I grew up uncomfortably gay in northwestern Ontario–addicted to food, drugs and alcohol. After moving to Toronto for a brief moment of celebrity in the drug-fueled nineties club scene, I succumbed to my demons and crashed and burned at the young age of 26.

I was forced to re-evaluate and choose between a life of wellness and spirituality or an inevitably grim fate. I chose to put my focus on fitness, and after transforming to a body builder and marathon runner (I qualified for Boston!), I eventually found my way to yoga. I became a yoga teacher shortly thereafter, and by 2009, I had created my own athletic hybrid Jock Yoga.

As the creator of Jock Yoga, I went on to become an on-air media yoga and fitness expert in Toronto and Canada. I’ve appeared on CTV, CBC, Global, CityTV, Breakfast Television, and I’ve written for AmongMen.com, Huffington Post, Sweat Equity Magazine, Hello!Canada, Canadian Running, and several online publications, blogs and magazines.

Now, at 41 and 15 years sober, I’m re-evaluating once again, and I’ve unearthed my deepest passions for writing and photography.

That brings me to the birth of this publication–Michael off the Mat—where it is my intention to share—as honestly as I am able to—my experience as I navigate through the peaks and valleys of my life and my journey with self-development and spirituality .

Hopefully, I might offer a little identification and inspiration to those who choose to read!

Screen Shot 2016-04-06 at 6.05.32 PM