A sports fanatic from Worcester Park has secured a diploma to teach yoga after years of competing in weightlifting.
Peter Cardona, 53, won the British Masters weightlifting competition in 2010 before coming third at the World Masters Weightlifting competition in Copenhagen four years later.

Having boxed before, Peter went on to play tennis and obtain his coaching badges after his son showed an interest.
However, after his son dropped tennis for weightlifting, Peter also took it on in 2008 and has persisted with it ever since. 
Although he still trains in the sport once a week, a trip to Bali last year once again altered the course of his sporting life.
Peter explained to Sutton Guardian how the passion for yoga developed: “In September 2016 I said to my wife that we should start backpacking in Thailand or India now that our children had grown up. But we had done a few long haul journeys to America a few years ago and she didn’t want another long flight.
“She gave me the green light to go on holiday on my own. I went to Bali on a surfing and yoga holiday and fell in love with it (yoga).”
When he returned home yoga classes were his next challenge and after feeling the benefits in his back and posture, he decided to pursue teaching it professionally.
After an eight month “intense” level three diploma HFE course in yoga, Peter is now a qualified instructor and will be taking classes every Saturday morning at Stallard’s Boxing Gym in Surbiton.
Peter said: “There’s both amateur and professional boxers there at the minute. I would like more men to do yoga.
“Most people think only women do it so to get some younger men down there to work on their core will make their backs stronger, make them more flexible and will help with their breathing and meditation.”

According to Peter, becoming engrossed in yoga - and all it involves like anatomy, physiology, body movement and the heart - has made him a better weightlifter. 

In November he will compete in the Southern Masters followed by the British Masters weightlifting competition in January. 

Because yoga has helped with his breathing and posture, Peter feels that weightlifting training just two or three times a week will be enough to equal some of his best previous times. 

If you’re interested in booking a yoga class with Peter at Stallard’s Boxing Gym, Hook Rise North, Surbiton, you can contact him through the email address petercardona7@gmail.com

A statement about the classes read: “Expect to strengthen and lengthen your body, gain flexibility and relax your mind and unwind. 

“With modification and progression to all poses and coaching throughout. Mats are provided and all abilities welcome (from absolute be-ginners to advance), so bring your partner or a friend.”

The sessions (with the first one being free and £5 thereafter) will be one hour and 15 minutes as Peter added that he likes additional time to explain things thoroughly.