Meditation, breathing, reflecting, practicing, and connecting this is what really enriches Manoj’s life. Through his own journey and discovery he found that mediation was above all – a healing influence, and deciding to teach was a natural progression. Taking his own experiences and learnings to his students has made him a much-loved name in the meditation and yoga world. Manoj believes in the idea that mediation is a practice, that it’s something, like ‘life’, to work at every day and not something to be afraid of, to find your own way of honouring mindfulness in your everyday life is a small but eternally rewarding challenge.
Here we chat to him about what initially drew him to meditation, some easy ways to incorporate meditation into your every day and we delve into his new passion project A-Space a mindful organisation that delivers public and corporate workshops.
Meet our newest local Love Manoj Dias…
Can you share with us a little about the Manoj before he found mediation?
Seems like a lifetime away (ha!) Life felt like a bit of a hustle. I was really motivated to climb the corporate ladder and on paper, it might have looked like I had it well. Great job, holiday’s each year, a big circle of friends, nice car and nice things. But, inside I was chronically stressed, I struggled to sleep and switch off most nights; I mistook my anxiety as being part of the demands of my role and neglected my body without thinking twice. I felt like I was going through the motions but at the same time stuck in a rut.
…and now to your transformation? What initially drew you to meditation?
My previous lifestyle made me sick, mentally and physically. I took 6 months out of corporate life after I had an anxiety attack at work to get healthy again. All the specialists I spoke to had differing opinions on how I should get better but I none resonated with me. A friend suggested I try a Yoga and Meditation class. From that first class I knew something inside me had shifted, it was hard to work out what. After the first full week of practice, my mind was starting to feel clearer than it had in years.
My sleep had improved and I found myself more engaged in day-to-day activities. I knew by the end of my first month that this would be a life-changing practice.
I eventfully returned to the marketing world 6 months later but realized it was no longer for me. What once motivated me to punch out the long hours now didn’t interest me, I wanted to somehow do good things in the world and help others the way my teacher had helped me so I left the corporate world and became a Yoga and Meditation teacher.
Other than meditation,what do you do to boost your mood?
I love to eat. Food excites me. Nothing makes me happier than vibrant conversations with people, listening to people’s stories really inspires me. And, of course, Yoga.
Can you share with our readers who spend their days desk-bound some easy ways to incorporate mediation into their every day?
I’m a firm believer in creating micro-habits, whether that’s drinking two glasses of water in the morning or taking five conscious breaths through-out my day. Start small and instill a positive habit that can be sustained.
Set your clock to wake up 5 minutes earlier than usual, sit quietly, close your eyes and listen to all the sounds you hear. Without following the sounds or wondering where they came from just listen. Then, bring your attention to your breath and notice your body breathe. Perhaps only 2 minutes this time. Small incremental changes make big impacts in our life.
If you are new to meditation there are some really great mindfulness apps out there (Headspace, Smiling Mind, Insight timer) that are handy if you prefer more guidance.
Take subtle pauses throughout your day to notice your surroundings, notice the sensations in your hands, listen to the sounds, turn off the radio on a drive and just notice the environment around you.
Something surprising about mediation that our readers may not know is…
You don’t need to sit in funny shapes with incense burning listening to chanting.
It’s simple, secular and supported by science – meditation reshapes and reforms our brain for more creativity, focus, and resilience.
We have found there is a shift towards a more conscious way of living that most of us are starting to take notice of our health, do you agree?
Definitely, from what I have observed, there has been a big shift from focusing just on waist size as an indicator of our health to a more holistic approach to living well. There’s no point looking good in your clothes if your mind is fatigued and distracted. Life is more demanding than ever, our brains get very little respite from the time we wake up and check our emails and notifications to the time we go to bed anticipating the demands of the day ahead. For businesses, mindfulness and meditation are no longer in the realm of hippies and spirituality but a realistic and validated approach to improved performance and job satisfaction.
What is A-SPACE? and why do we need it in our life?
A-SPACE is a mindful organisation that delivers public and corporate workshops, programs and classes designed to help people become the best, most resilient and vibrant versions of themselves – through mindfulness, meditation, and self-inquiry. Our A-SPACE: to be program introduces people to the art of living mindfully, how to develop and sustain a meditation practice and how to re-think our life’s challenges. It’s also a really great way to come together and share stories and insights with likeminded people in a relaxed atmosphere.
What’s a mantra you live by or trust in to guide you day to day?
Be good, do good.
WE LOVE your yoga classes…Where is your teaching at?
Power living Yoga Australia, Kaya Health Clubs, and Good Vibes Yoga.
You always have incredible music in your class…What’s currently on your teaching play list?
- During class ; bonobo, Odesza, Helios Flying Lotus
- After class: Chance the Rapper, Blood orange, D’angelo, Gui Borrato