The Bootcamp Yogi
OCCUPATION Fitness Instructor. Yoga Teacher. Tech Guy.
LIVES: East London
Photos by Benoit Berthe Siward
WHAT’S YOUR STORY?
Originally from Boston, I moved to London in the Fall of 2014 (which I now refer to as Autumn) for a job. A few years ago I realised that while tech is exciting and interesting, I am much more drawn to fitness, yoga, health, and wellbeing. Looking back on my childhood, I found fitness and exercise as a way to overcome my own insecurities. I was a fat kid growing up and I had tremendous shame from constant bullying; my nickname in school was Fatty Matty. As a young adult, my sister Adena Muncey, a certified personal trainer, yoga instructor, and acupuncturist, helped me overcome my own anxiety by teaching me how to exercise and eat properly. I’ve spent the last decade learning proper weight and cardiovascular training, high intensity training, kettlebells, TRX, as well as Baron Baptiste and Vinyasa yoga. I began teaching personal training and yoga 10 years ago in Philadelphia where I attended university, and since moving to London in 2014 I’ve taken everything I’ve learned and more to expand my teaching to fun, dynamic, and especially strong classes at a studio called Stretch, as well as in my own fitness brand, Lunges in Leggings, which offers bootcamp and yoga classes in East London with a strong gay male audience, and of course a love of lycra. One day I hope to launch Lunges in Leggings as a larger brand outside of London!
SOMETHING BRAVE YOU’VE DONE:
I’ve recently left my job in tech, and while I’d like to do fitness full time, I still need a visa to live in the UK. In the meantime, while looking for a new job, I just booked a one-way ticket to India to explore, travel, and experience life in another culture. I haven’t yet purchased my return ticket, but I assume I’ll be back early 2018 for more Lunges in Leggings, and expanding my bootcamp classes into offering more yoga as well.
WHAT MAKES YOU UNIQUE?
Uniqueness comes from a blend of personality and experiences. For me, I grew up in an orthodox Jewish community where I only knew other people like myself until I went to college. I was in a bubble, yet yearning to leave that bubble. When I turned 18, I spent a year in Israel, which is where I started to find myself, my identity. I fell in love with fitness, I came out as a gay man, I realised that my relentless energy and excitement could be useful in life, I backpacked through Europe, I lived in Jerusalem! Fast forward 12 years, and having turned 30, I am living in London, I started a bootcamp class two years ago, and I’ve recently completed my yoga teacher training at Stretch. Besides PT and Bootcamp, I now teach callisthenics, TRX, Kettlebells, body conditioning, animal movement and flow, and of course a strong vinyasa flow, while at the same time employed in a full-time tech job (although currently looking for a new one!). I believe that my excitement and motivation really gives me the energy and ability to teach and share. At the same time, I have deeply connected to my yoga practice in such a way that I have found stillness, focus, and presence. I find teaching HIIT classes exhilarating and exciting, while teaching yoga enables me to be grounded and centred (although still quite an intense workout). So, to answer the question as to what makes me unique, I would say it’d be embodying the tagline of my bootcamp class. Lunges in Leggings: “Putting the camp in bootcamp.”
DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE:
Fun, energetic, strong, and a tad bit camp. With my colourful leggings, motivating music, and creative class structures, I meld together my experiences as a bootcamp instructor and yoga teacher. I encourage sweating, clapping, jumping, and of course burpees in almost every class. I’ve even dabbled in the occasional Yoga Burpee, although I’d say a bit less grounding than my typical flow! Whether it’s making up a strength-based circuit to a RuPaul song or a handstand-focused HIIT class, I make people sweat and laugh, and ideally leave feeling stronger, more flexible, and perhaps with a friend or two.
Oat’s Milk lattes. I discovered them recently. They’re amazing. Try one and you’ll see why. And no, I’m not vegan.
Ironically, after starting my yoga teacher training, my newest motto is quite unlike my personality, and I like it that way: Invite silence, welcome silence, and slowly silence will become part of you.
FAVOURITE PAIR OF KAPOW MEGGINGS
Cobalt Blue: I am VERY keen on owning a pair.
Next up: Electric Graffiti for sure!