Dean ‘Deano’ Gladstone is a true Bondi legend.

The Lululemon Ambassador, Bondi Rescue Lifeguard and star of channel 10’s hit reality show Bondi Rescue helps with around 2000 rescues that take place in the iconic stretch of water each year. He’s a fast swimmer and health fanatic, and has two young children aged 6 and 3.

In June, Deano traded the sand for the studio and completed his 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training with Noelle Connolly and Kat Clayton.

We love chatting with people who are doing what makes them happy, so we sat down with him to find out what he made of it…

Tell us about how you became a lifeguard?

I spent thousands of hours at the beach and in the pool as a kid. I completed my Plumbing apprenticeship and although it was a good job, I loved the beach and with years of swimming and surfing,  I knew I could help people like my mum who is a paediatric nurse. I began my career as an Bondi Lifeguard in 2000 – crazy to think that’s 17 years ago now.

When did you start practising yoga?

In my mid twenties, I experienced back pain and I found myself at BodyMindLife – I used to hit up their studio around 15 years ago when it was on Foveaux street in Surry Hills!

I began by trialling Bikram with my sister. I initially loved it purely for the heat but then I started to appreciate the softer side – the breath and a slower more controlled vinyasa.

I find that no matter what exercise I take up, I always come back to yoga. It’s become a routine to do a couple of sun salutations before hitting the gym or any other cardio – it balances and grounds me.

And how did you make the decision to transition from yoga student to teacher?

I’m very interested in human movement and the body. I’ve been a Personal Trainer in the past and I really love helping others find strength, and improve their training.

I’d been told that YTT is a beautiful journey. And it truly is. I started the course to improve my own practice, but now I want to share my new knowledge as I know how much it could help people. I just really love being a lifeguard, teaching health and yoga, promoting a healthy happy lifestyle and being a dad.

With yoga, the learning doesn’t stop – it’s an ongoing journey and I absolutely love that aspect of it. It’s never boring and there’s always ways to challenge yourself, and take it further.

So was the training what you expected?

I thought my asana practice was better than it actually was! I had to completely break it down and start from the beginning. And I absolutely loved every second of it.

It was a pleasure going into the studio every day and be 100% focused on yoga. It was a bit overwhelming at times to discover how much information there was to learn – I felt really humbled at times by the amount of history and depth there is to yoga and yoga philosophy.

I was a bit older than the rest of the group but it didn’t matter one bit. The only difference was that at almost 40, I’m pretty comfortable being the weird and different guy I am – it wasn’t so much about finding myself as it was for others perhaps.

But I still learnt a lot about myself. That was a surprise. I wasn’t expecting it to be so confidence building. You leave feeling like the opportunities in the world are endless.

What would you say to others thinking about doing it?

It’s the ultimate gift to yourself. You’ll feel things you haven’t before and learn a new way of thinking; of looking at the world and how to relate to others. It’s a type of training that you don’t get through school or in any other discipline.

I finished the course completely inspired. The teachers were incredible – Noelle and Kat went completely above and beyond, and it was an experience I’ll never forget.

And what’s next for you?

I’m doing things I love so I feel really lucky. I want to keep learning, teach more Yoga and enjoy the journey. In a sense, that is yoga! it’s always interesting what pops up in life when you follow your heart.

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