You may have seen posts or stories of Clyde Hampton Jr. on our social media channels last year and it might have gotten you thinking “who is that gorgeous guy?!” Well, we are here today to formally introduce you to the man behind the images. Clyde Hampton Jr. is a yogi, personal trainer, entrepreneur and owner of NinjaFit Gym located in sunny Orlando, Florida. We learned about Clyde’s work when Ashtanga Yoga teacher, Kino MacGregor, highlighted Clyde’s teaching this past summer on Instagram. We immediately wanted to know more about this yogi warrior and his story.
Clyde Hampton Jr. is a breath of fresh air in the yoga world. His teaching is approachable, down to earth, creative and tangible. Clyde’s athletic and fitness backgrounds bring an anatomical dimension to his classes and he has the ability to push you in your practice in order to help you build strength, stamina as well as confidence.
In an industry represented by mainly female, thin, flexible, young, white privileged bodies, Clyde Hampton Jr.'s teachings and voice are essential! We believe it is necessary that all bodies, abilities, ages and ethnicities are represented in the yoga and wellness industry. We love that through Clyde’s work he is able to encourage more Black men to embrace yoga and show the entire world that Black Men Bend.
We sat down with Clyde last month to talk about his journey and experience thus far in his practice and the yoga industry. We hope that you enjoy the interview and are inspired to get on your mat today with Clyde as your guide!
PAAVANI: When did you take your first yoga class and what brought you to the mat?
Clyde: My first yoga class was in 2001 and I didn't like it! But later I came back to it with a thirst for handstands.
PAAVANI: Did you immediately know you wanted to teach yoga? When did you start teaching and why?
Clyde: No, not at all. I denied it for 2 years actually. I started teaching because athletes need it and I think I can connect with a style that they would relate to better than a standard class.
PAAVANI: Do you have a particular style of yoga that you teach or inspires your teaching?
Clyde: My style is vinyasa but my created style I call "Ocean Wave" because we flow in and flow out for repetition and strengthening.
PAAVANI: Where do you teach and how can people access your classes online?
Clyde: Online my classes are on Omstars Saturdays at 1pm eastern time. They also have replays so people can watch and take previous classes.
PAAVANI: Are you enjoying the process of learning more about Ayurveda? What is your favorite dinacharya practice (Ayurvedic ritual) so far and why?
Clyde: I am! I have really adopted tongue scraping. I feel like my mouth is fresher and food even tastes better and I'm really not a foodie.
PAAVANI: 2020 has been quite the year. From coronavirus to the Black Lives Matter movement, this year has given us all a lot to think about. As an African American male, what has been your experience this year and also what has been your experience in the wellness industry thus far?
Clyde: It's just been a challenge as a business owner. I think the coronavirus is just a way to help people understand they should take their health more seriously. BLM is something I have been living all my life so it's just new to the media. It is good that people are starting to hear us though.
PAAVANI: How do you think the yoga and wellness industries can be more culturally diverse and inclusive?
Clyde: Representation. So many people tell me they never see black men doing this or that...pretty much anything except sports and hip hop so putting the images out there helps a ton.
PAAVANI: What’s next for you?!
Clyde: I'm looking to link up with someone to do a yoga retreat and I want to launch my brand of toe socks to start to increase the conversations about the importance of taking care of your feet.
To take an Omstar yoga class with Clyde, click here!
To learn more about Clyde, visit Ninja Fit Gyms.