"Yoga and Pride have always been linked for me. My first pride was in 2013 in Vancouver where I was currently living. I also went to my first yoga class on that morning too" . . "At the time I was a classic closet case, completely confused & lost, low in confidence. I also, a few years prior, had major spinal surgery to correct a curvature in my spine (scoliosis), hardly helping my self-confidence. The surgeon had recommended yoga to loosen & strengthen the damaged muscles in my shoulders which over the years had caused me great discomfort. For 5 years, I ignored his advice . I was too nervous & self-conscious to go to yoga in the UK, because of all the flexible women & lack of men, it was intimidating. So instead had years of shoulder pain. However, in Canada the ratio of men to women in yoga was more even & so one day I decided to go to a class before joining my friends for the Pride parade . It made such an immediate difference to my shoulder, I felt such relief that I got a small burst of self-confidence. The feeling snowballed as later, while I was at the pride parade, I saw so much safe inclusivity & happy confident people that another deeper penny dropped. That day was such a massive turning point that I never looked back. I continued to practice yoga & my shoulder problems became history. I also gained self-confidence & body-confidence. Alongside this, since that pride day, I have become a happy and proud gay man, unafraid of being “different” in the eyes of my friends and family . After the initial joys of a shoulder-pain-free and closet-free life had settled, I wanted to give back to both communities that helped me at my time of need. I trained into yoga teaching, & now specialised in men’s yoga specifically designing classes that will help tackle common issues found in male bodies, whilst also volunteering for Pride in London attending year-round meetings & currently serving as Leicester Square manager, trying to recreate & further that safe & inclusive environment for anyone who needs it & feels outside of that in their daily life" Andy 🙏 .