About Us

About Yoga Mind and Body Club

Where yoga, and our members, come first

We run local group yoga classes for every body and mind! We believe that yoga is not just for the super-fit and bendy – it has something for all of us. We want more people to realise that yoga is just as much for them as for anyone else.

Our group yoga sessions take place at good quality halls in Camberley (Surrey), Hook and Hartley Wintney (Hampshire).

We run four teaching seasons a year and classes are capped at 12 students. Check the class schedule and teaching calendar on our Classes page.

A social enterprise: in business for good

We provide a community based yoga teaching service using our business skills, knowledge of, and experience in, yoga to achieve our purpose. To qualify as a social enterprise we meet the following criteria:

  • Our business has a clear social or environmental mission that is set out in its governing documents.
  • We are an independent business and we earn more than half of our income through trading.
  • We are controlled or owned in the interests of our social mission.
  • We reinvest or give away at least half our profits or surpluses towards our social purpose.
  • We are transparent about how we operate and the impact that we have.
Yoga Horsham Iriness

About Johnston

I’m a registered yoga teacher with more than 500 hours of recognised training under my belt.

Yoga has kept me going, both physically and mentally, for most of my adult life. I have a wealth of knowledge and experience based on more than 25 years of practising and teaching yoga.

My yoga journey

I started my yoga journey by learning Iyengar from the classic Light on Yoga written by my No.1 Guru B.K.S. Iyengar. I have since learned many different types of yoga, all of which serve to consolidate my belief that yoga is yoga – it needs no embellishment.

I’ve studied and trained as a teacher with CamYogaSeasonal Yoga Teacher Training Academy and the Yoga Sports Science Institute. I have also attended courses at Sivananda Yoga in Putney, and Special Yoga in Harrow Road. I am accredited by the Yoga Alliance and the British Wheel of Yoga.

My teaching focuses mainly on Hatha yoga. This consists of the physical yoga of exercise (Asana) and breathing (Pranayama), and I always provide a period of meditation (Dhyana) also. This approach is taken from the “Eight Limbs of Yoga”, as set out in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras.

Continuing professional development

My continuing professional development in yoga includes:

  • Yoga Alliance and British Wheel of Yoga 500 Hour Yoga Teachers Diploma
  • Yoga Alliance 200 Hour Teachers Certificate
  • Yoga for Students with Disabilities
  • Making Adjustments to Students’ Postures
  • Yoga for Sports People
  • Restorative Yoga
  • Pranayama Technique (Breathing)
  • Yin Yoga
  • Ayurvedic Cookery

More about me

I hark from the beautiful lakeland of County Fermanagh in Northern Ireland. I was educated as a boarding pupil at the Royal School Armagh and have an Open University degree.

Active life

My biggest physical achievement was cycling Alpe d’Huez as part of a charity ride when I completed six stages of Le Tour de France in Etape du Tour. Over the years, hillwalking, swimming, spinning, and circuit-training have each played a part in my wellness strategy. Then it was time to start yoga!

Not your average Yogi Bear

Although I’m built like a bear, I’m definitely not what you might expect in a yoga teacher! But I see this as my appeal. I’m a big man with an irreverent sense of humour. But don’t be misled – I have a deep conviction in the capacity of yoga for doing good.

Yoga Philosophy Books, yoga mala, heart of yoga, jivamukti yoga and light on yoga

I’m pragmatic and see yoga as something inclusive to be enjoyed by all who choose to learn. I tend to stick to factual matters and focus on good technique, combining modern knowledge with the ancient practice of yoga. Each lesson is different, looking at new ways of linking and practising postures. What you get from me is great exercise, sound psychology and an enjoyable yoga session.

It may surprise you to know that…

I was actually a police officer for 30 years. I worked in the Metropolitan Police Service in some of the most diverse and demanding parts of London. I have much to thank the Met for; they were great employers and stood by me during both the good and bad times. It’s safe to say, police work really tests your character; it’s a tough job. On the plus side, it also teaches you a lot about people, life and yourself.

After leaving the Met in 2005 (aged 48), I was fortunate enough to be offered a role with the world renowned Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre [CEOP]. This was a multi-agency organisation led by the redoubtable and much-liked (by those who worked for him) Jim Gamble.

CEOP played a lead role in bringing the problems of child abuse into the public arena. This was a stressful and very political environment – one in which I was again stretched, and I learned a lot about people who work in other organisations outside of law enforcement.

The role of yoga in my life

I’m familiar with the impact of mental illness and stress, as well as the physical pain of a herniated disc in my spine. I also suffer from Tinnitus and yoga really helps me with all of these issues.

Love music; love yoga

I’m an ardent music lover and credit the Beatles with arousing my interest in yoga back in 1967 (aged 11). I have an eclectic taste which I bring to my teaching: jazz, rock, blues, classical, and a growing bank of world music which, not surprisingly, complements the class playlists. My members love the music, but the yoga always takes precedence.

And finally…

I recognise the importance of keeping physically fit in order to maintain one’s mental health, and vice versa. Yoga plays a key role in maintaining and sustaining my physical fitness, wellness, and wellbeing. This is my purpose for practising yoga, and why I enjoy it and value it so highly.

About yoga

Yoga is an ancient behavioural practice which sustains personal health. Personal health consists of:

  • Physical fitness
  • Wellness
  • Wellbeing

The World Health Organisation‘s definitions of these qualities are:

Physical fitness

Physical fitness is your ability to carry out tasks without undue fatigue. The components of physical fitness are:

  • cardio-respiratory endurance,
  • muscle strength,
  • muscle endurance,
  • flexibility, and
  • body composition.

Wellness

Wellness is an active process of becoming aware of and making choices towards a healthy and fulfilling life. It is more than being free from illness; it is a dynamic process of change and growth.

 

Wellbeing

Wellbeing is a state of mental health in which you can realise your potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and are able to make a contribution to your community.

“Johnston brings a quality to his classes that marries the traditional yoga teachings with modern Western practice. His choice of accompanying music often surprises but never disappoints and is testament to his own passion for both music and yoga. Similarly, the variety in both yoga postures and music tracks makes each class a fresh experience.” – Sally Daniel

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