We all know the modern yogi stereotype, but yoga teacher Andrew Hampson, aka the ‘Bad Yogi’ is here to say you can have your wine and drink it, too. Just don’t share it on Instagram.
When you think of your stereotypical modern yoga enthusiast, aka a ‘yogi’, harem pants, veganism, wheatgrass shots, and daily spiritual mantras probably come to mind.
But for Andrew Hampson, yoga instructor (with a celebrity client list that includes Charlize Theron, Megan Gale, and Lara Worthington) and a self-described ‘bad yogi’, that goal simply didn’t suit his lifestyle. For those of us who don’t want to majorly overhaul your lifestyle, you’ll be pleased to know you can still be a yogi without diet restrictions.
“A ‘bad yogi’ is all about balance,” he says.
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“I drink red wine, I eat red meat, I enjoy what life has to offer but I also am deeply connected to the practice of yoga and how it makes me feel, physically, mentally and emotionally.”
He adds: “It’s yin and yang personified… Life is too short to be good all the time.”
Disconnecting with the world around us and connecting with ourselves internally is still at the heart of the ‘bad yogi’ practice; a mission that has become a whole lot more challenging with the invention of social media and our increasingly busy lifestyles.
“We lose ourselves without even realising it,” he concedes.
“Life is far too busy and filled with all the things we should do, didn’t do, need to do, making it near impossible to stay present and connect to self.”
So how do we switch off in a world that constantly demands we be ‘on’ all the time? At its core, that’s the goal of yoga. The rest of it is all up to personal preference.
“To reconnect to the self and find balance, finding your centre is so important because without that mental and emotional clarity we cannot truly be all we aspire and dream to be,” he says.
“Knowing and honouring one’s self is one of the most powerful things you can do and yoga creates a moment to do just that.”
It can also be as simple as going back to the good old days before mobile phones:
Call instead of text. Connect with others on your terms rather than be available 24/7.
“I’m not always contactable,” says Andrew, “I ‘connect’ when the moment and my energy is right.”
Be present. Forget Instagram exists and really savour that glass (or bottle) of wine. Give your loved ones your undivided attention when they’re talking with you.
Lose yourself in the music. Listen to your favourite album all the way through, don’t just skip over the songs you don’t like or know the words to.
Definitely something we can get on board with.
Andrew Hampson is a yoga teacher and ‘bad yogi’. He’s recently collaborated with Unyoked, sustainable, off-the-grid experiences in the Australian wilderness where you can leave technology behind.