Name - Benjamin Sears
home base - South of France at the LUXYOGA retreat villa & NYC
profession - Yoga Teacher & Retreat Center Owner
social media - @benjamin.sears @luxyoga
food - Raw milk butter
animal - Leopard
word - Hippopotamus (my students know why)
song - Devil Winter by Jus Post Bellum (or anything sung by Anthony Hamilton - go google Anthony Hamilton Who’s Billy Goat Is This, right now)
yoga style - My own Hatha-Vinaysa; it is a distillation of Forrest, Astanga, Bikram and Dharma Mittra Yoga influenced by modern movement research. You’ll find traces of Kundalini as well.
When and why did you start practicing yoga?
- I started practicing Kundalini yoga in 2001 because I was looking to connect, to find answers to universal questions – but my truly dedicated practice began out of physical necessity. I was suffering from 2 herniated lumbar discs and tears in both knees from sports and despite a high level of what is often called fitness (I looked strong) was in terrible pain, which lead me to Bikram yoga. My passion for practice lead me to further my studies by enrolling in a number of teacher training programs. Right before I started teaching yoga full time in 2006 I was working in advertising and product development.
Describe yoga in one word?
What’s your most unforgettable yoga experience?
- A vision I had after a sweat lodge ceremony with one of my teachers, Ana Forrest.
What’s your statement about “men & yoga”?
- Yoga was traditionally practiced and developed by men, so the idea that yoga is not for men is a construct of cultural unfamiliarity borne of the insecurity of modern men. To be a man is to be open to learning and evolving. We are lucky that we have strong women and men that helped make Yoga popular in the West so that we can save ourselves from our preconceptions.
What advice would you give someone who wants to start doing yoga?
- Book a LUXYOGA retreat. Have the time of your life and get a solid foundation. Short of that, find a teacher and stick with a system for long enough that you develop a frame of reference for your progression, then diversify while maintaining your foundation. From a physical perspective, train for mobility over purely flexibility or strength. Mobility is active strength at the end range of motion. Flexibility alone is floppy and unsustainable and strength alone is brittle and limiting. Get a morning meditation and breakfast routine.