“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.” – Dalai Lama
Good morning , meditation done.
Quote for the Day:
“Look at situations from all angles, and you will become more open.”
I try to stretch and do yoga everyday. When I played football I was fairly flexible for a footballer, but when I was 19 and decided to become a ballet dancer it was a whole other ball game I was really stiff for a dancer. My teacher or dance guru was Charles Augins who is Sinitta’s Godfather, he told me I had to stretch for an hour every morning and two hours every night after I got home from a full day of dancing at ballet school.
I would arrive in Shelton Street on the corner of Langley Street, Covent Garden, just after 7:30 every morning and often had to wait outside the doors of the Urdang Academy of Ballet and Performing Arts until the caretaker opened the doors to let the lower school in. I would then go and change out of my suit, which I would wear over my dance clothes and take my ballet shoes out of my brief case, hang my clothes up on a hanger in the changing room and then go outside to my wall to begin warming up. I would be wearing ankle weights and would get as close to the wall as possible, and then lie on my back, with my bum touching the wall and then open my legs as wide as possible and then lie there for 15 mins and let gravity and the ankle weights pull my legs and feet down closer to the floor.
Then I would sit upright with my back against the wall, with the souls of my feet together, in a position called “frogs” amongst dancers, when I first started my feet would be a long way from the floor when lying on my back with my legs apart and there would be a large gap between my knees and the floor when sat in “frogs”, but with every passing minute the gap would reduce and the distance would reduce daily and everyday my feet and knees would get closer and closer to the floor, inch by inch and then cm by cm.
After sitting in “frogs” for 15 minutes, I would get one of the lower school students to stand on my inner thighs to increase the intensity of the stretch and then I would do 10 raises (by squeezing my knees together using my inside thigh muscles I could lift the student up whilst they held onto the wall for balance) to strengthen my inner thigh muscles which are very important to maintain turn out in classical ballet.
Then I would put the top of my feet underneath the first step and then try and straighten my legs, I couldn’t at first and my feet would feel like they would snap, but everyday they would improve. I was beginning my ballet career at 19 when most people had started as a young child, I had some catching up to do and that meant taking some drastic measures to change my body from a sportsman to a classical dancer. By the time assembly began at ten to nine and when most of the other students were just turning up or being late, I had all ready been stretching and warming up for an hour preparing my body for the morning ballet class at 9:15.
Then I would do dance classes at school all day until just after 4:15pm, school finished later, but Charles had arranged it with my principle the late Leonie Urdang, that at 4:30 everyday I would finish school and rush across the road to Pineapple to do his Jazz class. After class we would go to Studio 13, better known as the Kings Arms Pub, for refuelling and then I would go and stretch for 2 hours at home as Charles had instructed me, which I did every night wherever I was, in front of the TV at my house, other people’s houses, parties I didn’t care, I stretched for 2 hours every night without fail, I was determined to do everything I needed to do to succeed, people were amazed at my dedication and how rapid my improvement was.
I still try to stretch every evening for anything up to an hour, which keeps my body flexible, mobile and open, although at the moment I have been ordered by the physio not to overstretch my hip flexor until it has fully recovered and got it’s strength back.
Practicing yoga everyday for 10 years has really helped me in all aspects of my own life.
The asana or poses have increased my flexibility and mobility in new and different angles to those of a dancer, which has made me more open. The opening of the chest, heart and hips is said to open you more for emotion and love and let’s go on tension and repression.
The more I exercise and practice the stronger my breathing becomes and the more control of it I have.
The yoga poses and breathing teach me that if I control my breath I can control my mind. The pain and discomfort I feel in the awkward yoga poses, will go away if I breathe and stay calm. This mirrors 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.
Yoga has taught me to focus my mind and not be distracted by outdoor forces and things that I cannot control.
By practicing headstands and handstands I am able to turn my world upside down and look at it from a different angle, which allows me to see things from other people’s point of view, which again makes me more open in the mind and as a person.
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 your 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 thoughtful Thursday peeps,
“Look at situations from all angles and you will become more open”
May all your dreams come true.
Breathe, Believe and Achieve
Be Happy, Healthy and Wise
Keep on Winning Smiling and Living the Dream