Last week I had the pleasure of meeting the yoga jock himself, Michael DeCorte.
I took his class here. Michael followed my golden rule of exercise and had me dripping sweat within the first 10 minutes, something that never happens to me in yoga – and this wasn't hot yoga!
The class was 70% female, 30% male – a nice mix for a yoga class. The 75-minute session was set to really fun modern music, a refreshing change! It is easy to see why Jock Yoga classes appeal to everyone, they are challenging yet approachable. And the mini massage after is pretty great too!
Michael's story is incredibly inspirational:
The yoga jock grew up in Northwestern Ontario a very overweight and unhealthy child. At the age of 20 Michael made the leap to Toronto and found himself lost in the club scene of the early 90s. He found immense release in the drug-saturated environment and popularity/notoriety of being a bar star. Chewed up and spit out by the party life, Michael fled back home to Thunder Bay in 1997, where he began a battle between addictions and recovery.
After a few years of dabbling in sobriety, exercise and different spiritual traditions, Michael moved back to Toronto restored and revitalized. His physique as well as psychology were transformed. He became a bodybuilder, marathon runner and a certified personal trainer.
After attending his first Bikram yoga class in winter of 2002 Michael was hooked! In fact, he became obsessed with yoga, he had found something which he believes to be spiritual as well as physical.
Gradually, Michael let go of his strict body builder workout regimen, and began a daily yoga practice. He enrolled in the Downward Dog teacher-training program and never looked back.
"In practicing yoga, I've found my passion.
In teaching yoga, I've found purpose."
- Michael DeCorte, Founder of Jock Yoga
It's incredible how often people ignore their passion and pursue a career in business just because they think that it's the right thing to do. I know personally members of my family encouraged me to find a secure job in financial services world. When I told them I would be a trainer at first I was looked at like I was taking the vow of poverty … I think they are ok with it now! Michael wisely decided to "Do what he loves, and the money will follow." I love that – Go Michael!
Where to find him:
The best thing about Jock Yoga programs is you can do them all over the city! You don't have to join a special gym just to take his class. He teaches at Moksha and 889 Yoga among many other places that offer single class passes.
On his website Michael offers a schedule of where his next class will be. This makes him really easy to find!