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AIR RESISTANCE
FITNESS EQUIPMENT
naturally different
PEO
PLE P
RO
FILE
david sye
As founder of Yogabeats, a company based on a
unique mix of meditative styles, Sye talks about
his work with troubled teens and how he went
from social anthropologist to a yoga elder
What is Yogabeats? country. I taught soldiers yoga for food
It’s an eclectic mix of yoga styles including and often included music to drown out
Ashtanga Vinyasa and Hatha, driven by the sound of war. Yogabeats was born.
music and rhythm. My experimental I have more than 24 years of yoga-
form of high-energy yoga is designed teaching experience and three years ago
to provide young people with a natural was dubbed a yoga elder for my
high within fi ve minutes – if it takes contribution to the practice. Yoga has
any longer than this, you’ll lose their survived for 7,000 years because it makes
attention. At the end they feel happier people feel good and enables them to
in themselves and it starts to disarm transcend the mundane. This is one reason
them and open them up to new why it’s ideal for working with feral youth.
possibilities and positive behaviour. I’ve worked with violent youth gang
The transformation in these angry kids members at the 409 Gang Intervention
is extraordinary: they end up dancing Project in Brixton, London, with prison
around, laughing and being respectful. inmates and, most recently, at Glasgow’s
Easterhouse estate – a three-year project
Why did you start the company? which I visit once a month to maintain.
I was suffering from ulcerated colitis
about 25 years ago and, for lack of any How can health clubs help?
other options, I tried Tibetan yoga in Health clubs and organisations need
a desperate effort to reduce the pain. to participate via outreach: they can’t
When I went back to the hospital for expect the youth to come to them. The
a colostomy, to everyone’s surprise the programmes also need infrastructure and
tumours had disappeared. It changed my funding to succeed. I fund all my projects
ideas on life completely and I started to independently through my other work with
investigate the practice a bit further. celebrities and yoga teacher associations,
I moved to Yugoslavia to work for a but public funding is needed to ensure the
non-political radio station in the programmes can be consistently delivered.
early1990s and found myself caught up in The idea is to create a model
the Bosnian war, unable to leave the programme that can solve the problem of
anti-social and criminal behaviour and
unite communities, which can then be
implanted anywhere within the UK.
What else is on your CV?
I’m about to start teaching postgraduate
training in Yogabeats to yoga instructors,
whereby it will be mandatory for them to
because
take their work into communities that can
use the practice for sociological change.
Outside of my commitments to the
everybody
youth projects, I’ve taught at the Israeli
Yoga Teachers Association, the Zurich is not the
Bikram Association, teachers’ associations
Yogabeats: across Italy, and have taught Palestinians in
same
Natural high Jericho. I’ve also taught yoga at The Third
in fi ve minutes Space in London.
www.huruk.co.uk
june 2009 © cybertrek 2009
Tel: 01206 798864
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