Born and raised in Scotland, Scott Arnott’s journey with Urban Yogis UK (UYUK) all began when he met UYUK director Ben Eckett at a Yoga training around six years ago. Learning about the work Ben and business partner Adam Ballard were doing with Gloves Not Gunz, he realised he wanted to get involved but wasn’t sure how or what he could offer. He kept in touch with Ben, who he’d meet periodically when Ben (also a yoga teacher) came to practice.
It was in the second half of 2021 with the introduction of a mentoring programme when London-based Scott joined UYUK and started training in November ’21. Only a few months later they began delivering mentoring programmes in schools in 2022. In December that year, Ben and Adam asked Scott to become a UYUK Team Manager and get more involved in helping with funding and running the programmes.
With continued forward momentum and a kinetic energy directed at young people, how does Scott feel about his current role and focus? In his words: “I’m loving it!”. And we’re loving him! Scott Arnott is a force for good and a true expression of “Ahimsa” – the foundation of Yoga, which means “non-harming”.
We are stoked to have had the chance to sit down with our inspirational team manager and a mentor to many to discuss common misconceptions about yoga, Ted Lasso, and tips for young people starting yoga.
What projects are you focusing on this year?
Mentoring, Yoga workshops for Young People, Corporate Engagement/funding, Prison Yoga Accreditations and our own Yoga Teacher Training marketing/support, and most importantly supporting the teams to deliver.
Finish these sentences:
2023 is a year….when lots of the hard work by the UYUK team really kicks in and our programmes expand on the amazing foundations and work already delivered.
Yoga is…the ability to act rather than react.
What is a misconception people have about young people, and/or about yoga?
The biggest misconception about yoga is that you have to be anything to try it, fill in the blank, young, fit, flexible, supple, wealthy, thin, etc etc etc.
Yoga is the joining of the breath, body and mind. You can do that walking the dog, washing the dishes or on a yoga mat.
Young people have it really hard, especially given the massive changes imposed by lock downs and the pandemic. Expectations and relationships have been stretched and finding ways to build resilience and comfort about who you are, or want to be, is hard for everyone.
Being removed from the normal routines in life makes this even harder.
My observation is that most young people need to feel seen and heard, and that’s my goal.
Who are your role models?
Anyone who believes they can make a difference, and tries, makes me excited to be around them.
Failure to achieve what you aimed for, is a lesson not an end.
There are so many…For example, the hip-hop artist, record producer, and entrepreneur philanthropist will-i-am, through his 2009-launched i-am Angel Foundation, is looking to tech to help inspire and make people’s lives better–and not conforming while doing so.
Any helpful tips/thoughts for young people interested in starting yoga?
The physical aspects of a yoga practice help pretty much every other sport. Think stretches before football or running. Think using breathing to calm down before your exam, or before you ask someone out that you like…It all starts with the smallest thing: noticing how you feel before, and how you feel after.
Share the first thing that comes to mind when you read these words:
Mentoring – listening
Strength – flexibility
Kindness – compassion
Courage – hope
Collaboration – everything
If selecting the soundtrack to your life, what would be the top three tracks?
Too hard! I’ve collected so many passions and genres over the years (that’s the trouble with being old!) I sang myself hoarse at The Killers last year, but my Spotify lists would confound analysis.
Favourite film or series?
I’m a sci-fi geek and am late to Stranger Things, so I’m surfing my way through that at the moment! Ted Lasso makes me laugh out loud, and I can’t wait for the next series out this month.
To end with a quote from Ted Lasso–one which we feel really captures the kind and curious spirit of Scott and his approach to life: “If you care about someone, and you got a little love in your heart, there ain’t nothing you can’t get through together.”
Click HERE to learn more about UYUK’s Mentoring Programmes and stay up to date with all the news from the UYUK team by visiting our News & Blog page by clicking HERE. Follow Scott Arnott on Insta, HERE, and keep posted with all happening at UYUK by following on Insta, HERE!
Words: Sarah-Claire Picton