Finding Balance with Your Corporate Life and Wellness — An Interview with the Yogibanker
I had the pleasure of speaking with Scott Robinson, a warm and friendly yoga and meditation certified teacher who is also a Director at Deutsche Bank in the UK! Scott is one of London’s leading health & fitness providers for hard-working professionals working in financial services corporations and is known as the Yogibanker. Please have a look through this article for some fascinating insights into this cheerful wellbeing and financial-services provider’s life experiences, his advice and ideas on yoga, meditation, the corporate working world and over-all wellbeing. To check out the Yogibanker website, click here, and see the bottom of the article for all of his social media pages!
Tell me about your journey to becoming the Yogibanker.
“My interest in wellbeing started back in 2006 when a therapist offered me a session of reiki. I remember very clearly that I felt I was floating on the therapy bed as if I was in suspended animation. It was the most surreal experience, and at that point, I felt I wanted to explore further working on an energetic level.” I get a feeling of Scott’s sense of astonishment in his voice.
“I went to find people who could offer these services and met a gentleman by the name of Sunil Rathod, who runs a holistic healing centre in Kenton, in the North of London. Sunil was very spiritual and offered me regular reiki sessions. We became quite close, he started talking about meditation and spiritual texts, and that’s where it all started! It was interesting being given these insights into an alternative way of thinking and living. While I was working full time in large institutions, including law firms and banks, these gave me deep insights on how to lead an alternative life. I think having that exposure at a point in time when I was emotionally feeling distressed, gave me an insight on how to approach these institutions more naturally and holistically.”
I love the line from your HuffPost article Agent for Change: Agent Yogibanker: “the winds of change sweep through the world from time to time.” What are your thoughts on change?
“One of the things that the Buddha would teach is that change is constant. If we understand that it is constant, we can become less attached to wishing things were different, because things are always changing.” His tone is soothing.
“A change that is also happening in the mainstream Western world is the norms for ways of living. You see more and more people from a conservative background (working in financial institutions or the corporate world) exploring different ways of living or approaches to life, like yoga and meditation.” Scott’s optimistic tone ringing true, with statistics stating that between 20,000 and 30,000 yoga classes are taught in the UK each week, and growing!
Tell me about what you felt before you found yoga and meditation, with relation to your corporate career and the changes you’ve seen within yourself.
“Before yoga and meditation, I felt the balance in my life could improve,” He pauses thoughtfully. “Yoga and meditation gives you that balance and creates some space in your life, which I have seen within myself. You have to be consistent because when you don’t practise, your mind becomes less settled, and you feel less balanced.
Whereas with the dedication to your yoga and meditation, it gives you the ability to respond to situations and the pressure better. You can recognise when emotions start to rise, and you can choose to respond to those emotions in the most appropriate way, not from a more impulsive place.”
As someone who seems to be juggling a lot in terms of your yoga practice, yoga teaching, working at an international bank, your writing/ blogging and some public speaking, what advice would you give to those who want to — or already are — career and life jugglers?
“Juggling is what I’ve become used to, and now a part of my life, the most important thing when you have multiple interests is that you need to demonstrate a level of commitment. The commitment to making the yoga practice a part of your life and for it to form part of your routine.
For example, committing to waking up earlier to practice yoga and meditation before work. Some people struggle to find the time, but there is always a way to make time for commitments. With regards to career, I believe consistency breeds results, so setting some time dedicated for your normal life, your work life and your practice, will mean your wellbeing becomes balanced.”
Can you describe your style of yoga and meditation for our readers?
“My style would be described as a dynamic Vinyasa style of yoga, which means that the flow in which I link postures together is more creative and less traditional. The form has influences from Iyengar yoga, Ashtanga and Hatha too. I like to work with a specific mix of dynamic movement, breathing techniques and holding postures for one to two minutes, depending on the pose. It is a practice that emphasises a dynamic range of movement, balance, and flow.
In terms of meditation, I was initially trained in and practised a transcendental style. Whereas now, I practice a more mindfulness-based meditation style which I have recently been trained in. I currently teach mindfulness meditation at Deutsche Bank. In transcendental meditation, you are given a sacred mantra, which you concentrate your mind on. Whenever you notice the mind has become distracted, you refocus on repeating the mantra. The result of mantra meditation is transcendence in consciousness, creating a deeply relaxing experience. Whereas, mindfulness meditation is the conscious practice of placing the mind and becoming aware of our thoughts and feelings without judgement.”
What are your thoughts on yoga and meditation with regards to your ‘true self’ or ‘inner voice’?
“If you look at the history and philosophy of yoga, it is all about self-realisation. Meditation is at the core of yoga — finding your inner-self and the inner voice that guides us is what yoga is all about. Through the silence of a yoga or mediation practice, is when we can hear our inner-voice, allowing us to tune in and connect to it.”
Do you recommend other wellbeing modalities like reiki, for people who work in the corporate sphere?
