He drinks beer and is not ashamed of the fact, believing yoga can be integrated into our lives without necessarily having to wear a loin cloth or practice shaha joli – but he does fast, intermittently. A practice he learned when competing as a martial arts exponent.
Image of the stupa at Boudhanath, Kathmandu courtesy of Lonely Planet