How Yoga Can Help You Follow Your Heart
By Dr Julie Moltke
Meet Cédric Gorinas, Researcher, entrepreneur, yoga teacher and heart-opener
Cédric, can you tell us a little about yourself and your first steps into yoga?
I am a yoga instructor based in Copenhagen, Denmark, teaching both private and public classes, special events, workshops, and retreats and I’ve been the proud owner of HeartWise for a little over two years.
I grew up developing a passion for people and understanding their inner world. My time living in different countries and my earlier career as a researcher in social sciences and ethnicity made me dive deeper into and understand why people in different places and in different groups think and behave differently. Yet, I was unsatisfied. Touching people’s inner world and the relationship with their outer life was missing.
Early on my yoga journey, I had the blessing to meet some amazing teachers who were very skilful at using the body as a doorway to access the inner realms. I began to have a regular experience that yoga is a way to both become stronger and healthier in our bodies and to touch the inner depths. They talked about the “heart:” this invisible place that exists in each of us and longs for being open. With my body as a doorway, I started to become able to touch, even for a glimpse, the depths of my own heart. I remember once, at the end of one class in savasana, I started sobbing for no reason, and after that, I was left with a feeling of openness I had never experienced before. I knew there was way more for me to explore.
A couple of months later I joined a yoga teacher training, and soon after I completed a training in body-oriented and mindfulness-based psychotherapy. Diving into my own self-exploration and learning to facilitate others’ personal journey made it slowly clear for me that I had to leave my (otherwise nicely going) academic career. I had to step up and follow my own call to help people get back in touch with themselves and their hearts.
Is this when you started HeartWise?
I originally thought I would offer to consult and coaching to self-employed and small teams. In California, I had helped friends who were self-employed to align their purpose and their business, offering a more holistic approach to business. I wanted to reconcile my economics and business background with my “softer” skills from yoga and somatic therapy.
Once back in Copenhagen, I began to work on my new venture formally. I wanted to help people be more in touch with their “heart” because for me your heart knows what is true for you and could not care less about norms and others’ expectations. When you are in integrity with your heart, you know what the next step is – in all areas of your life. This is how the name HeartWise came up: everything starts at the heart, and life is about learning how to let the wisdom of the heart speak its truth.
Funny enough, I started to teach yoga in parallel, and slowly my classes were growing and so was my teaching schedule. I was first putting most of my efforts in growing the consulting side of HeartWise, but it was harder to convince people about it. And honestly, as for yoga, I did not want to have to convince anyone about it. A holistic, conscious business, just as yoga, needs to answer a call from within – and not a smart sales strategy.
I could feel that my interest in teaching was growing and my learning curve was very steep. I always teach with a strong focus on body alignment and a heart-centred theme. Quite often students would report how the theme in the last class changed them or touched them in the past week. I realized I was doing what I had been longing for: I was touching people’s heart! Since then, I and HeartWise have grown into nearly full-time yoga teaching. And the funny part is also that I now start to work more with companies and organizations!
How does HeartWise contribute to society?
HeartWise’s mission is to help people wake up to their potential and experience the greatness of their own hearts. Not more, not less! It is rewarding to see every day how people are opening to yoga and mindfulness and asking for more and more of it. People are also opening to the benefits of theses practices and feeling them, which is a sign of the society waking up! I am so honoured to be a humble, small piece of the puzzle.
What are your best tips for new conscious business / passion-driven business owners?
My best advice is: Get out of your head, and into your heart. Your heart leads you to both the path of least resistance and to the next step, which usually is scary. Naturally, efforts are necessary to give the business the right structure, formality, be realistic economically etc. but techniques and ready-made business solutions are not one-size-fits-all.
Listening to our hearts is not what we usually hear of in the business world. Among entrepreneurs, I hear a lot of “should’s” and “have to”, and both are energy draining and creativity killers because they tend to bring feelings of guilt and inadequacy. Instead, how about asking yourself “what I really want is…” and “what makes me feel alive right now is…”? And take it from there. Be aware that your heart will also present what fear and edge you need to work on… so listen!
Last but not least… Trust the process – because it takes time! Many entrepreneurs want things to happen quickly. If I had gotten stuck on having to work with other businesses in the first months of HeartWise, I would have missed the opportunity to let my yoga business grow organically. Two years later, I realize that I am now more experienced and skilled to provide a deeper, more powerful experience to larger groups.
Getting out of your comfort zone, with love and awareness, is a necessary step to grow! The world needs you!
Anything exciting upcoming event for HeartWise?
I love taking people deeper into themselves and their yoga practice, for examples in longer workshops and retreats. I am particularly excited about this upcoming retreat in Sweden on Sept 5-8. I called it “Open to Abundance – Immersion in the five elements” because the retreat setting is unique! Imagine a beautifully imposing, historic, yet very warm manor immersed in the five elements with a sauna, a lake, vast garden, dense forests, and hiking trails. I know we all face what we call “barriers to nourishments,” as we focus on what is not working to the expenses of what can be healthy and beneficial to us. The location (Mindfulness Manor) opens the doors to the abundance available to us and within and the whole yoga retreat will revolve around this theme. I can hardly think of a better setting to re-connect to ourselves and the elements and experience deep nourishment!
What is your best health tip?
As I wrote in my blog, if we listen carefully enough, our bodies will tell us what we need to eat and do to stay or become healthy. This is why practices such as yoga and mindfulness are so powerful; they train our capacity to pay attention to the extent that we cannot listen anymore.
My personal tip is to start by taking some time off, every day if possible. Even for 5 or 10 min, lay down and breath deeply into your belly, or go for a walk, feel the ground underneath you and listen to the wind … You will be amazed by how quickly you will discover new things about yourself. And… remember to take this time off, a no-phone zone! Technology makes it harder to take time off so “unplugging” is needed in order to reconnect to ourselves.