Sam Hann is right here for a purpose. He believes he has an obligation to share the observe of yoga with the world. His lessons take the bodily postures as an entry level into understanding one’s physique extra deeply and use it as a metaphor for constructing psychological fortitude.
“You’re your physique. You’re your thoughts. You’re your coronary heart,” Sam mentioned. “They don’t exist with out the opposite.”
Though Sam discovered it difficult to return to instructing and share that vulnerability in entrance of a room full of individuals, he additionally discovered it to be a robust expertise throughout a time of grief.
“I knew from the second I began that I used to be going to be a trainer,” he mentioned. “I knew how the observe made me really feel, so, I knew I had an obligation to share that with others.”
Be Your More true Self
Sam’s attain stretches far off the mat now. His brother was a sniper within the Australian Military and was stationed in Iraq, and Sam does quite a lot of work with veterans, psychological well being, and suicide prevention. He mentioned that though his brother didn’t take his personal life, he knew that his brother was struggling.
“He’s my hero,” Sam mentioned.
He displays on the character of siblinghood and describes the inherent barrier between older and youthful brothers. He noticed Blake as larger and stronger and mentioned that he by no means advised him with phrases that he was happy with Sam. As a youthful brother, Sam mentioned he sought validation, but it surely wasn’t till Blake’s funeral that Sam realized how proud Blake was of him.
Blake’s military brothers, as Sam refers to them, approached him on the funeral and mentioned, “You’re the yoga man! You’re Sam!” When Sam requested them how they knew who he was, they responded that once they had been in Iraq, Blake continually took his cellphone out and proudly pointed to an image and mentioned, “That’s my youthful brother.”
As he cried, Sam mentioned, “That’s the reason I really feel I’ve an obligation to be right here as a result of I do know he was proud.”
Each month Sam runs a free males’s solely yoga class the place anybody, whether or not they’re a member on the studio or not, can attend and have the possibility to fulfill different males and be in an area the place they really feel supported and discover energy in vulnerability.
“It doesn’t make you any much less masculine. If something, it makes you extra masculine since you’re not hiding your more true self,” he mentioned. “There’s such an influence in vulnerability.”
Transferring By way of Adversity
After his brother’s loss of life, Sam mentioned issues had been too quiet in his thoughts. He wanted a meditation, however he additionally wanted one thing extra energetic, so he started working.
“It nonetheless allowed me to be with my ideas however not be nonetheless,” Sam mentioned.
He began lengthy distance working in his brother’s honor. In 2021, he ran 36 kilometers, roughly 22 miles, for Blake’s thirty sixth birthday. In 2022, he ran 55 kilometers, or 34 miles.
Most lately, he ran a half marathon in a speedo and a 22-pound weighted vest for the Weight of Battle occasion. The vest symbolized the burden of battle, and the speedo symbolized vulnerability. Regardless of how heavy the vest appeared in the course of the race, the runners knew on the finish they may take it off.
“Whereas veterans who’re fighting PTSD and lengthen it out to anyone who’s struggling with psychological well being points, they don’t have the chance to simply take that vest off,” Sam mentioned. “They should dwell with it.”
The work Sam does permits him to attach along with his brother whereas bringing consciousness to the veteran group. It’s about transferring by way of adversity in a constructive means, and the observe of yoga, meditation, and working has helped Sam push by way of.
“Selecting to push your self past your limits to find what’s beneath the floor,” he mentioned.
A Dialog with Your self
Sam teaches at Physique Thoughts Life studio in Sydney. Within the practically 5 years he’s been there, he sees the development of scholars from day one. Possibly they begin out a little bit uncertain and keep behind the room. They preserve with it, and Sam describes them now as breaking by way of the room, chest-open, excited to come back to yoga, and chatting about their lives.
“That’s a hundred percent why we as lecturers do what we have to do and why it’s so necessary to proceed to do this,” Sam mentioned. “To permit folks to proceed their very own journeys.”
You are able to do that as a trainer, or you are able to do that as someone who merely offers somebody a hug and lets them know that they’re not alone. The journey, Sam says, is about understanding your self. It’s a must to really feel your means into the poses. It’s not about one breath, one motion. For Sam Hann, the work goes a lot deeper.
“Each time you’re on the mat,” he mentioned, “It’s a dialog you might have with your self.”
Sam says once you step in your mat, it’s like writing a journal entry. As a substitute of crumpling these ideas up in a ball and throwing them away, pay attention to what comes up. Write it down in your thoughts, as a result of to be within the wrestle, to be along with your breath, builds the psychological resilience that sustains us.