Inspirational Woman: Amisha Ghadiali | Yoga Teacher & Writer

Amisha Yoga & MeditationIntroduction: Tell us a bit about yourself, background and what you do currently

I am a yoga teacher, and a sustainable lifestyle specialist. I often speak internationally on these topics and write articles. My focus is on sustainable style, how do we express ourselves in a way that also expresses our love and connection to each other and the planet.

I run regular yoga and meditation classes in London as well as going to clients homes or offices for private sessions. I run workshops and retreats. I am mostly interested in how we can create more freedom and truth in our lives, and empower ourselves to be happy and live the life of our dreams.

My background is a hybrid of politics, fashion, design and sustainability. I am the editor of the book, The Future We Choose by Think Act Vote. Full bio here

The very fact that I am being interviewed for the inspirational women in sport feature is hilarious to me as I have never been into watching or taking part in sport. In fact I have really purposefully shied away from it. I used my body purely as a function to carry my over-thinking, over working mind around. Yoga is different as it was the way that I discovered my body and the importance of the union of my body, mind and soul. I have learnt from this journey that you have to work with everything that you have got together. If you neglect one part of yourself, you are really neglecting your whole self.

How do you set goals and stick to them and how do you celebrate success?

I set big goals for the year, the month and the week. I am not so great on daily goals, but I do have daily rituals which help me stay focused and inspired. I set the goals in a loose way, they are more intentions, and then I practice something which in yoga we can open to grace. This means allowing the natural flow of things to guide me into what to work on in each moment and allowing for things that I may not have planned for to come in if they are right.Rumi - Joy

I celebrate success and failure. I celebrate life. It is important to me to find ways to celebrate every day, and not to stay attached to the outcome of any one thing that I am working on. I celebrate on my yoga mat, I celebrate by dancing around the kitchen. I celebrate by honouring time with those that I love.

Yoga is different as it was the way that I discovered my body and the importance of the union of my body, mind and soul.

How important are role models in inspiring successful women of the future?

I think it is important to surround ourselves with people who inspire us, people who help us see the highest in ourselves, people who hold us whole and people who show us ways to push through the boundaries and walls that society places in front of us. Ideally these kind of people are our friends, the ones we are always in contact with, cheerleading each other. If we don’t have these, then it is powerful to see other women living with freedom, courage and grace. Especially when we are young, we build our ideas of what is possible from those around us. It is important. It is also important to look inside, as there we don’t have to compare ourself to others but instead find our own limitless potential. This is why meditation is so powerful.

You have dedicated your life to achieving success, what advice can you give to our members about staying focussed and managing time efficiently?

Make up your own rules. Find what works for you. I like some daily rituals and then giving myself a lot of freedom to work with inspiration. I start each day in a similar way, with tea and green juice and at this time of the year watching the sunrise. I go to my yoga mat, practice and meditate. This allows me to check in with how I am feeling on any given day and find the inspiration I need for what lies ahead. I often close my eyes and take a few moments in meditation before I do anything, be in teach a class or open my computer. This helps me to focus on what I need to do at each moment. I have also experienced that time is expandable when you focus. You can get a lot done in a short amount of time.

I think it is important to surround ourselves with people who inspire us, people who help us see the highest in ourselves

Have you had to overcome any setbacks to get where you are today? If so, what advice can you give to our members about overcoming challenges?

Many. I think we all have. Mine have been quite dramatic. One of the things that I have always done is used setbacks in my life to re-assess things and look for what they are teaching me. Sometimes this is a relatively quick process and others it takes time to really to find the true lesson and guidance in what we are experiencing.

Ten years ago, I got driven over (my legs specifically) by a four wheel drive pick up truck. It happened on a small island called Roatan, where I was scuba diving. The driver was really drunk and so he didn’t notice when he hit me from behind and continued to drive over me. The first set of tyres went over my legs and then I was trapped under the back ones when my friends got the driver to stop. One wheel very close to my head, and the other on the my thighs. A miracle, that I was not placed in a different spot, I think my thighs were the only part of me that could withstand that weight. When I was stuck under the tyres I didn’t know if I would ever walk again, and so to be standing here as in 2015 as a yoga teacher is something quite amazing.

I had only discovered yoga a few months before this accident, when I was living in DC and working on Capitol Hill at the US Congress. This whole decade of on and off yoga has been coloured by the pain in my legs and this feeling of restriction. Finally in 2013/14 I found a system of yoga that transformed the pain and strengthened my legs. So I became a teacher to share this work. I still have a long way to go to create total freedom in my body and life but as you know, THE JOURNEY IS THE TREASURE.

This accident has been my biggest teacher and ultimately has guided me to do what I now know I am meant to be doing. Some would view something like this as a major setback, a tragedy even, but I am grateful for the experience and all it has taught me.

How important is it to take responsibility for your own development?

It’s vital. Nobody else is going to. We can’t be victims to ourselves, our loved ones and society. Sadly those around us may not always want us to develop. It can be scary for them when we come into our own power as a woman. There can be insecurity amongst partners, friends and colleagues that actually keeps us stuck. So we have to take a stand for ourselves and do the work to be the best version of ourselves that we can be. The job of a woman is not an easy one, it’s tough as we have the pressures of being wifes, daughters, mothers, sisters and our careers. Our role includes a lot of service to those around us which is beautiful but the more we are developed within ourselves, the easier and more joyful this becomes.

What is the benefit of having a coach or a mentor?

I think it is really beneficial to have somebody if not a team of people that you are working with to help you find your full potential. It makes a difference when these people are not connected to your family or work, so they can bring some independence and also some professionalism to the way they hold space for you. I have found mentors and coaches to be very useful in my own development. It may be no surprise that my yoga teacher has in many ways been my most powerful mentor, as she has worked with me across all levels. When I work as a yoga teacher with private clients, I bring in elements of coaching and mentoring, and use it as space to not only work on the body but to shift patterns and give inspirations that can affect our daily life in all areas.

How does your normal day start and end?

With quiet time, reflection and gratitude.

How do your let your hair down?

Ha ha, I only just have hair to let down, after shaving my head for charity in 2012 and then keeping it short since then. I forgot how fun that feeling is of pulling your hair out down and shaking it about. I love to dance. And sing. And be around live music.

What are your plans for future?

I am working on a new book about style, taking a sustainable perspective and drawing from what I have learnt through yoga. I am also planning some amazing retreats and workshops for the summer.

To book a yoga session with Amisha or to find out more about sustainable style, visit her site www.amisha.co.uk

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