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Q+A with Dave Colley - Tanoshimi Yoga

Dave Colley is a Porthcawl based surfer and all round good guy. I've known Dave from back in the days of the BBC Surfing Wales message board which was around in the early days of social media with platforms such as Myspace beginning to pop up. The message board was a big part of the surf community in Wales at the time and many friendships were made, surf related banter exchanged, etc.

Sadly, the message board disappeared into the ether as times moved on with Facebook groups taking the place of message boards but for some reason don't for me anyway quite have that magic that the BBC forum did. I've kept in touch with Dave over the years and it's been great to see him building up his yoga and reiki practices. What started off as a way to help Dave with the inevitable surf related aches and pains has slowly but surely grown into what is now Tanoshimi Yoga.

Last year Dave started to teach Yoga in and around Porthcawl, building up the required teaching hours to become a fully blown Yoga instructor. The sessions have really been taking off with several weekly sessions now running in Porthcawl.

In October when I had issues with my back again, Dave made a Youtube video of exercises to help me, which I'm eternally grateful for and has helped my out alot. This also kick started Tanoshimi TV on Youtube, Dave's Youtube channel where Dave is adding new videos all the time.

I've been looking forward to hearing more about Dave's Yoga journey and what his future plans are in relation to Tanoshimi Yoga.

Hi Dave, thanks for speaking to me. We know each other through the surf scene in South East Wales. Dating back to the golden days of the BBC Wales surfing message board (I miss that thing!). Can you tell us a bit about your background please?

I came to surfing late at the age of 35 when I moved to Bridgend for work but before that I had during college messed about with surf skiis and after a nasty whiplash injury became a bodyboarder and remember weeks when there was nobody out at my local Coney except myself and a couple of others.

I now live in Porthcawl and have worked with Alby Harris on his Odd Surfboards website before he retired and still do updates for Greg Owen over at No Limit Wetsuits.

Tanoshimi Yoga

Sometimes life is better when you're upside down..

As well as being a surfer, you are a yoga practitioner and over the past few year been building up your experience and teaching hours which has resulted in Tanoshimi Yoga. How did you start out in Yoga and was it your intention to become a teacher or just a natural progression?

My journey started shortly after I took up surfing looking to become more supple and improve my surfing technique. I used to work shifts so on and off (mostly off) attempted to follow the Yoga For Surfers DVD.

After some life changes I qualified as a reiki master in 2017 and found an increased joy and passion in yoga and joined a class initially targeted for surfers in September 2018.

This summer, after a series of completely unplanned events I found myself being asked by the teacher to take over the existing class in order to keep it going. As a full time working dad I have had to take the long way round to qualifying as a yoga teacher and am now two thirds of the way through my 150 hours required practice currently so what I offer is not a class as such but a place to share my practice with others until I am qualified.

Tanoshimi Yoga, what does Tanoshimi mean? And can you give us some details about your classes please?

I wanted to bring together my reiki and yoga practices in one place and could not find a Sanskrit word that felt natural so I instead looked to a friend for a Japanese word for excited.

What we came up with was Tanoshimi which roughly translates as I am looking forward to / I am excited by / “stoked” and the decision from the link to surfing was made and Tanoshimi Website was formed.

The sessions I currently run are based on the Vinyasa style and run on Wednesday evenings at 18:00 / 19:00 and 20:00 with the 18:00 class being for parents and teenagers.

On Fridays I have sessions at 09:30 and 17:45 all at Arlington Church and cost £5. I also did some free sessions on Coney beach towards the end of summer 2019 where donations were taken towards local charities such as the beach wheelchair fund coordinated by Coney Surf. Dave ready to take on Porthcawl's annual Elvis Festival in style..


There is no denying the benefits of Yoga for surfers but for those like me who are late to the game or thinking of starting out, what is your advice and how has yoga helped you in both general life and surfing?

The first thing is, you are never too old to start, I was 47 when I stepped into my first official yoga class.

The second is that when you do step in, nobody is actually watching you and it is ok to not be perfect.

Third is try different classes, there are many styles of yoga being taught, some are more meditative, others more fluid or taxing, there is even a style called rage yoga (look it up) which I would eventually love to hold once a week myself.

Yoga has benefit me primarily in giving me a flexibility I have never EVER had. I still can’t touch my toes without bending my knees but I am a hell of a lot closer than I used to be. As far as my surfing is concerned, I have found I am more connected to my board and the wave now, My pop up which has never been graceful is more fluid and snappy getting me into the wave earlier and knowing and trusting my body more I am able to respond to the development of the wave in front of me and not worry about falling over the nose and killing myself.

You were kind enough to create a Tanomishi Yoga YouTube video for me recently when I was suffering with my on going lower back / sacroiliac joint problem. This, combined with my treatment from BodySolve in Port Talbot has helped no end. Are you planning on doing more videos as well as the classes and what are your plans for Tanomishi Yoga in 2020?

I had honestly never considered posting videos on Youtube but when you mentioned your problem to me it seemed like the most obvious and natural thing to do in order to demonstrate remotely how best you could help yourself. I am not in a rush to put up more videos but do plan to put together a series of videos charting my progress and failures in performing and holding a handstand. Hopefully this will be as funny as it is educational.

Beyond that my intentions for 2020 are to complete my training hours, qualify as a yoga instructor and do more free sessions on the beach at Coney on Saturdays to raise money for local charities. Ultimately I would love to teach full time, I find it so fulfilling to be able to share the passion I have discovered in yoga (and reik) with others helping them to do things with their bodies they never thought they would be able to do. Maybe 2021?

Dave, thank you for helping me in my recovery and it's been great to hear more about your journey. Best of luck with Tanoshimi in 2020.

You can find out more information about Tanoshimi Yoga at:

Tanoshimi Yoga on Facebook

Tanoshimi Yoga Website

Tanoshimi TV on Youtube

The Freesoul Project 2019 - Made in Wales