I interviewed Brett Moran, the inspired brain behind the Yoga for Syria event coming up in London in November 2015. I wanted to find out more about what had motivated him to create such a great event, and one that very clearly brings yoga off the mat and into the world.
What inspired you to create Yoga for Syria?
After travelling in Thailand with my daughter and spending some quality daddy and daughter time, connecting, playing by the pool and eating way too many ice creams, I was utterly shocked when we landed and I saw the image of the little Syrian boy who had been washed ashore. At first I felt sick, then angry – the next day I woke up and felt inspired by the idea for Yoga For Syria. I think this little boy has become a symbol for the collective insanity but we should use his short life and his message as a tool for positive change.
Are you a yoga teacher yourself? If so, how long have you been teaching?
No I’m not a teacher – I’ve been practicing yoga for three years and I’m off to Thailand and India this November/December to do my teacher training.
How has yoga transformed your life from before you started practicing to now?
I’ve come full circle, from crack to consciousness and yoga has pulled me towards this path. A decade ago I was banged up in prison, lost and confused, and now I’m high on happiness and addicted to yoga and the clean way of life. I’m a vegan, and practice yoga and meditation 2/3 times daily. I LOVE IT!
Did you get the feeling on your mat that this is a great practice but you wanted to take it ‘off the mat and into the world’ more?
Yes I got the yogi feeling on the mat and want to do my best to take this deeper more connected way of life everywhere I go. I share my spiritual ideas and concepts in my new book ‘Wake the F#ck Up’ and believe yoga and this calm way of life can change the world.
Can you tell me a bit about what will be on offer at the Yoga for Syria event? Are there classes catering to all different levels of yogis?
We have 12 dynamic teacher at Yoga for Syria and we cater for all levels. We have music and some singers throughout the day – plus raw food and vegan treats on offer. We have a special raffle – plus a number of stalls, from jewellery to yoga clothing.
Can you tell me a bit about the venue?
We are hosting Yoga for Syria at The Ugly Duck 49 Tanner street. It’s a huge warehouse on three floors and the space is a yogis’ paradise with massive rooms that have a capacity of around 120 mats and huge open windows. We have three floors and the garage booked out . Two yoga studios, one cafe, and all the stalls will be in the urban style garage,
How are the funds raised going to be distributed? I saw on your website that you are connected with someone in Syria (Turkey?) who is helping refugees.
We are raising the money for a women called Anastasia Victoria who travels to Turkey and buys food, nappies, sanitary towels and cloths for refugees in Turkey.
Are you envisaging that this event may grow into something bigger? Perhaps an annual event or something else?
GREAT idea, I never though about it being a regular event. I guess we’ll see what happens and where it goes.
Yoga for Syria took place in London, November 2015.
We have a Facebook event page and if you want to get involved and help us spread the word use #YogaForSyria
If you are not in London at present, or unable to make it to the event, you can make a donation to Yoga for Syria via the Paypal link on their website.