Thierry Yoga

I am delighted to welcome Thierry Giunta, founder and creator of Beamblock Yoga. You may have seen Thierry on Dragons Den and accepting the backing from Dragon, Peter Jones.

Good morning Thierry and thank you for taking the time to answer some questions for Oapschat

Have you always been interested in health and fitness?

Yes I have. When I was a teenager I lived in a remote village in the South of France and used to cycle 10 miles to get to the nearest gym. As a kid I was also very fond of tennis and was obsessed with watching Wimbledon on TV. I remember hitting the ball against my father’s garage door because I did not know anyone else who liked tennis.

Thierry Giunta

How long have you been a yoga trainer?

I have been trained as a yoga teacher now for 15 years. I trained back in 2000. At the time I also worked for British Airways as Cabin Crew Member so I used my work to attend classes all around the world and learn about different styles of yoga. During my career as a Yoga instructor I have organised Yoga retreats around the world and have run well-being programmes for corporations such as British Airways, Eurostar and Shell. I also trained Madonna's personal trainer when the fitness-hungry singer was living in London.

Thierry Giunta

 

How long did it take to to produce BeamBlock and how did you come up with the idea?

While teaching yoga at sports clubs, I became increasingly aware of how little use yoga and yoga teachers were making of yoga blocks. The solid foam blocks which are mostly used to help people ease into certain positions when they lack the required flexibility were readily available but mostly overlooked. In truth they are often seen as an obstruction to the flow of a yoga practice. I soon realised that rather than being an obstacle, yoga blocks could provide a solution to making my classes more exciting and challenging so I re-designed them and created BeamBlock. I have spent the past 5 years working on the project - conducting research, prototyping, testing, production and marketing. I have sacrificed everything I have for this project as I believe in it so much.

Do you consider yoga to be the best form of exercise both mental and physical?

Yoga has a very good reputation. It is a good way to connect mind to body but I wouldn't say that it's the only way to achieve this, it is just the most effective way I know and use. At the end of the day it is a matter of preference but for me yoga brings balance to my life.

Thierry Giunta

As we become older and some of us become less mobile, is yoga one of the best forms of exercise and can BeamBlock be a good way to start for a beginner?

BeamBlock is good for those who are new to yoga. It is a simple way to learn about yoga because it contains a number of unique features that differentiates it from traditional yoga and makes it more accessible: the colour coded pads that help follow class flow more effectively, the hexagon shaped stations help to correct foot alignment and placement and the fingers slots provide support when stretching and allow students to measure progress.

How many gyms in the UK feature BeamBlock yoga?

This is work in progress. BeamBlock Yoga is a new and innovative yoga class concept and at the moment I am in talks with gyms to introduce this new discipline to their timetable.

Are you planning to sell BeamBlocks to department stores and make a video so that people can try this at home?

Yes I will soon be exploring the feasibility of making BeamBlock Yoga more accessible to those who won't be able to join my classes. I really like the idea of reaching people in their homes wherever they are around the world so however I can make it happen, that's definitely an objective of mine I'm working on with the Dragons.

How do you relax?

I love good food because it feeds both my body and my soul. I also love walking in a natural environment like parks - it really helps me to clear my head and recharge. To keep me strong I go to the gym too and of course I do yoga.

Thierry Giunta

Can you describe a typical day for us?

I get up and one of the very first thing I do is to have some cinnamon tea and freshly cut mango pieces. Then I check my diary. Check my emails. Do a bit of social media. And then get ready for the gym or my yoga practice depending on the day. I am currently working on different mini projects like the BeamBlock Yoga manual which I am preparing at the moment. Of course I also have regularly meetings with the Dragons and I'm currently visiting quite a few gyms and centres in the pursuit of a deal with the company I feel will best suit my new concept. Overall days are busy but I love being busy.

Where do you like to go on holiday?

I have been lucky enough to travel the world with my previous job so I have met some amazing people and visited some truly beautiful places. My heart always takes me back to nature and mountain so for me the best holidays are those that lead me to wide and wild open spaces.

Thierri Guinta

Do you have time for hobbies?

I make time for hobbies. I like simple things in life. For me watching my favourite tv shows is relaxing especially the Hotel Inspector on ITV or The Apprentice on BBC.

Who would you choose as a dinner guest and why?

I would love to spend some time with couple Andre Agassi & Steffi Graf. They now live in Las Vegas but would love to meet them. I have always been a huge fan of tennis and have always followed their career and achievement very closely. They have been inspiring me from a very young age. Back then it was because of their sheer determination and discipline today it is because of the work their do to help others.

Thank you so much for your time Thierry. I wish you all the best for the future and hope that BeamBlocks will be available to buy worldwide. You certainly deserve every success.

 

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