-Breaking News – well, not quite breaking, but still pretty hot off the press. For the first time in the great history of England, a member of the royal family has become a qualified yoga teacher! Hoorah!
The member in question is Sam Chatto, the 22-year-old grandson of Princess Margaret (the Queen’s sister), and 24th in line to the throne. In a recent Instagram post, the eldest son of Lady Sarah Chatto revealed that he had spent six weeks in India. Part of his time there was spent in Rishikesh, where he undertook an intense 200-hour, four-week teacher training programme, alongside his girlfriend Sophie Pipe.
Why is this important to anyone else? Well, because, the royal family is a hugely influential family. Sam Chatto is a handsome young man, and if he’s committed enough to become a yoga teacher, then hopefully, that will inspire other young men to follow his example and take up yoga.
Why young men need yoga
At the risk of sounding like an old lady, the young of today are growing up under more intense social pressure than ever before. The adverse effects of social media on young women has been well documented in the press recently, but there are risks for young men too. With more pressure than ever before to look good and appear popular, it’s easier for young men to fall prey to depression and anxiety.
Social media is all about connecting to friends and family, but the irony is that when we spend our waking lives staring at a screen, it is those real-life connections that we lose. Our royal yoga teacher, Sam, acknowledged this, signing off his post by saying, “So grateful and so excited for a new year full of deeper connections with myself and those around me.”
Yoga deepens your connections
What Sam discovered from his intense teacher training course is something that every yoga teacher trainee will relate to. Although he only spent a month on his teacher training course in India, by the end he felt as if he had made life-long friends, Sam again:
“I had the pleasure of connecting with so many beautiful, supportive, and honest/open/loving people”. That’s what doing yoga with others does to you. Instead of spending time worrying about your social standing, through the process of learning about yoga, you open yourself up to those around you, immediately forging strong and deep connections.
As Sam noted, yoga also opens you up to yourself. Instead of looking outside yourself for validation and approval, you start to look inside to discover your true depths.
Why it’s all about the journey and not the destination
Another interesting point about Sam’s post is that he states, “I have no plans of teaching anytime soon”. He’s very open about the fact that he probably won’t actually teach yoga, despite having qualified as a yoga teacher. But this admission is also very valuable for others. Doing a yoga teacher training course is VERY DIFFERENT (again any yoga teacher/trainee will tell you) to doing a yoga workshop, or going on a yoga retreat. Doing the teacher training course opens you up in a way that no other yoga course is able to do, and takes you directly to the source of any emotional baggage you may be carrying around with you.
It also takes your yoga practice to a whole new level. Sam admits that he ‘discovered so much about my body and mind, and have come away with an invaluable practice’. Getting a solid home practice in place is not easy, but by doing an intensive yoga teacher training course, he has learnt the skills to practice safely and knowledgeably on his own.
Sometimes those that take a yoga teaching course may or may not be sure if they want to teach afterwards, or those that take the course might subsequently change their minds, but that really doesn’t matter. The value of doing the course is real whatever the outcome of becoming qualified.
So, thank you for sharing Sam Chatto, and good luck with your yoga journey, wherever it takes you.
Read more about Sam Chatto’s yoga experience here.