Can you run us through your morning routine?
I wake at 4am every day and throw on shorts and a singlet, no matter how cold it is, and take Lyra out for a walk. It’s the best time of day to be awake – it’s so still and quiet. Afterwards I always meditate for half an hour, make a bulletproof coffee and journal before getting into the day.
So, how do you make a ‘bulletproof coffee’?
I have this coffee every morning instead of what you might call a “traditional” breakfast. It forms part of my intermittent fasting regime. I’ll have dinner at about 6:00pm then nothing solid until about 12:00pm or 1:00pm the next day – it gives my body a break from digesting food and works well for me. I also throw in a 24hr water fast once every couple of weeks.
To make it, blend up a double shot of coffee with two tablespoons of ghee (home-made is best and much cheaper) or grass fed butter, and two tablespoons of Bulletproof Brain Octane Oil – i’d start with just a teaspoon to begin with!
It tastes much better than it sounds, trust me.
Tell us a little about how you first came to yoga…
A friend of mine was signing up for a Bikram trial so I went along to give it a go. My first class was harder than any footy game I’d ever played! I’ve always loved a physical challenge so I was keen to keep going and I realised in my very first savasana that I’d never laid still and awake for that amount of time in my entire life. I felt the benefits straightaway and wanted more.
And how did it come about that you decided to teach?
I’ve been a DJ for almost 20 years but there was a time where I trained as a Primary School and PE teacher. I love teaching and taught in at a school for around a year but I soon realised that it wasn’t my passion – I wanted to do music so I focused 100% on being a great Dj and then that transitioned to yoga. I felt there was an opportunity to combine the two so I signed up for my YTT.
Did your first teaching class go well?
Hmm, it was interesting. Only two students showed up and one had never done yoga before! I had spent weeks rehearsing one sequence and soon realised it was way too hard – I ended up making half of it up and it wasn’t my best that’s for sure.
Do you think the way you teach has changed over time?
Absolutely. Noelle Connolly from BodyMindLife has had a huge influence. I remember taking her class for the first time and thinking she has totally raised the bar in terms of what she offered students. It used to be wild for me to teach a crow pose! She came in and totally went for it with handstands and all sorts of challenging sequences. I saw that students embraced it so I started to teach more complex or playful poses – it has amazing to see the progression.
What can students expect when they take a class with you?
I try to make my classes light-hearted and fun. The world is pretty serious these days and I don’t think we need it in the Yoga room as well. There’s always music to create an atmosphere and I want people to walk out feeling strong and inspired – and smiling!
Has practising yoga had an impact on your life?
I’m a completely different person since I took my first class. I went hard at the gym and rugby league, and I’d created a pretty hard image. I wasn’t aware I had a heart back then to be honest! Yoga has softened me a little and that’s a really good thing. It’s taught me that it’s OK to be loving and to show love, and that it’s not ‘soft’ to be kind and friendly to people. I’m more open now and that’s brought some really amazing people into my life.
It seems everyone’s all about the ‘bro-ga’ at the moment. As a male yoga teacher have you noticed a change in the amount of guys in the room? What do you think is impacting this?
There has been a huge shift towards more guys taking up yoga. It’s been awesome to see as a male teacher as I know how tight muscles can get and how important it is to do yoga if you train or are looking to build strength and flexibility. For me yoga has helped loosen muscle groups and taught me new ways to move so I feel stronger than I ever have. We even see the Bondi Rescue guys in class now and I think it’s generally being accepted that it’s not just for women.
You’ve built a reputation for having some of the best tunes to practise to – how do you choose a playlist for a class?
The most important thing is to know the vibe that you’re trying to set. I have lots of music on Mixcloud and Spotify, and spend time following artists and saving tunes that I think will work for playlists.
What else is on the horizon for you?
Noelle and I are hosting a Yoga Jam with Soul Drummer on the 20th of August at Bondi Pavilion on the beach which will be amazing – there’ll be lots of drums, a DJ set, african dancing and a flow. We’re also heading to Bali from 26th August to 2nd September for a yoga adventure – it’s like a retreat in that there’ll be amazing healthy food and yoga everyday, but we’ll also be exploring Uluwatu and getting amongst the surf, massages and lots of fun activities.
Lastly, tell us three things you couldn’t live without?
The beach, music and handstands!
Check out Christian’s latest flow playlist on Spotify.