‘Swami’ Alan

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. At one point in history there was a confluence of both schools of thought, known as the Siddha movement. ‘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).

colour pic of alan dedman at Waterperry, near Oxford, doing Sirsasana
Sirsasana at Waterperry near Oxford

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. Yoga for Blokes is a way to do this around the ancient traditions of Ayurveda. Alan began teaching with Kent Language and Activities Courses (KLAC) in 1983 and has since worked with learners at all ages and stages, mainly in the post-compulsory education (PCE) sector.

Colour pic of alan dedman as Robert Duval at Bath Spa University
‘Swami’ Alan as Robert Duval at Bath Spa University

‘Swami’ Alan studied for and took a PGCE at Bath Spa University. He has taught extensively across curricula up to Post-grad level and within the prison service, where he taught small groups of life sentenced offenders.

In the early 90s he toured South East Asia visiting the stupa at Boudhanath in Kathmandu and various Wats (temples) in Bangkok. A stupa is a sacred temple where part(s) of the Buddha’s body are said to be kept.

colour pic of the stupa at boudanath kathmandu
The stupa at Boudhanath, 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 in London. He is privileged to have trained under South Korean Master Jong Hee Yoon, amongst others.

photo of swami alan meditating in his studio
In meditation

Image of the stupa at Boudhanath, Kathmandu courtesy of Lonely Planet.
Pics of ‘Swami’ Alan by Christopher