Hilton Jones is the Scottish film editor with the warm smile, who started working out some years after loosing one leg in a car accident in India. Today Hilton conquers more than most but after realizing his cross-fit and demanding races created too much Yang in his system, he found balance thru yoga. Today Hilton is one of our most regular yogis and often come together with his wife - Elin. Here Hilton shares his amazing life story, his warm feelings for Little Peace and how we actually were part of his and Elins wedding.
You are the guy most people might recognize as the fit scottish lad with the happy, warm smile and the "robot-leg!" Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m 46, born in Scotland, grew up in England and lived in Thailand for ten years before moving to Sweden. I used to teach scuba diving and worked as an underwater videographer. Now I work with film and tv as an assistant editor at Chimney in Gamla Stan. I’ve always liked to travel, and take photographs. I love training and enjoy kickboxing, CrossFit, freediving, skiing and of course yoga. It’s only since moving to Stockholm I have been so physically active.
You have been one of our regular students for quite a while now?
About when and how did you discover the studio?
I found Little Peace just over 18 months ago after trying a few different yoga studios in Stockholm. Little Peace was instantly very welcoming, unpretentious and the right balance between physical and mental training.
What makes you return to Little Peace?
The instructors are all amazing and very different in their style of teaching, but with the same underlying philosophy. The classes are often held in English - which I have to admit is great for me, and I love the discussions and themes of the various classes: Something that keeps you engaged and thinking way after class has ended.
A couple of years ago you were thru quite a traumatic accident, and lost your left leg.
Your journey back has been amazing! In what sense has yoga helped?
As an amputee most of the rehab involves being able to walk again, and being stable. I became very locked in my hips, and eventually my whole body. Yoga is great to counteract this. When I started to exercise I also found the gym training was great but also quite an aggressive energy - I was too much yang. Yoga brought me the balance I needed. It also reinforces my desire to find ease in difficult situations - peace in chaos.
What classes do you like to attend and why?
Hatha class with Chungmei and Sudheesh, Vinyasa with Bettan and Hanna (and before with Victoria). I also tried the Strong Vinyasa with Hellcat but it was very early on in my practise and I wasn’t ready. I’d love to try now, as well as Yin yoga which I only tried once so far.
You also went for a private session with Hanna and Elisabeth on how to individualize the practice to your prothesis and your body. In what way was that helpful?
I always push myself to do things that able bodied people can do, and I can do most things with my artificial leg without a problem. Sometimes (out of pride and shyness) I try to blend in to the class and avoid asking questions when I’m not sure about a position, or if there might be a better way for me to do it for my leg. The session gave me the opportunity to ask all the questions I wanted to ask and try out different adaptations for my leg plus check what I’m doing is correct. It was great!
You often show up with your wife, Elin. We know you share a lot of interests when it comes to physical training. But is there anything with the yoga that has been particularly beneficial for your relationship?
We had our first dance as a married couple to a song we first heard at vinyasa class, so Little Peace has a strong connection for us! Elin has a stressful job with long hours and yoga is such a great way for her to relax and find balance again. We enjoy yoga in different ways I think - but we enjoy it together and it gives us a different appreciation for each other. It’s a special time in the week that we prioritize and we always come away from the class revitalized and joyful. When it’s the weekend class we go straight to Juniper Cafe for brunch, and the combination is always the best start to a Saturday.
Last; what would you say to the guys who feel insecure about attending a yogaclass?
The atmosphere that Little Peace creates is nurturing and compassionate. There’s a lightness and playfulness about the classes. Everybody is at different stages of their yoga practice but there is never any judgement or competition - everyone is always so supportive and friendly. You feel part of the family straight away. Enjoy it!
Those warm words were very touching, Hilton. Thank you for being part of the studio.