Yoga Q&A

A chat with Will Blunderfield ahead of Sunday's event at BC Place

Sunday is Yoga Night at BC Place as fans will have the opportunity to take part in a post-match session with local guru Will Blunderfield. To register or to book a group of 10 or more, please contact Steve Williams at swilliams@whitecapsfc.com or 604-484-7871. Ahead of Sunday's session, we chatted with Will about his philosophy on the benefits of yoga.

Q: How long have you been teaching yoga at Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Club?

“I have been teaching for them for about two years now, and I have been teaching yoga in Vancouver since 2008.”

Q: The ‘Caps are hosting defending MLS Cup champions Sporting Kansas City. Who would the “champions” of yoga be?

“I like Baron Baptist, he is pretty cool! He is a yoga teacher who I am really inspired by, he is from San Francisco. I watched a lot of his DVD’s and stuff and he sort of inspired me to become a yoga teacher, he has his own style and he doesn’t apologize for who he is, I really like teachers like that who share what they love and they are not too concerned to try to fit into a mold.”

Q: What are some good yoga exercises for soccer players?

“I think meditation in general would be very beneficial.  While meditating you process your thoughts better and you are more focused on your tension, your breath and staying on your vortex, which is your centre. So, I would say gentle routines that focus on your breath, to sort of let your breath lead the movements rather than trying to force the movement and that can bring you to this sort of more chilled kind of state.”

Q: What are the general benefits of yoga? Does yoga help prevent injury?

“Yoga includes stretching, so this helps soccer players to become less susceptible to different kinds of injuries, like a sprained ankle or foot. Yoga works your weak spots. If you are working all these different poses and trying all these new movements, you are working your body to all these different positions that it has probably never been in before so it’s just going to enhance your overall physicality in ways that you never thought possible, like little muscles will start to pop out in places where you have never realized you even had them.”

Q: Could yoga conceivably help you become a better soccer player?

“For sure, I get a lot of soccer players in my classes, especially in my hot classes, they find that the heat is almost like a cardio exercise, cause you are sweating in like 40 degrees heat and your body has to learn how to acclimate to that so you get this amazing cardio workout for the whole hour to 75 minutes depending on the length of my class, but it’s definitely useful for cardio. Soccer players need the cardio exercise to perform better.”

Q: What are you most looking forward to from this Sunday’s yoga session at BC Place?

“I am just looking forward to rock it out with all these yogis, I just think my classes are always like a celebration of life in a way and a celebration of diversity; whether you are soccer player, or a lawyer, or whether you are black, or white, gay or straight, we can all just let our guard down and work out together and feel good together.”

Q: What’s the best way for interested fans to get involved in yoga?

“I would say, go to my website willblunderfield.com and I got my full schedule there and I teach everything from hot yoga to this new style of yoga I created myself, which is basically yoga and indoor cycling. I teach that at Steve Nash Fitness World & Sports Club actually, at its yoga location and it is basically just like a conscious cardio workout, which instead of like competing in a spinning class, it is more about turning inwards and focusing on your breath more like yoga medication.”

Q: How has yoga changed your life?

“I think it has made me more compassionate towards myself and my feelings. They say that you cannot get away with what you don’t cultivate for yourself so it sort of helped me cultivate more of a base of self-love that I can extend to other people. I am a working progress, even accepting that I am a working progress it’s a huge thing, just sort of learning to be ok where I am and love where I am and who I am. Yoga helps me to be more loving in general.”

Q: You have supported children and adults who have faced difficult times in their lives, whether physically or emotionally, how has yoga changed their lives?

“I taught them the fact that we are all the same. I volunteered at the Dr. Peter Centre last year and taught yoga to the people there and I have taught yoga to the blind, I taught yoga to many different groups of people and it goes back to the fact that we are all the same and no matter what your ability level is or what labels you have, we are all the same, we all just want to feel good, we all just want to love. It made me realize that within our diversity we actually are all one.”

To register or to book a group of 10 or more, please contact Steve Williams at swilliams@whitecapsfc.com or 604-484-7871.