10 Questions with Mike Nevitt

Today we’re talking with Mike Nevitt about his life as a full-time yoga and meditation instructor and his adorable and humorous new book “The Lighter Side of Yoga.”

1. What first drew you to the practice of yoga?
Like so many others I was initially drawn to the practice of yoga as a way to control stress and find some mental balance and calm.

2. What made you decide to become a full-time teacher of yoga and meditation?
After a while of practicing I realised that I loved what it offered more and more, it became a lifestyle and eventually I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. My move towards becoming a full time teacher was a very natural and organic process. I didn’t take any formal teacher training, just shared with small groups what I had learned. The small groups became bigger and bigger and I just became a very well-known teacher in the UK. No one ever asked to see any formal qualifications.

3. Did you always have a sense of humor about the yoga/spiritual space, or was it something that developed with time and experience?
I have a deep respect for yoga and meditation and if anything I always took myself, and the practice a little too seriously. The sense of humour thing was something that developed gradually, especially as I became more and more disillusioned with trends that were occurring within the modern yoga scene. Even though the cartoons in the book can be seen as funny, each of them contains a statement that is more grounded in truth than humour.

4. What inspired you to start creating comics about the foibles of those who practice and teach yoga and meditation?
I think it was just a rising frustration and increasing dismay with the ‘yoga scene’ As I say in my introduction to the book I did a little scribble one day of a guy disturbing everyone in relaxation by answering a call on his phone. I posted it online and it got a huge positive response. To get such a large response from people identifying with the situation was like therapy. Inspired I did another scribble and that also got a large response. So began the process of pouring out all these little scribbles which ultimately turned into the book ‘The Lighter Side of Yoga’.

5. You have a few recurring characters in your comics. Do you have a personal favorite and why?
Cosmic Johnny is my favourite character, I love him, he’s me! He’s completely out there and crazy with ideas and contemplations!

6. How do you create your comics? Do you draw it freehand, use software, a combination of both?
I draw the initial cartoon as a freehand line drawing and then take it into some paint software to add colour and text.

7. Yoga and meditation with music or without? If with, what do you like for it?
Yoga sometimes with music, usually a relaxing background mantra. Meditation is always in silence for me, absolute contemplation of breathing in and breathing out and the ‘feeling’ of the present moment. Nothing else.

8. What do you find to be common misconception about yoga?
The classic ‘You have to be flexible to do yoga and the equally classic ‘I can’t do meditation, my mind is just too busy’

9. What’s next? Do you have any upcoming projects that my readers should be aware of?
Yeah, a number of exciting new projects that I’m getting together to present to my publisher. First one is titled ‘A journey through Strange with Cosmic Johnny and Yogi Mike’ It’s basically me and Cosmic Johnny sharing our thoughts and contemplations about meditation, the mind, the universe, consciousness, time travel and the delights of a fine red wine. The second is titled ‘Running for the Swings’ which is a collection of magical memories from my childhood growing up in poverty on a harsh northern council estate in the UK.

10. Parting shot! Ask us at The Magical Buffet any one question.
Your page is amazing, why do you not have more followers?!
Obviously not everyone has such refined taste as yourself.

About Mike Nevitt:
Mike Nevitt has been a practitioner and full-time teacher of yoga and meditation for over 25 years and has led workshops and seminars worldwide. He was formerly a graphic designer and commercial artist working in advertising agencies and design studios in the UK. You can find him at The Lighter Side of Yoga on Facebook and you can find his book here.

Get your own copy here. (This is an affiliate link to my Bookshop, which supports independent bookstores throughout the United States. If you use this link to purchase the book, I will make a small commission at no additional cost to you.)

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