Wow. I went to a “Yoga Show”. This was certainly a big step forward in my interests in all things holistic (including yoga).
As I arrived, the sense of being overwhelmed quickly overtook me: there were people everywhere, meditation tents, stalls offering so many products and services. I was initially determined not to be sucked into any of them, especially those special “bands” which allegedly provide protection against electro magnetic radiation and healing crystals etc… (I’ve explored those before and maybe they work, but that wasn’t why I was there). My purpose for attending was first and foremost to hear a practitioner talk about his experiences of developing a successful wellness and lifestyle business…
It wasn’t long though before I started developing some momentum. First, it came with the Shiatsu self-massaging machines, and then I started to observe the many free yoga classes on offer. I must admit, it didn’t really look like my thing as a class full of 50 plus people is not a yoga environment I thrive in. However, people seemed to be digging it and that’s what counts.
Once I found the lecture space, and listened to actor and yogi Doug Rao tell us how he transformed his life from a yoga teacher in London scratching around earning £20 per class to a highly successful entrepreneur living half the year in Thailand, I was totally transfixed: I wasn’t a nutritionist, teacher or therapist, I was the “yogibanker” looking for inspiration and guidance as to a path forward and this guy showed the way – have a successful business and have your life back too!
I’m sure those who have started their own businesses can testify how hard it is initially, but Doug’s philosophy was so appealing. I mean, I enjoy my job at the bank (most of the time), but wouldn’t it be great if I could go skiing when I want, or go on retreat, and yet still have a steady revenue coming in?
Fast forward to Sunday lunch time and I was still at the Yoga Show (well, I had gone home on the Saturday evening, because we were asked to leave by the event organisers whilst I was in the middle of a beautiful heartfulness based meditation…). Over the course of my two visits to the show, I had my aura photographed, became a cat sponsor, bought some wonderful spiritual and yoga books including one for my yogi girlfriend (which has really hit the spot, the smile on her face is priceless). Oh, and I got one of those massage machines too 🙂 … the whole experience was like a magnet. I kept meeting so many great people, some of whom had associations with the finance industry, and I realised I wasn’t alone. I also learnt that Richard Branson meditates every day, which was interesting too.
As I wandered around the show, the kindness and openness of the alternative lifestyle industry really took me by surprise, how people were willing to work together, be open and share new ideas. So thank you to Chris James @ Chris James Mind Body, Richard @ Grokker, Trevor at What Doctors Don’t Tell You, Gemma @ Yattire and Amit Kainth for all your kind words of inspiration (and Amit for sharing with me “The Gift” too….)
I am writing this after the end of another testing week at the bank, during which I realised that I am still as interested as ever in finance. Yet the contrast of being back in my other world on Monday morning right in the thick of it was, I must say, quite confronting. But that’s my reality.
To this extent, I am who I am – part yogi, part “banker” (I’m actually a lawyer in disguise) and a skiing enthusiast in between… Thank you to the Yoga Show for teaching me that these different lives are totally compatible. I also hope that I can show to others that this path is credible as a means of managing your life and performing to your highest ability in whatever you do.