Can you tell us more about your practice – what first made you believe wholeheartedly in the holistic way and then, Naam Yoga?
I have had my own daily personal practice for now 15+ years.
I rise around the sunrise – most of the time anyway – and I always light a candle. I start with my hands resting flat against the centre of my chest (heart centre) and offer my practice to my day ahead and gratitude for the most amazing day ahead. It includes gentle yogic movement for about 10 minutes and then a series of meditations that are all done with the chanting of mantra. That is really effective on various aspects including, steadiness and will power, intuition and expansion, inner confidence and self-love. Chanting mantra allows me to hear the voice of my soul as well as clear out any stress , worry or concern I have relating to the day to day or bigger life experiences.
I have always been a person, from a young age, that felt my way through life. My feelings gave me answers and guidance. So when I learned more theoretically about living wholeheartedly it made absolute sense. Holistic for me relates to wholeness, and everything I do now and offer, I am always looking for a connected experience, choice, or decision for all of the following – body, mind, emotions, energy.
I came to Naam Yoga about 13 years ago, very serendipitously, no acts of randomness. I had already been practising yoga for about 11 years. A series of events led me to the founder Dr Levry. After a private consultation with him the entire course of my life was changed. Dr Levry was able to explain things to me that I had been working to articulate about myself for some time. I felt a deep sense of inner alignment with his explanations of life and creating a purposeful life. After my first group class in NYC with him in 2003 I was absolutely blown away at how incredible I felt. I was overflowing with courage, joy, and love. And this was just the beginning.
On Private Harmonyum Treatments – can you tell us more about it, and how to make sure it effectively works?
Harmonyum is a unique and profound hands-on healing modality that kick-starts the autonomic nervous system, which governs relaxation and healing in the body. As this happens it dissolves stress, fear, anxiety and worry. Harmonyum purifies the subconscious mind to allow us to move beyond our negative or limiting beliefs and tendencies.
As it raises the frequency of the cellular body, the body’s organic healing and restorative functions are reinstated and strengthened. Harmonyum builds a deep inner confidence and guides you to align with your inner values and you thus start taking clearer actions in life.
After a single session you feel a deep sense of calm, your eyes will be bright and your complexion noticeable more radiant. The peaceful feeling is akin to the feeling of practising years of meditation. You will also feel motivated and inspired by life. Harmonyum is for everyone, to offset stress, increase vitality, move through challenging times or simply as part of your self-care rituals.
The Harmonyum practitioner as part of their training is taught to remain neutral. This is supported by the format of the modality. The practitioner moves through a series of meditation while giving the treatments that keep the frequency of their attention at the highest place and space to be a clear conduit for the recipient. This is what allows the treatment to be effective every time.
I am also a firm believer in the importance of self-love, and am really happy to see you include this in the programme. What are your thoughts on this, and what can we do to improve our confidence and self-love?
Self-love in the practical sense is one of the most underrated tools for creating effective change in any area of your life. Self-love is a foundation of true confidence. Not an external display, but a deep worthiness that actually cultivates a humility and understanding for the intelligence and sacredness that resides in all of us. I feel one of the first steps is to watch and observe how we talk about ourselves either in our head or about ourselves to others. Do we speak positively about ourselves no matter what the circumstances or do we berate, belittle and apologise for ourselves? I am super excited to teach more about this, it has become a big through line of all my teaching.
One tool I have been using before going to sleep at night with myself and with my son who is 9 and a half years old to work on increasing our self love muscles is this: You ask yourself this question out loud “what do I love about myself” and then answer it out loud. I actually write mine in a journal too. The answer could be a quality about yourself, or something you accomplished in your day. My son offers one thing each night and I have seen a marked difference in how he feels more resilient in moments of challenge. I list 3 things each night and within myself I have seen a marked difference in taking bigger risks in both my personal and professional life. A clear sense of feeling connected to the flow of life.
Can you tell us what your daily diet (on average) is like?
I eat a plant-based diet and have for many years, although if there is a very authentic pizza on offer with quality cheese I will not say no. For me the most important things with food are quality and super fresh ingredients, no pesticides (whenever possible) and made with love. I am very partial to raw chocolate and fresh coconut juice kefir, miso soup and avocado.
Mornings are generally fuelled with superfood smoothies, for lunch I have salads. Come evening time I have soups and a warm vegetable stir fry. I allow a 12 hour window between dinner and breakfast so that I can allow my body to go into the fasting space fully. I like to do a cleanse based on the season: juicing or a combo of a meal and juicing.
Overall I really have learned to listen to my bodies needs and cravings and desires and find the balance between all of these. Of course, I think one of the key components around diet and well-being is proper deep resting. Adequate quality sleep.
Anastasia Williams will act as the visiting consultant for The Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s first city-based Naam Yoga and Harmonyum Retreat from the 3rd to 19th October.