Over the past few months i’ve been deeply focusing on the world of yoga & meditation, learning and practicing as much as possible. After a stressful but extremely rewarding career in the fashion industry, I made the decision to switch up careers late last year. I always found myself searching for inner peace, the ‘zen’ feeling everyone in the yoga community talks about, I was ready to find that peace within myself.
I’ve just arrived to the Association of Yoga & Meditation in Rishikesh in the North of India right on the foothills of the Himalayas - I know, I’m so excited I still can’t believe I’m here. I’ve been indulging in traditional Ayurvedic massages and treatments, another perk of studying in Rishikesh! Oh as well as enjoying traditional Indian dishes at most of the amazing restaurants here with my partner in crime Emma!
I arrived via London Heathrow with British Airways and as always with BA made me feel extremely comfortable. I’ve been flying British for the past two years now and almost refuse to board any other airline after the incredible treatment I’ve received from BA. On check in at London Heathrow I was presented with a complimentary upgraded ticket out of the blue which was extremely kind and unexpected but nonetheless, I kicked back, relaxed and enjoyed a delicious 3 course meal on board!
Before arriving to India, I spent some time at home in Belfast where yoga and meditation resources are far and few between. I was lucky to be invited along to one of Brenda Shankey’s Be Fabulous meditation courses to prepare me for what was to come. Brenda has been studying meditation and relaxation techniques intensely around the globe for the past two years. As a very successful business woman working in the stressful surroundings of the fashion and beauty industry, I was surprised at just how zen and relaxed Brenda was during our sessions - she was glowing and radiating positivity!
I had some time to sit down with Brenda after a class to discuss her exciting plans for the future!
Tell me about your training, where, what and when did you study?
I started with an online course with Gabby Bernstein, a young funky American spiritual guru. I loved her way of life and she’s been on a similar path to mine, being a workaholic and not being able to cope with stress.
Meditation, meditation, meditation was the message everyone was saying. Calm the mind and the body will heal.
I educated myself by endlessly reading every self help book I could find and attended various seminars throughout the UK. I enrolled to the Open University’s Advanced Meditation course and have completed my 50 hours practice and theory.
I then found the Art of Living and they taught me breathing and wellness living. I recently carried out their silent retreat for a week, it was simply bliss.
What sparked your interest in meditation?
My journey was sparked by a breakdown in my life. I ended up in hospital with stress, panic attacks, over eating, under eating, over drinking, smoking etc, with an excess of everything I simply crashed!
In hospital I decided I needed to make a change, I came off all meds and knew I could fix myself with natural healing techniques.
You have just started a trend in Northern Ireland, bringing meditation here and training other people to deal with stress and emotions in a different way than they're used to, tell me about your 'fabulous' meditation courses and what methods you believe work best for the Northern Irish market?
I decided to design a course for modern living. How to live in this fast paced pressured world and be able to get peace and happiness. Be Fabulous was born this year, it’s a modern structured course on meditation, mindfulness and positive thinking. I want people to learn how meditate on the bus, in the street, anywhere. I want them to learn how to centre themselves. My goal is for people to create their best life plan suited to them and for them to be the best they possibly can be. There is only one person in charge of our life and that’s us, only we have the power to control our thinking and create our reality.
Be Fabulous is about simply being the best you can be white enjoying every single moment of your life!
Looking forward to seeing how Brenda’s new business venture is going when I return home later this year.
It’s late Sunday afternoon here now in Rishikesh and I'm going to head out with Emma for a relaxing dinner in the town. Our favourite restaurants so far are Tattv (they have eggs which is rare here!) & Lucky Restaurant at the other side of the Laxman Jhula bridge. We've also indulged at various other cool spots including Bistro Nirvana and Divine Bakery.
That's all for now - peace out!