New Yoga Manchester teacher on the block Stefan Podolczuk gives us the low down on his musical tastes, his fashion tips and a little advice for new teachers.


What are you listening to at the moment?

I’ll listen to something based on enhancing a mood I already feel, recently Earth, wind and fire or other funk to fly around on a bike. A bit of deep house, trance or the ambient Indian style yoga playlists on occasion of wanting to space out fully. There’s a guy called Craig Pruess who wrote some beautiful stuff, or Jon Hopkins immunity asleep version is great for relaxation post classes when I teach at the gym.


Where would you be teleported to?

On the back of a surfboard on the front of a big empty wave in Hawaii, Indonesia or Australia.


Where do you buy your clothes from?

Oxfam. Or gifted. Got a few clothes from brothers and friends. They mean more and I don’t like the idea of cheap manufactured clothes or waste.


What does a regular practice look like for you?

Daily pranayama meditation and asana. Usually 3 hours worth. I sleep 5/6 hours to fit it in, correct asana practice lets you run on this throughout the day without fatigue. It’s usually Ashtanga Primary but occasionally mix it up with a bit of Jivamukti, Hot yoga or Yin usually on a moon day.

One or two days of the month I’ll take a lie in.


Any advice to a yoga beginner?

Be patient. It’s not about “doing the poses”. It’s about always finding a new place to develop breath and bodily awareness.  If you think you’ve finished a pose and looking for new ones to satisfy… you don’t get it.Tight bodies are the best playground.If you are naturally flexible you will be really challenged because it’s tougher for you to keep the energy in the pose and build strength, especially if you are hyper-extensive.If your teacher doesn’t offer cues that help you find some new way of feeling the pose, find a better teacher.Main advice, keep practising!

What are you listening to at the moment?

A lot of Bon Iver. I go through phases of having an ‘artist of the moment’, in the last year these have included Zola Jesus (Skin), S Carey (Alpenglow), Daughter (Shallows), Ben Howard (Promise), and Jon Hopkins (Immunity). Bon Iver is perfect at the moment, with Holocene one of my all time favourites.


Where would you teleport to?

The moon. I’ve always been fascinated and soothed by the sight of the moon, its craters, and white surface, and like many people, am also affected by the cycles. If I were to teleport to the moon I would try to roll down a crater (I don’t know how difficult this would be without gravity), and bask in all the mooniness of the moon.


Where do you buy your yoga clothes?

Gosh, I can’t remember the last time I bought yoga clothes, which I think students can probably see! I suppose I go to anywhere that gives a teacher discount such as Sweaty Betty and Manuka as these are good quality and functional. That said, I wear old clothes for teaching and practising too, just anything that keeps me warm and allows my skin to breathe.


What does a regular practice look like for you?

It very much depends on my energy levels and how creative I’m feeling. I like to practice between 90 mins and two hours, but this isn’t always possible and as long as I’m on the mat five to six days a week I’m fine with fluctuating duration. I am increasingly less dictated by what I think I should practice and try to honour what is appropriate in the moment.


Any advice to a yoga beginner?

Keep trying to return your focus to the breath, find a good teacher and learn what you can, remain open yet committed to what makes you feel well.