Meet John Cottrell: YA Classes Teacher Interview

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In each YA Classes Teacher Highlights, we feature one of our amazing instructors and interview them so our members and readers can get to know them. This teacher highlight is with John Cottrell.

YA Classes, the online yoga and fitness membership by YouAligned, is host to dozens of incredible yoga instructors (and meditation, breathwork, and fitness teachers too!). Our teachers are all dedicated, passionate, highly experienced leaders within their community and offer a unique style and approach for our students.

Hailing from Salt Lake City, Utah, John Cottrell is one such teacher. We admire his depth, we love his fantastic teaching style, and we also wonder how he finds the time to accomplish all that he has!

In addition to teaching yoga for the past 20+ years, he is a wellness expert, self-proclaimed holistic living maestro, has authored over a dozen books (all available on Amazon), is the founder of Mbody Yoga, hosts yoga teacher trainings and teaches online and weekly in-person classes.

His background in clinical psychology, with a Ph.D. from Pacific Graduate School of Psychology, elevates his unique blend of Western psychology and Eastern wisdom. Certified as a Yoga Therapist, John bridges psychology and yoga to foster self-improvement and growth.

John shares a bit about his clothing line, books and blogs, and baking:

“MBODY isn’t just my business; it’s a captivating brand reflecting my core values. Mbody Clothing breaks the gender barrier, offering affordable, stylish men’s yoga attire. My book, Yoga With Intention, infuses yoga into daily life, offering insights on obstacles, freedom, and balance. Delight in my culinary creations at and explore my mindful blog posts.”

Want to learn more about this incredible teacher? Read on.

Get to Know Your YA Classes Teacher: John Cottrell

We sat down with this beloved yoga teacher for a Q+A session so YA Classes members and YouAligned readers can learn more about him.

YA: What’s your favorite self-care practice you can’t live without?

John: My favorite self-care practice is going to the gym and lifting. I go just about everyday. I start with a bit of cardio then choose a body part to focus on for my lifting session.

Not only does this feel good for my body, but I considered my gym workouts an extension of my yoga practice. It helps me to focus and be more in tuned with my body. It also helps me build strength to practice and teach dynamic yoga poses in my Power Yoga Classes.


YA: What’s your go-to song or music genre when you teach (or practice)?

John: When I teach yoga, I often have some light ambient music playing in the background. The volume is down quite low. I don’t want the music to be a distraction to my students. It is there as part of the overall environment for the yoga session.

YA: What’s your favorite motivational quote?

John: “If you stay ready, then you don’t have to get ready.” I don’t know who originally said this, but I heard it from RuPaul! I live by that motto.

YA: What’s your favorite yoga pose? Least favorite?

John: My favorite yoga pose is Side Angle Pose. I just like how the pose feels as it opens the hips and upper body. Not sure if I have a least favorite pose. I just know there are some poses I wish I could do better.

Press play on Let’s Balance, a slow yoga flow with John Cottrell

Yoga Class

With John Cottrell


YA: When were you first introduced to yoga? Was it love at first asana?

I was teaching a fitness class in a local gym that later introduced yoga to their schedule. I took a few classes, and yes, it was love at first asana. This was in 1999.

YA: Where’s your favorite place in the world you’ve ever been to, and why?

John: I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Peru several times in my life. This beautiful part of the world helped open my eyes to my purpose in life. Peru is where I had the inspiration to start my own yoga business. By working with a shaman, traveling the land, and indulging in some of the cultural practices, I was enlightened and inspired.

Read more about Peru: A Yogi’s Experience Taking the World’s Highest Altitude Yoga Class On Top of the Chachani Volcano

YA: What’s your most embarrassing moment, either teaching or in life?

John: I don’t think I can share my most embarrassing moment here. LOL! But I will just say that the experience taught me to be more aware of my surroundings.



YA: What’s your #1 piece of advice for maintaining an empowered mindset?

John: My number one advice for people is to take care of yourself. Do things that make you feel good and make you happy. Make sure these things are also positive and empowering. They will lift your spirits and open your heart.

When you treat yourself with love and kindness, it then turns into an outward expression of your actions. I recently published a book called Embrace the Positive: Letting Go of Negative Thinking. It highlights self-care and creating a positive mindset.

Create a Realistic Self-Care Routine From These 17 Simple Practices

What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?

John: People may be surprised that I enjoy cooking and baking . . . a lot. I really enjoy baking and sharing the sweet treats with friends.

YA: Aside from your own, what’s your favorite class or teacher on YA Classes?

John: My favorite YA Classes class is Slow Burn with Ty Daye. He brings a flavor of fun while you practice with him. Makes you smile and feel like a kid again!

Yoga Class

With Ty Daye


Want to Connect More With John Cottrell?

Connect with John on social media and practice with him today on YA Classes!

John’s classes are accessible, welcoming, and engaging. While he masterfully breaks down poses and breathwork in a way that the newest beginner can understand and embody, his teaching leaves room for every level practitioner to learn, explore, deepen, and enjoy. We truly can’t get enough of John’s warmth, passion, and expertise that he brings to the mat!

If you enjoy his classes, connect with him! If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to experience John’s teaching style, find him locally in Salt Lake City or take a class with him today on YA Classes.

Take an Online Yoga Class With John Cottrell

Yoga Class

With John Cottrell

We highly recommend that you check out his online yoga classes on YA Classes! Not yet a YA Classes member? You can try it free for 14 days.

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