“The longest journey begins with a single step.” – Lao Tsu
Good morning , meditation done.
Quote for the Day:
“The longest journey begins with a single step.”
I mentioned on Friday that I received a memory on Facebook on January 16th from a year ago saying that I was at No.1 Duke Street in Richmond and the significance of this was that it was the first time I had sat down with Brent Richards to discuss my vision for my business and out of that meeting I decided I wanted to open my own luxury lifestyle club, which was the first step on a really long journey to actually achieving my goal .
A year later we have found the location for the club and this week I travel down to London to discuss the lease and meet my building team to finalise the refurbishment and fit out costs. There is still a long way to go until we actually open in October as planned, but I am a hell of a lot closer than when I took my first step towards my goal a year ago.
Yesterday I went on the longest walk I have managed since I have begun the long road to recovery from my injury. I decided to attempt to walk to the top of a hill that is 526 metres high, I was a little unsure if I could make it, without injuring myself, but I took my time and went carefully one step at a time and felt a real sense of achievement when I made it to the top one hour after I took the first step.
Early one depressingly dark and dreary, Thursday November morning ten years ago, I was arguing with my ex girlfriend on the phone, whilst walking from my flat in Primrose Hill on the way to work, to train my first client of the day. I was in the middle of a particularly painful break up and I was feeling devastated, a mixture of hurt and angry and I was on the phone shouting, I remember thinking that I just couldn’t go on like this, I hadn’t slept for weeks, I wasn’t eating properly and I looked and felt awful. I glanced to my right and saw Erskine road and vaguely remembered reading something, somewhere about Tri Yoga being based there.
I am unsure what made me turn into the road at that moment, but somehow I was drawn towards the entrance, I stepped in, there was a sign saying no mobiles, so I came off the phone, there was a rack of peoples shoes on the dark wooden floor, I instinctively took off my shoes, there was a wonderful sense of calmness and the air was filled with the fragrance of scented candles, all my sense of stress, fatigue and depression, floated away instantly, it felt like it had all lifted as I had stepped through that door into this oasis of tranquillity. I walked up to the reception and I saw the familiar friendly face, of someone I recognised from my days as a dancer at Pineapple Studios. I picked up a timetable, smiled, slipped my trainers back on, stepped outside the door, back into the grey, dreary morning, got back on my phone and started arguing again. Little did I realise that this all time low would prove to be the life changing catalyst which enabled me to, begin my yogic journey to a new Improved lifestyle.
On the Saturday morning I got up early and eagerly made the short walk from my flat on Regents Park Road to the Tri Yoga centre, I was a mixture of excited and nervous as I got ready in the changing room as it felt a little like getting changed in Pineapple over 20 years previously before my first dance class there It was that feeling of going into the unknown, the unexpected and hoping I did not make a fool of myself. I went up to the light, airy studio and placed my mat on the floor and looked around at everyone else calmly and confidently sitting in the lotus position or doing a few preparatory stretches before the class began.
Then the teacher began a Sanskrit chant starting with a long, sustained “Om” which everyone repeated, I was like “What the hell is going on here, have I joined a weird cult or something?”
Then he said begin and everyone began doing similar movements, but at different speeds, I didn’t have a clue what was going on, the whole thing seemed really weird and was like no other class I had ever taken, why wasn’t the teacher telling us or showing the class what to do?
I put my hand up, the teacher came over to me and asked what was wrong? I told him,
“This is my first yoga class and I am not sure what to do?”
“Oh you are in the wrong class, you are in a Mysore class”
The Mysore style of yoga asana practice is a particular way of teaching yoga within the Ashtanga Yoga tradition as taught by Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in the southern Indian city of Mysore.
There are some differences in this method from the usual modern way in which yoga is taught. The class is not “led” as a whole but rather all instruction is one-on-one within the group class setting. Students practice their own portion of the Ashtanga sequence of asanas at their own pace. The teacher assists each student individually by giving physical adjustments & verbal instruction.
