THERE ARE FEW accolades in yoga, and yet the class I taught at the Bob Marley 'One Love Experience' at Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea felt like one. I have taught at the best spas around the world, and this was my best yoga gig ever.

I was eighteen when I first saw him perform in 1976 at the Hammersmith Odeon. Racism was violent, and it was scary to live as a black man back then. Fast forward forty years, and the political significance of Bob Marley's music has not changed. He made huge compromises as a black performer trying to reach white audiences while ensuring his political message of unity, peace, love, social justice, and human rights was still the heart of his music.

I read that Adidas hosted immersive yoga classes at the exhibition, So I asked if I could teach one of them. Unfortunately, they said they had scheduled their teacher's timetable with no spaces available. So, it came as a huge surprise when I later received an email inviting me to teach the last yoga class before the exhibition left London on its world tour.

It was an honour and a privilege to teach the last yoga class, which would signify the transition from the 18-year-old who danced to Bob Marley's live performances forty years ago -high as a kite, due to Rastas, who were smoking Ganja in front of me. To the man I am today.

As yoga gigs go, my adrenalin was through the roof with excitement. The setting was surreal because the class was held in a make-believe rainforest made of plastic. Yet, it depicted everything that a rainforest could be from my experiences in the Amazon and Indonesia.

Nonetheless, this was not about the room where the class was held. It was about the occasion and my opportunity to deliver what I love to teach and pay tribute to a man who preached love and togetherness. Everyone there, like me, was a Bob Marley fan first and a yogi second.

I was a student of art, and I am a lover of art in all its forms, and I see yoga as art. As a yoga instructor, you are constantly challenged to develop a unique sequence. My goal was to create yogic art through movement to complement the Bob Marley ethos.

But this incredible opportunity did have a unique challenge. I had little information on an unknown audience attending the class. Had any of them even done any yoga before? The key was not to overdo it and keep it simple. I focused on delivering a heartfelt practice that was a physical expression of his lyrics when he sang, 'One love, one heart. Let's get together and feel all right.' 

His music, like yoga, explored our feelings and experiences of sharing space to develop compassion and warm acceptance of ourselves and those around us. Yogis relate to the connected experiences of breathing and moving and living in our bodies, as this is the essence of yoga.

If you're wondering how teachers build a yoga sequence, we have a linear format, meaning one posture sequentially follows another. Starting with less challenging poses, moving to more challenging and returning to less challenging poses before savasana. 

Anatomy of a Yoga Class

Grounding

Warm-Up/Integration

Sun/Moon Salutations

Standing/Balancing Postures

Seated/Supine Postures

Savasana

The bottom line is the class was for knowledgeable and beginner yogis who loved Bob Marley. It was my role as a seasoned yoga teacher to spark inspiration. Using my intuition to gauge the class and pick up wordless cues from their responsiveness was the key to delivering a class that had something for everyone. 

To teach the last yoga class of the Bob Marley One Love Experience show in London before its world tour made me feel like the headline act at a music festival, with his music being that of the Pied Piper.

I'm as high as a kite again. 

Namastè

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