Sam Hann is right here for a motive. He believes he has an obligation to share the apply of yoga with the world. His courses take the bodily postures as an entry level into understanding one’s physique extra deeply and use it as a metaphor for constructing psychological fortitude.
“You might be your physique. You might be your thoughts. You might be your coronary heart,” Sam mentioned. “They don’t exist with out the opposite.”
Sam started educating in Sydney, Australia in 2017. At the moment, his educating targeted on the bodily facets of the apply. When his older brother, Blake Hann, handed away in March of 2021, Sam’s life modified eternally. He took a pair months off from educating, and when he was able to return, his focus as a trainer shifted, too.
Though Sam discovered it difficult to return to educating and share that vulnerability in entrance of a room full of individuals, he additionally discovered it to be a robust expertise throughout a time of grief.
“I knew from the second I began that I used to be going to be a trainer,” he mentioned. “I knew how the apply made me really feel, so, I knew I had an obligation to share that with others.”
Be Your More true Self
Sam’s attain stretches far off the mat now. His brother was a sniper within the Australian Military and was stationed in Iraq, and Sam does quite a lot of work with veterans, psychological well being, and suicide prevention. He mentioned that though his brother didn’t take his personal life, he knew that his brother was struggling.
“He’s my hero,” Sam mentioned.
He displays on the character of siblinghood and describes the inherent barrier between older and youthful brothers. He noticed Blake as larger and stronger and mentioned that he by no means informed him with phrases that he was happy with Sam. As a youthful brother, Sam mentioned he sought validation, however it wasn’t till Blake’s funeral that Sam realized how proud Blake was of him.
Blake’s military brothers, as Sam refers to them, approached him on the funeral and mentioned, “You’re the yoga man! You’re Sam!” When Sam requested them how they knew who he was, they responded that after they had been in Iraq, Blake continuously took his cellphone out and proudly pointed to an image and mentioned, “That’s my youthful brother.”
As he cried, Sam mentioned, “That’s the reason I really feel I’ve an obligation to be right here as a result of I do know he was proud.”
Each month Sam runs a free males’s solely yoga class the place anybody, whether or not they’re a member on the studio or not, can attend and have the prospect to fulfill different males and be in an area the place they really feel supported and discover power in vulnerability.
“It doesn’t make you any much less masculine. If something, it makes you extra masculine since you’re not hiding your more true self,” he mentioned. “There may be such an influence in vulnerability.”
Transferring By way of Adversity
After his brother’s demise, Sam mentioned issues had been too quiet in his thoughts. He wanted a meditation, however he additionally wanted one thing extra lively, so he started operating.
“It nonetheless allowed me to be with my ideas however not be nonetheless,” Sam mentioned.
He began lengthy distance operating in his brother’s honor. In 2021, he ran 36 kilometers, roughly 22 miles, for Blake’s thirty sixth birthday. In 2022, he ran 55 kilometers, or 34 miles.
Most lately, he ran a half marathon in a speedo and a 22-pound weighted vest for the Weight of Warfare occasion. The vest symbolized the burden of battle, and the speedo symbolized vulnerability. Irrespective of how heavy the vest appeared through the race, the runners knew on the finish they may take it off.
“Whereas veterans who’re scuffling with PTSD and lengthen it out to anyone who’s struggling with psychological well being points, they don’t have the chance to only take that vest off,” Sam mentioned. “They need to dwell with it.”
The work Sam does permits him to attach together with his brother whereas bringing consciousness to the veteran neighborhood. It’s about shifting via adversity in a constructive approach, and the apply of yoga, meditation, and operating has helped Sam push via.
“Selecting to push your self past your limits to find what’s beneath the floor,” he mentioned.
A Dialog with Your self
Sam teaches at Physique Thoughts Life studio in Sydney. Within the practically 5 years he’s been there, he sees the development of scholars from day one. Perhaps they begin out a bit not sure and keep behind the room. They preserve with it, and Sam describes them now as breaking via the room, chest-open, excited to come back to yoga, and chatting about their lives.
“That’s 100% why we as lecturers do what we have to do and why it’s so necessary to proceed to try this,” Sam mentioned. “To permit folks to proceed their very own journeys.”
You are able to do that as a trainer, or you are able to do that as someone who merely offers somebody a hug and lets them know that they’re not alone. The journey, Sam says, is about understanding your self. You must really feel your approach into the poses. It’s not about one breath, one motion. For Sam Hann, the work goes a lot deeper.
“Each time you’re on the mat,” he mentioned, “It’s a dialog you could have with your self.”
Sam says if you step in your mat, it’s like writing a journal entry. As a substitute of crumpling these ideas up in a ball and throwing them away, pay attention to what comes up. Write it down in your thoughts, as a result of to be within the battle, to be along with your breath, builds the psychological resilience that sustains us.