A Q&A with one of London’s brightest up and coming yoga teachers…
Tell us a bit about yourself…
I’m David Kam, a London-based movement artist and yoga teacher. Movement is my way of poetry and through sharing my practice, I invite others to do the same, rediscovering their inner dancers.
When did you qualify and where do you teach?
When I realised that sharing the gift of knowledge is the closest I will get to living my childhood ambition of being Santa, I went to qualify in 2014! I currently teach all over London at studios including Method Movement, CHROMA, Another Space, Yogarise Peckham, Indaba and FRAME (Kings Cross), which I am an ambassador for.
I also offer a free Sunday morning class across Lululemon stores every month as a way of keep my yoga accessible to everyone. It’s just so nice to be able to engage with communities from different pockets of London. Private sessions with me are available exclusively via Yogassential.
What always surprises people about you?
I didn’t grow up dancing as a kid. In fact, I was that chubby kid who would cry during Sports Day when told to run. All I knew then was that I am an artist at heart, and little did I know after a degree in architecture, that movement would eventually become my primary medium of artistic expression.
What’s the best piece of business advice you’ve ever received?
“Don’t be afraid to put your work out there.”
Teachers tend to feel guilty about promoting their own classes, workshops & retreats – especially across social media. Then they end up stressing about no one turning up and the vicious cycle continues. It’s one thing to spam people endlessly across their feed, but don’t deny your students the opportunity to attend your sessions. No one knows what you’re up to if you keep hush.
And if students enjoy your classes, allow yourself to receive their compliments and encourage them to share their experiences with the studio you work at. Empower your students to be your cheerleaders, as agents for word of mouth to happen. Chances are if they like you, their friends and families might like you too! About 75% of the opportunities I’ve been offered, be it from studio classes, private clients, wellness events to photoshoots were through peer and client recommendation or positive feedback from students.
What business focused resources would you recommend and why?
I firmly believe that the success behind any long-lasting career of vitality is the ability to be continuously inspired and more importantly, the confidence to act upon it. That is why The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron is a resource I highly recommend, one I myself constantly return to. This self-help book offers techniques and exercises to help you overcome any artistic blocks stemmed from insecurities and replace them with self confidence and productivity. It helps demystify the creative process by making it a part of your daily life. In my case, this book prompts countless food for thought to have me continuously access if all that I’m doing still stems from a place of integrity, guiding me towards clarity in how I’d make big decisions towards shaping my personal trajectory. I see this book as a great investment regardless of your profession really.
A virtual resource I’d recommend would be the Digital Yoga Academy run by my dear friend Kelly McHugh, who’s been tirelessly churning out a wealth of resources in online marketing for yoga teachers. The academy is also an interactive global community where you get to share your work for feedback or simply be inspired by how other teachers run their marketing strategies online. Once in a while, Kelly also runs live Facebook sessions where you get to ask her anything within a chosen topic of discourse. Definitely worth checking out if you are trying to figure out how to build an online presence to support your teaching.
What do you know now that you wished you had known when you started teaching yoga?
I’ve learnt not to allow both my ‘successes’ and ‘failures’ dictate what I do next. To focus on maintaining a sense of progression following both highs and lows matters way more than wasting time indulging or wallowing over what has passed.
Rest directly reflects the quality of your teaching. If you don’t allow yourself to receive, you will have nothing to give. I can’t emphasise enough how crucial this is, particularly for those teaching full time. Schedule in a non-negotiable day off to allow yourself some recharge time.
You will never know enough. The more you fill your hours of training, the more you feel you don’t know. Don’t let this intimidate you. Remind yourself that you’re a lifelong student after all, so simply teach to the best of your ability at present.
What are you most excited about now?
It is quite an exciting time indeed… Since I started posting my Thursday flow videos, I’ve been receiving such lovely messages from all around the world asking me to share my practice with them in person, so I thought it’s time to make the effort to do so! I’m in the midst of designing a few signature workshops which I plan to share both within the UK and internationally in the coming year. These workshops will fully embrace the style I’ve developed based on my experiences across various movement disciplines, philosophy and life in general. This also includes the matless flows I have recently been posting about. Till then, I’ll keep sharing my videos to stay connected with the community online. If you would like me to come visit, get in touch and I’ll see what I can make happen!
Where can we find you?