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Rapping Kilburn yoga teacher fighting knife crime with Hip Hop breathing techniques

PUBLISHED: 16:50 13 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:06 14 February 2020

Neil Patel, yoga teacher and rapper.

Neil Patel, yoga teacher and rapper.

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A Kilburn yoga teacher has devised breathing techniques with a hip hop background to steer young people away from knife crime.

Neil Patel, rapper and yoga teacher, who lives near Kilburn Park, has launched Breathe a hip hop track and music video which he hopes will bring "peace on these streets".

This month he is releasing his non-profit hip hop/yoga album, The Breathe Experience, with all profits going towards providing workshops for free.

A yoga teacher for 30 years he hopes set up free meditation workshops - with a Hip Hop beat - for young people.

"I moved to this area seven years ago and in the last year things have just gone crazy," he said. "You can hear sirens all day and all night.

"I've not been able to sleep with all this stuff going on.

"Yoga and music is my life.

"I want young people to experience a different feeling other that a wait to get stabbed.

"A lot of what kids listen to is Hip Hop so I made a track.

"Hip hop is the church of the street now.

"I feel compassion for the victims and the perpetrators.

"The kids are a product of structures above them. Jail is not the only answer.

"What people need is peace inside themselves."

He said he did a simple breathing exercise and introduced a hip hop beat.

"Hip hop beats with breathing calms the mind and nervous system and brings down anger and stress levels.

"If you do a good beat and get them to practice it and if it spreads they can get a tiny bit of peace inside themselves.

"I try to reach the youth through music with breathing on top of that."

In 2010 Mr Patel released an album called The Rapping Yogi.

As a yogi, he has taught at the House of Lords, the House of Commons and the Indian High Commission and directed Europe's largest ever free yoga event in 2015.

His great grandfather was a renunciant yogi with the late Mahatma Gandhi.

"I know I'm not going to get any funding for this," he said.

"But I'm happy to give free workshops if people tell me where it's needed."

Email neil@chikri.com or visit Instagram @n1.rap


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