Michael James Wong is at the forefront of the wellness world leading the way with his voice, words and actions. All of which draw inspiration from his yoga practice and the positive effect it has had on his life, both on and off the mat.
Not only is Michael a speaker, author and yogi, he is also the creative mind behind BOYS OF YOGA, a project aimed at deconstructing the stereotypical image of guys who do yoga. It was this admiral vision which lead me to discover Michael’s work via Instagram. With his unique approach to photography and post-production, Michael’s work is a breath of fresh air from the gravity defying contortionists you see time and time again.
When asked: As a teacher, what’s the best advice you can give guys who are thinking of getting into yoga? Michael’s reply is “For guys the hardest thing is stepping into the room. The rest is easy. Usually the biggest issue that guys have with yoga isn’t the practice, it is the word.”
And what a loaded word Yoga has become. Despite the fact that the history of yoga, in it’s various forms, was dominated by men – it is interesting how the role has been reversed and women have become the main focus, of what is now a massive industry. An industry, with the help of social media, which would have you think (especially guys) that yoga is all about wearing designer lycra, in a stylish studio whilst sat with your legs wrapped around your body chanting “Om”.
But yoga is so much more than this misguided preconception. Yoga will not only challenge and strengthen your body but your mind too. And this is where the biggest changes often take place – within you, therefore yoga is not only a physical practice but a lifestyle. With the added benefits of flexibility, correct breathing – from your stomach rather than your chest, the ability to navigate daily life with more clarity, focus and calmness. Plus a sense of community, which is ironically needed now more than ever in this “social” driven world.
“Some guys think yoga makes you less of a man, the truth is it makes you a better one” – BOYS OF YOGA
All images were taken at the Barbican in central London. To book your own Yoga Photoshoot please contact me here.