Ever wondered what a day in the life of a London yogi is really like? This week, we chatted to yoga teacher, founder of LEVELSIX studio & Neat friend, Will Wheeler, to find out exactly that. No, it’s not all Instagrammable breakfast bowls and morning-long vinyasa flows - keep scrolling to find out how he fuels his busy lifestyle and fits in training, teaching & running a growing business…
Has health & fitness always been important to you?
Fitness and movement makes up a huge part of my lifestyle these days, but I wasn’t super inspired by exercise at school. The boys did football and the girls did netball during PE class. Then I moved to London and trained in acting and physical theatre, so I became really aware of what my body was and wasn’t capable of. I took up yoga and switched to a veggie diet. From there my love for health and wellness grew.
When and how did you first get into yoga & why does it appeal to you?
I was invited along to a hot yoga class with a friend and got hooked. I felt so good in my body; I wanted this feeling to last and to enjoy the practice again and again. I went on to train to be a teacher and have travelled across the world to teach, working with some great brands like lululemon, Mindful Chef and Neat along the way. I now run a yoga studio and various yoga retreats worldwide. I never imagined this would go from being an occasional hobby to a total lifestyle, but I’ve never looked back.
What does a day in your life look like?
I always start the day with a big brekkie - it sets me up for the day both physically and mentally. I work evenings usually and I’m a big fan of getting 8 hours sleep, so I’m not up at the crack of dawn. I’ll have breakfast and then usually walk 30 mins to my CrossFit gym, The Yard in Peckham. I love their lunchtime sessions with trainer Naama Choudary. After a blast of a lunchtime WOD, I head over the road to my studio LEVELSIX.
I usually start the day’s events by checking in with the team. I work across the programming for all our yoga events, including those for various community groups like schools and our local blind and visually impaired charity. I then teach a busy after-work evening yoga class. The class is 75 mins and it’s an open level flow. There’s music, a challenging flow sequence and I always allow time for a nice relaxation at the end of the session.
How do you maximise your time to fit in training, down-time and everything else whilst balancing a demanding job?
I always try to look at what I want to achieve that week, whether that’s fitting in 3-4 workouts, completing a work-focused goal or booking a trip. I’ve found launching my own business a real challenge, but I’ve been fortunate to have some great goal training through lululemon. I’m one of their Legacy Ambassadors and they’ve given me some great visualisation and goal coaching over the last few years which has really helped to shift my perspective. I try to keep a long term view when thinking of things like LEVELSIX and what we want to achieve as a studio.
How you keep fuelled when on-the-go or during busy times?
I am a massive fan of food prep and throwing some Tupperware in my bag daily. Having a set of go-to snacks and a big protein shake in my bag is essential, especially if I am out on the road teaching or if I’m between meetings. My shakes have a protein base, for which I always use Neat. I am a big fan of the brand and travel everywhere with it! The single-serving sachets always make it into my weekend travel bag or as part of a work trip; it's perfect for a snack in-between meals. I also find them really useful if I am busy travelling. I’ll squeeze in a short run or blast of HIIT and always finish it off with a Neat shake. My current favourite protein is the Vegan Vanilla Protein.
Will’s favourite shake: I use a vegan vanilla protein base, with almond milk, ice, some fresh or frozen berries and a big handful of basil to give it a fresh kick, along with a pinch of cinnamon. I’ve usually got some bananas in the kitchen too, so usually that or some other fruit gets thrown in to create a filling, long-lasting shake.
What exciting plans do you have in the pipeline this year?
I’ve got some epic retreats coming up from Scotland to Sri Lanka, I’m lucky enough to be teaching and taking clients to some amazing destinations. One highlight this year is the trip to Puglia in Southern Italy. I’ve been to this destination for the last three summers and it never disappoints - beaches, beautiful surroundings, daily yoga classes and brilliant food. It’s a wonderful trip.