FITNESS SPECIAL: ROBERT INCE
Ever wondered what a real Scotsman wears under his kilt? Well wonder no more as a new book is released based on the viral yoga video sensation which broke the internet earlier this year. Q&C investigates why the downward dog has never looked so appealing.
Back in February a short video was uploaded to the internet of two lithe, bearded men practicing some acrobatic yoga moves against the rousing, rugged backdrop of rural Scotland – the Hermitage Forest in Perthshire to be precise.
Nothing so odd about that you may think, except the fact that they were both clad only in kilts. The closing shot was a predictable headstand where the kilts fell over the yogis’ heads revealing the bare cheek of it. Giving credence to the featured yogi’s belief that ‘everyone loves ass’, the video immediately went viral and has now been viewed more than 52 million times.
Finlay Wilson, 30, the star of the video, has been riding the wave of his new-found viral fame ever since and is now limbering up for even more recognition with the publication this week of a new book – Kilted Yoga.
If you’ve always fancied losing yourself in the wilds of Scotland and reconnecting with the natural world, then the book might just give you some extra inspiration. Kilted Yoga challenges you to look at the ancient practice of yoga in a whole new way. And if you’ve ever wondered what a real Scotsman wears under his kilt – wonder no more.
After recovering from an accident at the age of 19, Wilson, from Dundee, found yoga was the best way to rebuild his strength and help balance out his mental health. Now 30 and a qualified yoga instructor, Wilson decided to bring a modern twist to the practice, with a touch of tongue-in-cheek humour. He says: “Apparently there is something about the recipe of beards, kilts, butts and the Scottish Highlands that just works.”
Described as an eccentric, humourous and motivational guide to the fundamentals of yoga, Wilson says the book is a “manual for how to get started” with detailed instructions on specific yoga moves, breathing techniques and a whole collection of sexy photos of Wilson doing hard-core poses in the Scottish wilds, this time Glencoe in the Highlands.
Already the critics are singing his praises, with London’s Evening Standard saying about the tome: “Yoga can feel elitist but the book does not alienate. Partly because of its gentle humour, and partly because the language does not assume any knowledge of terms or sequences. It’s straightforward and to the point. And the scenery beats a sterile yoga studio.”
Since the original viral video became an instant global sensation, Wilson has been doing the rounds across the world’s media, including the iconic Today Show in the US and broadcasts in Australia, Europe and China. He took part in New York’s Tartan Day Parade (a flamboyant celebration of all-things-Scottish that culminates in a procession down Sixth Avenue in Manhattan) and was invited to talk about male mental health with the Health Secretary of the United Nations.
A peripatetic yogi, Wilson also travels the world teaching yoga classes and is soon to begin another tour which will take in Canada, Texas, Minnesota, Australia and New Zealand. “I’m that guy who always has a yoga mat at the airport,” he says, “and does headstands on the travelator.”
As well as encouraging more men to take up yoga - the so-called Broga phenomenon- Wilson is passionate about children getting involved too, suggesting the next generation’s interest in it is key to them enjoying its benefits for body and mind.
As for the now legendary video, he continues to curate the YouTube channel, uploading new ones all the time in order to build a library of yoga moves making it easier for people to follow and get as enthused as he clearly is - kilt optional!
If you’ve ever needed a bit of motivation to get yourself to a yoga class, the book’s stunning photography of the Scottish Highlands combined with the practical advice - and of course some manly sexy nakedness - might just swing it for you. The downward dog has never looked so appealing.
Finalay Wilson is the founder and principal teacher of Heart Space Yoga and Bodyworks in Dundee. Follow him on Instagram @finlay0901, Twitter @ScottishYogaBoy and @KiltedYogis
The book Kilted Yoga: Yoga Laid Bare, is published by Hodder and Stoughton and available now.