Finlay Wilson: The Kilted Yogi

Finlay Wilson: The Kilted Yogi

There's no typical Trakke customer, or typical Trakke adventure. Whether it's a Vorlich Expedition Backpack going to Greenland for climate research, or our award winning Bannoch Work Backpack transforming a single commute, the stories we hear are as varied as the people that tell them.

Nowhere is this more true than with Finlay Wilson, Scotland's very own Kilted Yoga instructor. Exploding onto the internet in 2017 with a viral video showing his yoga skills in a kilt, the world found out about Finlay overnight.

For the rest of us, though? Finlay has been teaching, educating, and supporting his local community in Scotland for longer than we can remember. We caught up with him to ask about his life, his work, and critically: what he packs in his bag.

Finlay Wilson Kilted Yogi looking at a loch

Hey Finlay! Great to catch you.

Hi Trakke! Great to speak to you, too. I've been meaning to come through to the workshop this summer, but haven't quite made it yet. Soon, though!

So, how did you find out about Trakke?

Oh, that's easy - I discovered Trakke because I'm a big fan of Scottish products, especially using Scottish materials. When my twin brother had all of his camera equipment in a Bannoch Backpack for a shoot we did, I fell in love with it. The material is beautiful, and knowing they're handmade here makes it a pretty special item. I can't think of anything better to pair with a kilt.

Which Trakke bags do you own yourself?

I'm lucky enough to own a Bannoch, but for my every day use I carry a cumin Bairn Mini-Messenger. The colour is wonderful, and I can fit my computer and my camera in there for days out. It's the perfect size for a 13" MacBook pro.

Tell us a bit more about you, and your career as a Yogi?

Well, I'm a yoga teacher full time, as well as more recently a published author. I run classes every week for Heart Space Yoga & Bodyworks in Dundee, a charity that I helped found back in 2011. We deliver classes 7 days a week, with a huge programme of free classes for kids of all ages. When I am not working at Heartspace, I am usually creating Kilted Yoga content, recording yoga videos, and getting outside. 

Tell us a bit more about Kilted Yoga?

Well, in 2017 a short video was released online of me and one of my students taking our practice out into the Scottish wilds. With kilts, of course! It became a bit of a viral hit, and next thing I knew it had racked up millions of views, and I was approached to release a book about the project. I even had the privilege of taking part in NYC's Tartan Parade this year. It's been wonderful that it's had such a positive response, particularly because it's helps bring even more people to yoga as a way of looking after themselves.

Finlay Wilson Kilted Yogi

As a bit of a jet-setter, what does travel mean to you?

When travel is for work, it's easy for it to be associated with stress. Lots of rushing to and fro to get where I'm meant to be. My focus is often on making it as smooth and painless as possible (your packing cubes help with that). Travel for myself is a very different thing - it's less about long haul trips, and more about short roadtrips with good company. One of my favourite destinations is our own doorstep - I still think Scotland is one of the most beautiful places in the world.

Other than your pack, what are your top five things do you never travel without?

Well. I always carry a headphones adapter to make sure I can listen to (or share) music or podcasts - it's a great way to create some personal mental space when there's so much going on. I'm also never without some healthy snacks in my bag (you wouldn't like me when i'm hangry!). In the current climate, having a refillable water bottle is essential (most airports have good bottle filling stations). And finally, I keep a change of t-shirt to arrive fresh at the other side, and some biodegradeable wet wipes for a bit of a refresh after a long haul.

Where's your favourite destination in Scotland?

Scotland is so beautiful it's difficult to pick one individual spot. Anywhere near the water, really. I adore where I grew up, a stones throw away from the Falls of Clyde, so anywhere connected to flowing water makes me feel closer to home.

How about your favourite destination worldwide?

So far, the Bay of Naples. My archaeology/history degree goes into overtime, but also Italian food and culture is such a joy to participate in. If you're set on going abroad, I'd highly recommend it.