“Well I am here now so I might as well try, I used to be a professional dancer, I am a choreographer and personal trainer, so I am sure I can pick it up, if someone shows me some moves?”
“Ok” he said kindly, but somewhat reluctantly and asked his assistant to show me the Sun Salutations. I can remember being able to do these two asanas (poses) relatively easily and we carried on with a few more poses, which I found pretty similar to ballet and dancing and was really enjoying myself, I particularly liked the breathing, as it was something I had been doing for years when stretching and holding positions for up to half an hour when I first went to ballet school.
Whenever people talked about the benefits of yoga and the feelings of calmness, relaxation and euphoria, I always thought it sounded like the feelings I got when I stretched for 2 hours every evening as a dancer. The breathing in yoga was much deeper, with an almost scientific, but spiritual approach (Pranayama) using a lot of the body, controlled by the diaphragm, with a closed mouth utilising the nostrils. My whole body soon warmed up, my muscles became loose and I began to sweat. The assistant showed me more and more asanas and I really began to enjoy myself as I looked around in awe at some of the really impressive looking poses the more advanced practitioners were doing.
The assistant then began to show the closing sequence, which included a bridge, shoulder stand and headstand. To finish we lay down on our mat closed our eyes and totally relaxed in a pose known as Shavasana (Corpse pose). The teacher placed a blanket over my body and an eye cushion over my eyes. I totally relaxed and actually fell asleep, which I still continue to do every time I get to Shavasana in class, which is probably why it is sometimes called the sleeping pose. When the class finished I felt amazing, my body and mind were relaxed and free from stress and I felt like I had total peace of mind.
That was the beginning of my yogic journey, I had taken the first step.
Now 10 years later the daily practice of yoga has really helped me in all aspects of my life.
I realised that the more I exercised and practiced the stronger my breathing would become and the more control of it I would have.
The yoga poses and breathing taught me that if I controlled my breath I could control my mind. I discovered that the pain and discomfort I would feel in the awkward yoga poses, would go away if I breathed and stayed calm. This mirrored situations in life which can seem impossible with no way out, but if you stay calm, focused and breathe then your head clears, the situation does not seem as bad as you first thought and you can see a way forward.
It has taught me to focus my mind and not be distracted by outdoor forces and things that I cannot control.
I have also learnt that I cannot do all the poses or asana, but this is not failure, the point of yoga is not to be able to do all the poses, it is the daily process of trying to achieve them that is important. Because as soon as you have mastered a difficult pose, you will come across another one that you will feel is impossible, when you first start, but if you practice every day it will become a little bit easier as you improve every day.
This is the basis of my Elysium Way Training System.
The Elysium Way enhances and enriches lives allowing you to reach your full potential physically, mentally and spiritually.
And one of the main components of the Elysium Way is practicing yoga.
If you would like to improve your breathing and clear your mind by introducing yoga into your life or to strengthen your daily practice to help you focus, smile more and achieve your goals and live the life of your dreams?
Why not take the first step and come on my yoga retreat in Morocco from Saturday March 18th to 25th and join me at the Mazagan Beach & Golf Resort the new five-star luxury destination in El Jadida Morocco
Click Here to find out more
The location is amazing.
It is a truly unique coastal destination resort, less than an hour drive south of Casablanca and set in a region abounding in contrasts that has preserved all its authenticity.
Rooms and suites overlook the lagoon, the golf course, the swimming pool and the patio, plunging down to the sea from the terraces and offering a 180-degree view over the Atlantic Ocean.
The view will take your breath away.
So if you would like to learn more about yoga and join me for some fun in the sun at a beautiful, exotic location in Morocco, then Click Here
Have a super Sunday peeps and enjoy the rest of your weekend.
Take the first step and may all your dreams come true.
Breathe, Believe and Achieve
Be Happy, Healthy and Wise
Keep on Winning Smiling and Living the Dream