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District Vision

   

The duo behind District Vision examine movement and performance at the very core. From eyewear to meditation manuals, these running enthusiasts research and develop tools for athletes, always with a function-first approach. In the minds of Tom Daly and Max Vallot, mental wellbeing is the foundation of every form of physical exercise.

How did the two of you meet?

At undergraduate business school in London 15 years ago. We were the only two guys with greasy, long hair and skinny jeans so we found each other quickly.

How does working as a team inform and inspire what you do?

Working as a team has shown both of us early on that we’re not building a brand for ourselves but as a collective of athletes and creatives. We consider our role in this more as facilitators in the midst of a cultural moment, not as conventional designers or entrepreneurs driving the spaceship by ourselves.

Has the link between meditation and exercise always felt synchronistic?

When we first started working on District Vision, we noticed most runners would push themselves to the edge physically without much consideration for the mental aspects of performance or what they were doing to their bodies. You would hear people talk about “running as meditation” without having much experience in the formal practice.

Over the last few years, we’ve witnessed a new level of curiosity about the different dimensions of running. We’re not all designed to train the same way, we’re not all trying to get the same out of it. Essentially, what meditation cultivates is a better understanding of what’s right for you. Maybe that’s running more or less, maybe with the ambition to compete or to figure out what life is about.Tell us a bit about MAP, the Mindful Athlete Program.

It really came about quite naturally. Tom started running marathons around the same time Max got into yoga and meditation, and later became a certified teacher. The athletes testing our eyewear were interested in exploring the mental dimensions of training a little more deeply, so we would host little mindfulness sessions before big races. This experience has shown us how much of a need there is to bring these two worlds together, and as a result, it made sense for District Vision to take a position and promote this more self-explorative, holistic approach to running. We host regular workshops and just released a new introductory online course.

Why running sunglasses?

Because we’re both half blind.

Can you suggest three ways that one could make their physical activity more mindful?

Practice seated meditation, which will gradually shape all other activities in your life.

Specialize in one type of exercise, repetition creates mental patterns that are key.

Exercise without music, you want to start feeling what’s going on inside and around you.

Give us a preview of your meditation tool kit. What’s inside?

Sun & Moon Originals cushion, Waking Up app by Sam Harris, District Vision meditation blanket

What are you reading right now?

Tom:  21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari

Max: Memories, Dreams, Reflections by Carl Jung

What are your top five CAP Beauty favorites?

Sun Potion Anandamide Anandamide keeps us strong through the winter.

Dr Singha Mustard Bath

Monk Oil Palo Santo Skin Potion Mustard bath and Monk oil are perfect for muscle relief after long workouts.

Moon Juice Overnight Oats Moon Juice oats is the best. A simple and wholesome breakfast dish.

Dr Alkaitis Organic Purifying Facial Dr Alkaitis makes our favorite year-round facial care.

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