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can you tell me about your beginnings, and how you came across yoga?
I was born in Windsor, Slough, and moved to Harrow in London after my second birthday. It was hard carrying all that luggage as a two year old so I'm grateful that my parents gave me a lift.
I am the younger of two brothers, a role that in itself demands both patience and strength! Because my mother was teaching yoga since I was a child, yoga was always a part of my life. I grew up around classes and students and my mum recalls me playing around the students pretending to do postures as a child, I guess that would be the beginning of my life with yoga.
My mother, Tara Patel, has been teaching for 40 years (but has slowed down her public appearances considerably). My grandfather was a yogi of sorts - very disciplined, simple, and spiritual. Interestingly, my great-grandfather was a similar way. He was a pilgrim in India, who according to relatives disappeared on a bare foot pilgrimage into the forests of India in his late thirties… never to be seen again, some say he was eaten by a tiger. His life remains a mystery!
See Tara Patel's incredible "Book of Yoga"
There does seem to be a keen interest in yoga, meditation etc on my mother's side. Maybe that’s part of the reason I took to yoga and meditation so fast. One thing that always strikes me as odd though is how I came to teach this subject and find yoga. Sometimes I feel it was pre-destined for me, it was certainly not something I set out to do as young boy, but as my life moved on yoga teaching was handed down to me. I took the work on as a teenager and haven't stopped. I am now into my 26th year of teaching.