Guided by Ryan’s knowledge and expertise, Levitate London is striving to make meditation and mindfulness accessible to everyone. The following is our interview with Ryan:
What do you wish other people knew about Levitate Meditation?
That we exist! We only launched in August and we're hosted at the very beautiful Yogarise Peckham (home of amazing yoga teachers), so we're very new, but excited and wanting to spread the word far and wide. Oh and that starting from January we are putting on classes at Yoke Dalston too!
What inspired you to start teaching?
My own meditation practice was on/off for years, and I found myself wanting to be part of a community to keep me on the straight and narrow! I wanted to have a place that I could go to, in my own neighbourhood, here in Peckham, so I had the idea to open a studio - Levitate - at the beginning of 2018. The next logical step was to train as a teacher. I was lucky enough to be able to do a 7 week, 200 hour meditation teacher training at the one and only Unplug Meditation in LA, with two incredible teachers - Suze the founder of Unplug, and Davidji, the internationally best-selling stress management author and meditation master. I came back to London inspired to begin teaching immediately and haven't stopped since then!
What has surprised you most about teaching?
Just how much I enjoy it. Having always been rather scared of public speaking, the thought of getting up in front of a large room of people seemed intimidating, but armed with confidence from my teacher training, I was delighted to find that I could do it, and that I love doing it, and that my students seem to enjoy it too!
As a teacher, what do you feel you have bragging rights to?
That I no longer have to do 60 hour weeks behind a desk in my previous career as an advertising suit. That and the wonderful comically, tiny singing bowl (gift from a friend) that I ring at the end of each class. Hopefully, my passion for meditation shines through in every class I teach! "Make it a habit and find something you enjoy. I've never loved the gym, but I cycle everywhere, swim and am into HIIT on YouTube in front of the TV. I always feel better after I've got started, and being in my late thirties, skipping a week is no longer an option!
What's your personal philosophy on exercise?
With meditation (basically exercise for the brain!) consistency is key for the amazing trait like changes we all want (greater calm, lower anxiety, better memory, creativity and productivity). But keep it interesting, by switching up the style and length of your meditations. Mindfulness is awesome, but you might find that you love a mantra, or a gong bath, or a chocolate meditation. Life is a meditation once you get the hang of it. "