Photography by Camille Marie Bieber
Matt Hudson has built an ongoing relationship with Hotpod Yoga over the years, as a graduate of our teacher training and as a current instructor for Hotpod Yoga London. He also assists on our 200hr Teacher Training courses from time to time, helping the new generation of trainees build their expertise and begin their careers as teachers. We sat down with him to find out what drew him to yoga to begin with, and heard a bit about his journey from practitioner to teacher trainee to instructor.
How did you first get into yoga?
I discovered meditation in my mid-20s and then found yoga/asana practice. As a fat person, it was quite tricky to find spaces that I felt comfortable/welcome in. Early days YouTube helped, then I practised at a Mysore Ashtanga centre in London, but didn’t fit in. I built a home practice before venturing into studios when I felt ready and fell in love with flowing with others. With a theatre background the embodied practice was familiar, and I fell in love with a movement practice that was also a mental, spiritual and emotional exploration.
When did you train, and what was your favourite part of your YTT?
I did my first 200hrs in 2019 with Hotpod and began my 300hrs with Sunday School Yoga in 2021 (due to finish in 2022). My first 200hrs was incredible and mind opening. My favourite part was the range of yoga styles I was opened up to and how that helped diversify my practice and my learning after the 200 hrs. Yoga is a journey that involves constant learning and that is awesome.
What does your personal practice look like?
I practice pranayama and meditation most mornings. I will do a light asana session daily and then usually take 1 or 2 dynamic classes a week. I always set aside time each week for Svādhyāya in form of reading a yoga philosophy, commentary or practice book.
What are you currently planning on learning more about?
Big focus on the history and storytelling of India, be that deities, myths, scripture and politics. From a physical perspective, I am working on how to build agency in students and helping students build a practice that works for their needs.
If you were to narrow it down… which three qualities / skills do you think are most important in becoming a great teacher?
1. Paying attention to others, be open and attend to the people in the room/zoom, not just recount sequences at people.
2. Having purpose and a why behind the classes you teach, not just throwing shapes.
3. Keep it simple, even when it’s challenging.
What is your favourite part about assisting on YTT?
Seeing people take the early steps into the challenge of teaching and rising to it. It is a pretty special moment to step out of the day to day and into being a leader. You have to step into your power in a new way and it’s so great to be part of that.
Best piece of advice for someone considering starting their teacher training?
Don’t have too many expectations. Hold your goals lightly. Let it unfold and follow what excites you. It is a mind expanding and life changing thing. Pace yourself and you will learn what you need.
To follow in Matt’s footsteps and pursue a career as a teacher, check out our teacher training courses here.