There are a few visionaries in the world of Yoga that i just love to hear more from, and this weeks Wellness Guru is just such a person. Angus Ford-Robertson founded and still owns one of London's most renowned Yoga Studios, Battersea Yoga. But owning and running a thriving business isn't all Angus does - he's also a therapist, a qualified Mindfulness Coach and has trained with masters like Eckhart Tolle to name just one of many.
I asked Angus to share his tips for wellness and mindfulness as we enter a New Year. Here he shares his secrets .....
1. Tell us about yourself Angus, and how you got to be where you are today?
My journey to being a yoga teacher and therapist was complicated!
Intending to take up a place at Med School, I ended up getting a degree in Law and Economics. I then left University intent on pursuing a career in music. Penniless and disenfranchised, I landed a job at Loaded men’s magazine – which paradoxically lead to living the life of a third-rate rock star, without actually having to perform.By 29, I was over lad culture. Burnt out and miserable, I left my career, my home and my relationship for a fresh start… with absolutely no plan.
Around that time, I came into contact with my two primary teachers; Eckhart Tolle and Ajahn Sumedho – and my life was never the same again. I began teaching yoga and meditation in UK prisons in 1999 – and now, 17 years later I find myself the owner of one of London’s most beautiful yoga studios, Battersea Yoga – with thousands of students attending each month.
2. Tell us how you spend your average working day
Every day is different – as the studio is constantly growing. My life is an ever-changing mix of classes, workshops, retreats, seeing private therapy clients and yoga holidays – plus, of course, attending to all the responsibilities of running a busy studio. Breakfast tends to be granola and fruit juice – usually followed by a cheeky mid-morning coffee in my favourite café Il Molino. Lunch is mostly a salad and dinner is chicken or fish with some veggies – yum.
Weekends are when I get more adventurous with food… Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese foods are essential to my wellbeing!
3. What inspires you?
People with vision and a sense of their higher purpose
Ancient spiritual wisdom from East and West
Contemporary Masters of Presence and Consciousness
People with a twinkle in their eye – who know the joy of mischief when they see it
A great ‘box set’
4. What’s your goal in life?
To reach my highest potential
To share myself with others
To leave Planet Earth a tiny bit better than I found it
5. What does Wellness mean to you?
Good question… hmm, well it starts with consciousness; regrettably we are educated to believe that making external changes is what will make us happy – but that’s not my experience. All change starts within. To me, ‘wellness’ is a journey of evolving consciousness within each individual – as we become more awake, more aware, we see more and make better choices; and we start to feel joyful and alive! That’s wellness.
6. What advice would you give to a person looking to take up Yoga?
Go for it! If it’s the right time for you, it will make sense – and you will reap untold benefits. Yoga is something we are drawn to when the time is right. It mostly finds us, rather than the other way around.
7. Tell us about your business Battersea Yoga
It’s a growing family – a community of like-minded souls who come together to explore consciousness. We practice yoga, go on retreats together, meditate together – then we go out socially and have fun. Battersea Yoga is designed to be the antidote the isolating, and sometime lonely experience that big city life can be.
8. Tell us your Top 3 Tips for Wellness?
Be prepared to give stuff up on your journey to inner peace
Eat a little, move a lot and sleep enough – every day
Remember to laugh
9. So what’s next in your career/life?
If I knew that it wouldn’t be an adventure now, would it!