Cameron Walker-Shepherd. Born 1992. PT in the Royal Air Force and international pole vaulter.
When and how did you start yoga?
2011 I started to delve into conscious knowledge and spirituality after somewhat losing my identity and myself during a rough patch at university. Alongside this I am also an international athlete, therefore yoga seemed to be the next natural step to help me both spiritually and physically.
What style of yoga do you practice?
I am a qualified Hatha Yoga Instructor and I practice Sivananda Yoga also.
How has it changed your life?
It has literally shaped the foundation of where all my decisions, actions and reactions come from, I believe for the better. My motto is:
“When you breath right, you think right. When you think right, you act right. When you act right, you act right by yourself… and there is no freedom like freedom from yourself.”
What is your most memorable yoga moment?
That split-second moment of bliss, and then it’s gone! From that moment I completely understood why this is such a beautiful discipline and the effect it was having on me.
What makes a great yoga teacher?
You can practice asana all day and night; this is not yoga. Yoga is an inward turning, it is about moving within yourself. If a teacher can bring this across their class as well as developing asana, that to me is a great teacher.
What is your favourite pose and why?
Utthita Trikonasana (Triangle Pose). It makes me feel quite vulnerable; I really relinquish all thoughts and feel very open internally in this asana.
What do you do when not doing yoga?
I find solace in creative arts when I’m not being active in my job or sport. I play drums, guitar, and saxophone. I write poetry and draw. I am currently in the process of publishing my first poetry book too.
What are you listening to?
I am a big hip-hop fan, more specifically lo-fi and chill-hop. Artists such as Languid Looms, Loyle Carner, and Kinkai to name a thousand are what I’m feeling currently.
What are you reading?
Living Dangerously by Osho
What do you want to be when you grow up?
I want to be an olympic pole vaulter and the owner of a yoga studio… But ultimately, in the clichéd line that is of John Lennon: “I want to be happy.” (The annoying thing about clichés is that they are usually true.
If you could be any animal in the world, what would you choose?
An albatross, to be able to fly anywhere, and all the time, without getting tired either.
Who would play you in the film of your life?
Morgan Freeman, because who wouldn’t want Morgan Freeman to play them?
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Anything sweet, I have an extremely sweet tooth and it’s the bane of my life.
When are you happiest?
There needn’t be another emotion when you cease from the ‘monkey mind chatter’. When I am mindful and appreciate how lucky I am presently, that can only bring happiness.
What is your greatest fear?
I wouldn’t say there is a great fear in particular. But it is the little things I fear such as self-doubt, insecurities, and failure. They only arise when I am not present so it’s a journey that I enjoy learning from and developing.
Where would you go if you could time travel?
50 years from now. I would high-five myself, and spontaneously combust as if my job was complete like Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap.
Why should people do yoga?
Yoga is for those that want to develop themselves. Therefore I’d say it is for everyone. It is an adjustment with existence itself. Asana is a beautiful way to develop physically and if that is what you want then yoga is for you. But that is not all it is used for. I think no matter what reason someone starts to practice yoga, it’s purpose will find them along the way if they surrender.
Tell us something we don’t know.
Shameless self-promotion alert. Anything you don’t know can be found on my Instagram account: @strengthanwisdom