Health & Fitness
Simeon Wright, 30, is more commonly known in Ashford as The Yoga Man. With his beaming smile, strong sense of community and his passion for creating a space for children to be creative and build self-confidence, you can see why his class members adore Simeon’s yoga sessions so much.
Brought up in South East London, Simeon was a teaching assistant for 8 years. He has since become a Family Liaison Officer, a Sports Coach and now a Children's Yoga instructor.
We caught up with Simeon to find out more about his unique Children’s Yoga classes, Simeon's inspirations and why he decided to set up his business in Ashford.
Why did you decide to specialise in Children's Yoga?
I wanted to create a space where children could have a voice, be creative, have some autonomy and where they could improve their self-confidence.
I also saw how yoga began to benefit my life in a positive way and improve my mental health and self-confidence. The breathing allowed me to deal with stress and the poses allowed me gain flexibility and strength. I then decided to teach these techniques to some of the children I was working with at school, to help give them a sense of self-regulation. It was a tool they could use to empower themselves.
I've worked in a lot of environments where it's rigid or austere; as someone who's been working with children for a decade now, it really goes against my values and ideas of how children should interact, be seen/heard and just play.
What does one of your Children’s Yoga Classes look like?
The class begins with some breathing, and we share something about the day. Then we read a positive affirmation card and make a pledge. Next, some warm up movements, then some main poses.
This could either be through me leading the poses, a story or some partner work. Then finally some yoga based games and relaxation time at the end with some breathing.
What do you like about working in Ashford?
I like the fact there's some really interesting, ambitious and creative people here; we can connect and throw around ideas. I love networking and just finding out people's stories and what inspires and drives them.
Looking to the future, my plan is to film a trailer in September - so watch out for that - and fill all 3 of my classes. Also I'd like to collaborate with more local creative people and put on a local event where we can mix kids yoga, dance and art together.
What are your proudest achievements?
Creating my business and creating a space where children feel calm, comfortable and are having fun.
I am also proud of getting a Foundation Degree in Early Years, and creating a Dads Club at my last school. Thirty Dad's came to it by the time I'd left.
Who inspires you?
I have many inspirations, Obama, Akala, Steven Barlett and Joe Wicks. But most of all my mum who is the strongest person I know and reminds me I can get through anything just by example alone.
Do you have any advice for new businesses coming to Ashford?
Just be fearless; it might be scary but it might be the best thing you've ever done, and impact people in a way you didn't even realise possible. Just be fearless. It's the things we don't do that we regret.
Do you have a life mantra?
One of my favourite quote is from Bob Marley "the greatness of man is now how much wealth eh acquires but his integrity and ability to affect those around him positively"