We are stoked to introduce Caleb Jude Packham as one of our founder Brand Warriors. Caleb has an exciting canvas and his previous escapades include acting in 'Home and Away' and presenting for Australian MTV. 45 year old Caleb currently lives in London, where he is a Sattva yoga teacher, Script writer, model and philanthropist. If that is not enough he is also a super chilled, down to earth guy and we are honoured to have him on board as a Brand Warrior. Here is Caleb’s story:
Let’s rewind to Australia and MTV presenting – how did you get into that and what were the highlights for you?
Well, I started out as an actor and was really focussed on that for quite a few years, mainly acting in Sydney theatre. Then one day my agent called to tell me the producers of MTV wanted to see me for a screen-test. My initial reaction was no way, I'm so not cool enough to be an MTV VJ. And on the day of the audition I nearly didn't go because I missed the bus and was so late. When I finally made it to the studio I was so over it and completely convinced that I didn't stand a chance. And it's that couldn't-care-less attitude that nailed me the job. I worked on the channel for about five years and it was amazing. I got to interview my music idols and goof around on camera for a job. No complaints!
You starred in Home and Away, an Australian Soap Opera which was very popular in the UK and once which has born stars such as Margot Robbie and the late Heath Leger, did you ever get to meet them and what was the funniest moment that you can remember on set?
Well, I wouldn't say it was a starring role. More like a minor guest role but it was kind of cool cos I got to sit behind Dannii Minogue in the Summer Bay High classroom and pull her hair.
How did your journey with yoga start?
I first got into yoga four years ago after developing plantar fasciitis. Inflammation of the fascia on the sole of the foot. In my case it was caused by tightness in the hamstrings and calves. I could barely walk and I was trying everything to heal it and that led me to yoga. I remember hobbling into Triyoga in Soho for my first class. I honestly feel the Universe was a work because the teacher turned out to be Leila Sadeghee, who is incredible, both in terms of technique and also from the soul aspect. She shared some wisdom at the top of the class which moved me profoundly and in that moment, I knew that yoga was to become a whole lot more than rehab for my foot.
You teach an interesting style of yoga that many people aren’t aware of - tell us more about Sattva.
The thing that I love about Sattva (pronounced Satt*wa) is that it's not just a physical practice but a union of many different yogic paths. We incorporate asana with pranayama, kriya, meditation, mantra and free movement to create a transcendental experience that we call a Sattva Yoga Journey.
Typically a Sattva Journey runs for between ninety minutes to two hours. I always begin with a theme, then invite the journey to emerge, opening a pathway for energetic shifts to occur in the mind, body and spirit.
Music plays a big part in Sattva. Sometimes I bring in live musicians to support the practice with healing instruments such as harmonic gongs, singing bowls, the didgeridoo and shamanic drumming.
Even people who've practiced yoga for years say they've not experienced anything quite like Sattva. If you've looking for a deeply spiritual practice, something that can truly help you achieve your fullest potential, Sattva could be for you.
What is your most profound experience since you have been practising yoga?
I would say definitely I've had some profound experiences during teaching. Sometimes during a journey something will emerge that was not part of the plan for the class. But I know its coming up to be released. The magic happens when I fully trust myself to take the students deeper into that which is arising in the moment. It might be that I introduce a kriya that I hadn't planned but intuitively know is appropriate in that moment. When I'm fluid and intuitive in my teaching, it's like a whole new dimension opens up.
Have you got any entertaining yoga stories to share?
Well, once taught a whole class with my shorts on back to front and inside out.
A pub is an unusual but fantastic choice of venue for a yoga class. What are the benefits of avoiding mainstream studios?
It's my mission to make yoga accessible to people who might feel uncomfortable, for whatever reason, setting foot into a yoga studio. My pub yoga classes have a great turn out of guys. They really love it. Not that anyone hangs around afterwards for a beer! There's something really beautiful and magical about bringing yoga to a space that's not conventionally a yoga space.
We really want to hear more about your long-term script writing project. Are you able to share more about this with us?
Writing has always been a passion of mine so when I gave up TV, I soon found myself inspired to begin writing a screenplay. I didn't expect the project would become such a huge commitment but it's pretty much consumed my co-writer and I for the past ten years. We're excited now to be in the finishing stage, refining the final draft. Without giving too much away, it's a mind-bending sci-fi thriller about human evolution.
You have been at the driving force behind the Academy of Hope. Please tell us more.
While I was in India last year, I connected with Deepak, a young man living with his family in the slums of Dharamshala. I was appalled by their living conditions. Tents made from bamboo and plastic. No electricity. No toilets. One tap for over 800 people. I met Deepak when he stopped me in the street one day and asked me if I could possibly buy some food for his family. Some eggs, rice and milk, for which he was very grateful, but it got me thinking. There must be something I could do that would be more helpful, that could provide longer-term solutions for their hardship. Then I had the inspiration to hold a fundraiser on my return to London. A 'by-donation' yoga class to raise funds to pay for schooling for Deepak's five year old daughter Tamana. Not only did the event raise enough funds to cover school fees Tamana for eight years, it also inspired other yoga teachers in my network to get involved and now together we are supporting ten children from Deepak's village through education. This is just the beginning for the Academy of Hope. I hope to inspire more yogis to get involved. It costs just 30,000 rupee per annum to school a child in India (less than £300). An easy amount to raise through crowdfunding so if there's anyone out there reading this who'd like to help in whatever way please get in touch via www.yogicaleb.com
What is next for Yogi Caleb?
Well I'll be around teaching my usual classes in London for the next few months before I head back to Asia after the summer. I'll be holding a retreat in Vietnam in October. Then I'm teaching at the Namaste Festival in Jakarta, followed by another retreat in Bali. Subscribe to my mailing list on my website to be kept in the loop about these events and more.
Please could you leave us with some words of wisdom for the Warrior Addict Community.
The essence of you is indestructible. It cannot be touched by judgement, by insults, by opinions, by failure. Know this and be free of fear.
You can find Caleb’s teaching schedule on his website: www.yogicaleb.com For more information about the Academy of Hope and to make a donation, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/tamana