“I would encourage anyone working in the corporate world to be curious, and maybe you will find it is something that works for you, and not to be put off by the stigma. I believe that a lot of this energy work relates to tuning into our biomagnetic field and connecting to the earth’s natural energy channel. I believe working on an energetic level can be a very powerful way of working to bring energetic balance. I believe they do work, how exactly they work is another question, but they do work.”
What are some of the most significant discoveries you have made over the last five to ten years? (This can be interpreted as mentally, emotionally, physically, financially, spiritually or all of them)
“One is that the body can change, with enough practice and time. Just four years ago, I was around 77kg, and now I am around 68kg, and that’s just from my consistent practice. What I’ve learnt from starting Yogibanker is that being persistent with being consistent pays off. You may hit roadblocks or periods where you may question ‘why am I doing this?’, but if you are persistent in your efforts, you will be rewarded.
For me financially, I try to save regularly and being consistent in how much I save essential as well. When I look at the spiritual side of life, I’ve always taken the view that if you love what you’re doing, and follow your passion, there will eventually be rewards there too.”
What excites you about both your yogi-life and corporate-life?
“Firstly, I see my yoga practice and my corporate life as a kind of ‘Yin and Yang’, being able to do both and see how practising yoga can improve my corporate life in terms of my working ability. Also, I’m passionate about teaching yoga and mindfulness, the fact that my personal practice is now something I can share with others in the hope they pick up that same passion, which I love. Also, yoga is very exciting as it is an extremely rich and diverse subject — from the philosophy, physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, postures and teaching methods.”
What are your thoughts on nutrition?
“It is crucial to understand what works for you and your body because everybody is different; we need to find out what may be our requirements or specific imbalances. One way could be to find out would be through nutritional therapy or other functional medicine practices. Finding out what that specific person needs and how their lifestyle might affect that, and learning to listen to your body as it may be telling you what it needs.”
What advice do you have for someone who has been meditating a while and still find they react strongly in the wrong ways when emotions like anger or sadness come up in life?
“I’m taking the ‘wrong way’ as to say they react in a way they perhaps regret when anger or sadness come up. We are human beings, and human beings have emotions, and it’s all about recognising when these emotions arise. With mindfulness meditation, you’re training the mind in how it reacts to these emotions in the moment. My advice would be that when these emotions come up, recognise that these emotions are normal and simply just pause a second before reacting, giving you time to choose how to respond. But realise that these emotions should not be judged, as they are a necessary part of life.”
What has Buddhism or any other teachings taught you about things such as balance and compassion?
“Buddhism has taught me many things, like the nature of reality, and that everything is connected. It has taught me that at the heart of mindfulness is compassion, that we all have goodness — a light — within us. Also, at the core of Buddhist teaching is suffering, it is one of the Four Noble Truths. And that the way to alleviate suffering is first to understand its root causes. Also, if we can understand the suffering of others, it creates compassion for others and compassion for ourselves.”
Lastly, what does success mean to you?
“Especially in the Western world, success is associated with achievement. I think success for me is about what I’ve done as a teacher; what I’ve been able to share with others. To be able to inspire others through practising yoga and meditation, to take on new ways of living and improving their lives.”
Tell me what our readers can do to find you, what your platforms provide and let them know about any upcoming projects.
“They can find me on the Yogibanker platform where I teach yoga and meditation, I also have a regular blog on wellness topics, as I love to write. I have my recommended tribe of wellness professionals across different modalities on there. If people want to find out about what meditation or other wellbeing topics are, they can find all the information on the platform too.
I have an Instagram, which has yoga videos and pictures of me in my suit doing yoga around London. My LinkedIn profile is Scott Robinson, where I also write micro-blogs, a Twitter full of yoga and mindfulness content, and I also do live yoga sessions on Instagram Live for people to join in. In the future, I hope to start up soon: Meditate and Mingle, where people can meditate together and socialise afterwards through the Zoom platform.”
Well, that was my lovely and enlightening chat with the Yogibanker about balancing mindfulness with our corporate lives. Finding time for ourselves and delegating time to our projects wisely, being consistent in mindfulness and financial practices and taking a moment to pause before reacting are some of the fantastic tips I will be taking away from this interview. Not to mention, the profound wisdom to be gained from listening to the mind, the body and teachings such as Buddhism. If you want to find out more about Scott or try some Yogibanker vinyasa flow & mindfulness classes at Ten Health & Fitness, make sure to check out Scott Robinson’s pages below! I hope this brought you some insights into your personal wellness journey, as much as it did mine, and I wish you all the very best!
You can find his classes here and all his socials below:
Written by Jacqueline Renouard
Jacqueline Renouard is a Film and TV Production graduate with a passion for self-improvement. Her passion extends to researching psychology, nutrition and wellbeing through her 8-year yoga and meditation practice, and writing across many different styles.