Meet the Creatives: Samuel Nwokeka and Will Mitchell - Yoga Soul Hosts
When we heard that Samuel Nwokeka and Will Mitchell wanted to bring world class yoga to Manchester we just knew that we would get along. Will Mitchell first found yoga five years ago, with a love for all things health and fitness he was initially drawn to the physical benefits of practice. In time he realised how yoga could positively affect all aspects of his life, completing his teacher training with Jamie Clarke and Dulcie Aguilar of The Yoga People. Teaching Ashtanga and Rocket Yoga, Will encourages powerful, fun and accessible forms of yoga with his students, spreading the yoga love wherever he goes!
His partner in crime, Samuel Nwokeka aka NaijiBoyBending, came to yoga after a skiing accident forced him to hang up his football boots and his career in the sport. Like Will, he soon learnt that there is a lot more to yoga than the endorphin pump; finding the clarity and calmness truly invaluable. With a fun and upbeat teaching style, his brand of yoga teaching is right up our street. Focusing on linking breath with movement, he likes to challenge and encourage his students to get the most out of their practice. We’re over the moon to have the dynamic duo joining us at Float to host Yoga Soul, and what better way to get warmed up for the big day then have a chat with Sam about his experience with yoga, why he loves to teach, and why they want to bring top notch yoga up north.
What is your company, what do you do and what makes in special?
We are a collective between two friends and yoga teachers. After meeting in India, and teaching around London it is clear that London has a lot of options when it comes to yoga and mindfulness. Everyone comes to London for their courses, or special workshops.
We want to bring world class yoga to Manchester and the north. Creating events, workshops and a community which will bring national and international yogis to Manchester.
Can you sum yourself up in one sentence?
Grounded, with lots of ambition, and a need to always eat :)
What about yoga makes you feel well?
Initially its the physical fix, the sweat, the handstands, the mastery of a pose. After practising for a while you soon realise this is just a by-product, the real benefit is the changes in your life. Your less stressed, you can think freely, you feel like there is more hours in the day. You allow yourself to create space in body and mind which translates to a happier life overall.
What would you like attendees to get from your workshop/session?
I would like anyone who is new to yoga to see that yoga is a lot more than a few stretches, it can be challenging at times. I would like those who have been practising yoga for longer to understand there is more to yoga than the postures, to tame the ego centre if not already and take the practice inward. Above all, I would like everyone to have fun and see that yoga is about community and sharing space.
What has being a yoga instructor taught you about yourself?
Yoga brings up all of your patterns to the surface, in the yoga sutras this is described as vrittis and vasanas. The asana has the ability to show you who you really are, when you begin to compare yourself to others, start being hard on yourself, how you react when someone steps on 'your mat' etc. it has this great way of being a mirror for ourselves, and like with anyone there were some patterns and characteristics I thought I should change, and ultimately I am still on the path of change, but it has taught me to be a better person all round, more patience, compassion, empathy and understand more about myself than anyone or anything ever has.
What does happy represent for you?
Happy represents a place of contentment, a place where you don't feel like you need anyone or anything.
What motivates you?
Students and teachers, ultimately the students are the teachers. They teach you how to be a teacher, their needs, their questions allow you to better yourself. They are my motivation, seeing changes in peoples physical practices, how this translates to their wellbeing and how they feel as a person. It is incredible to be a part of someones journey through this.
What is the best part of your job?
Seeing peoples progress - physically, emotionally, spiritually.
When you're not working, how do you like to unwind?
Catching up with friends is my favourite thing to do, due to my schedule it is hard, but it makes the time I have with friends and family invaluable. I am a big football fan (Arsenal), but unfortunately yoga has taken over a bit so I haven't been able to watch as many games as I was previously.
What are you reading/watching listening to right now?
Reading: Eastern Body Western Mind & The Narcissistic Family.
Watching: QB1 and Last Chance U - I LOVE! American football shows.
Listening to: Drake - Scorpion.
Do you have any pearls of wellness wisdom that you can share with us?
Meditate - I won't list the benefits but if you meditate in the morning before the day has got into your head, and you stick with it, I promise you will start to see so many changes day to day in your health and happiness - Insight Timer is the app that I use.
You can grab your tickets for Float Festival here.