Max Strom’s is returning to triyoga London next week.. Here we catch up with the man himself and get his advice on using technology mindfully and taking a deep breath in the Capital.
what does a day in the life of Max look like?
I tend to have four different types of days. For my travel days, quite often I don’t get to do a physical practice beyond breath-work and visualization on the airline or in the airport. If it is possible, I do some communication or writing in the airport.
For my days at home, I have a more balanced life that includes my practice, writing, administration, and communications. And I try to get out in nature if weather permits. Nature is a very powerful elixir for me.
On the days when I lead events, I take a little time for a practice in the morning before hand, and afterward I share a meal with my hosts. Also, I sometimes offer one-to-one sessions..
My days in hotels are on the in-between days where I am not teaching but need to stay put in the region. This is where I can have a proper practice. These are also my main administration days. Skype meetings, phone calls, and when I get to write my new book and occasionally interact in an interview such as this one.
what was the turning point that led you down the path of yoga and helping others?
The turning point was when I started to practice hatha yoga because it helped me to feel better and sleep better. But what I didn’t expect and was astonished to discover was that it changed how I responded to the world in general. It’s hard to explain, but my decision process changed. My priorities shifted. Besides feeling better and my body and sleeping better, I started to feel happy for the first time in my life. In other words, I didn’t need things to stimulate me to make me feel alive. I just started to really feel like most of the time. At some point my friends urged me to teach and I quickly discovered there was no greater experience in terms of social interaction, than sharing such important knowledge and practices that could affect them in the same way it affected me.
if you weren’t an Inner Axis teacher, what would you be?
Besides being an Inner Axis teacher I am also currently an author and speaker. I would continue with both of those paths and I think I would add to it more time composing music, which is something I still love to do very much. I play several instruments moderately well but my main lover is composition of songs and instrumentals. I don’t spend much time doing it as I’m gone from home so much that most of the year I have no instruments or recording equipment with me. I would do that more if I wasn’t traveling as a teacher.
what are your top 5 tips for using technology mindfully?
1. Decide what technology serves you. What truly serves you? Does this technology save time for you or steal time from you?
2. Use voice dictation software for text messages, emails, and writing in general. For most people, it is faster than typing, and you don’t have to use your hands much so it frees up your body thereby avoiding repetitive stress injuries in the wrist arm and shoulder. Because you need to enunciate it also helps make you a better speaker.
3. Don’t communicate anything emotional via text if at all possible. For example, if you send an email and someone responds in what could be interpreted as anger or upset, go see them in person, or if not possible call them on the phone. Don’t exchange upset emails as when someone is angry they will interpret your email 10 times more dramatic than you mean it. It’s a waste of time and a terrible way to communicate.
4. Turn everything off for your meals and for family time. We need to prioritise our communication. For example you don’t let your kids come to your office when you’re having an important meeting because it will distract everyone. Similarly, don’t bring your meetings to your family. Your family is the most important group of people in your life, so treat them that way.
5. And for something very practical, change the height of your mouse several times during the day. Don’t leave the mouse on one surface at the same height from the floor or this will contribute to injuries to your arm and wrist. I have a mouse pad on my desk and then a smaller, lower table just for the mouse that is about 10 inches lower. This when forced to use the muscles in a different way.
do you practice yoga in airport lounges when you travel?
Generally no, as most airports still don’t have a yoga lounge.
what is your favourite thing about teaching in London?
It’s a fascinating international city and in my workshops there are people from all over the world. The English people, in general, I find to be very hard workers and do their best. They can also be very polite. In the education level of the students seems to be at a high level comparatively with other cities.
like most cities, London’s air is pretty polluted. What advice would you give to Londoner’s so they can best practice conscious breathing in their city?
Of course on particularly polluted days, I suggest not doing much breath work. But in general, I think that conscious breath work is so healing and so transformative that the return on investment is a big plus even if the air is not ideal.
join Max Strom in camden…
inner axis: releasing stress – a weekend of workshops
01 – 10 september 2017
Max is a teacher, speaker, author and teacher trainer, and is known for profoundly inspiring and impacting the lives of his students for nearly two decades. His Inner Axis system includes a philosophy for real world living, self-enquiry, breath-work, yoga postures, and meditation. His teachings are a culmination of his life experience and decades of study and application. Find out more at www.maxstrom.com