SCULPT Your Life

19 June 2017

We ask:

Why do you do what you do?

They say:

“To help people challenge one’s body and mind..”
“Its richness reminds me how we are all interconnected, we all want similar things.. ”
“I am obsessed with humanity and our diversity – where we have come from and how have we become.”
“The study of mind and body is enough to fascinate me for a lifetime”

Turning their passion from a practice into a career, Yogis around the world have accomplished what the majority of us seek unceasingly – The courage to transpose oneself from selling one’s soul to selling with soul. June 21st is International Yoga day, an opportune time for us to explore this dimension and share it with you.

Well, some of us know YOGA in its sensationalised version – The uber cool, unimaginable headstands we see on Instagram, yogis with their sculpted bodies in the most coveted yoga pants, in that ‘oh! so zenful’ backdrop, helping us sculpt our ideal body. Or, we could know it in its purest mystical form of sculpting one’s mind and body to achieve a higher state of being. We could judge it, critique it or embrace it. But, one cannot deny their discipline, their passion, and their ability to inspire millions of people who belong to their tribe. Diving deeper into their discipline, we could draw parallels between how we at Arran Frances challenge design to use materials to their strengths and how yogis do the same with their bodies and mind. The patience and mindful considerations it takes to perfect a pose or make a well-designed product by deft hands are analogous.

Wellness is the ‘New Black’ and is becoming an important ingredient in our daily lives. We prioritise well-balanced physical and mental health and many who have a passion for this have accomplished a great deal of success by motivating us to achieve it. They have helped us literally stretch our possibilities and made us ‘Wellthy’. Cultivating a healthy body, silent mind, gracious heart and vibrant spirit transforms us from a worrier to a warrior. The meditative practice of yoga, which focuses on being consciously conscious, helps us balance our lives, be in the moment and reach our full potential.

So, what is it that has made an ancient practice, a spiritual discipline dating back to 3000 B.C. and originating from the East, relevant to such a wide audience? And, what is it that has made this practice that is classic in sense of ancestry so ‘timeless’ and ‘cool’? Firstly, and this seems to be a common theme amongst practitioners —- it just works. Its rational application, practical solutions and intertwining of science and art has proven to relax, replenish and revive us. Secondly, it is inclusive in nature, and that has allowed contemporary yoga practitioners to collaborate and democratise it. Their well-designed, storied, fun, interesting, desirable and visually stimulating approach makes it accessible and relatable.

From Madonna to David Beckham, global leaders to successful entrepreneurs, we have multitudes who swear by yoga and its benefits. What started out as an exercise for us to understand the motivations of people metamorphosed into a study of shared values and commonalities between Yoga and our modus operandi at Arran Frances. Our theme, S.C.U.L.P.T, is dedicated to all yogis striving with devotion and passion to help us sculpt our lives to Accomplish Further.

0.2 Ksenia Avdulova

30 June 2017

Literally… a heart full of divine goodness, Ksenia Avdulova founder of Breakfast Criminals is leading the world towards ‘wellth’ through yoga, mindful eating, and entrepreneurship. The visual stories she narrates through her heart bowls, illustrates her creative spirit and innovative mind. Ksenia shares with us her journey, accomplishments and little secrets that makes her a warrior and not a worrier. Sculpt your life with some inspiration.

The defining moment in my life that inspired me towards the path of Yoga

I’ve always been a seeker. The turning point towards yoga for me was when I took a kundalini yoga class as a teenager, in which my body seemed to defy all rules of gravity simply through breath and intention. Since then, I’ve relied on my yoga and meditation practice to keep me grounded, give me clarity, stay centred, and get guidance on the areas of my life that matter most – career, love and health. A few years ago, I completed my yoga teacher training at Strala Yoga in New York, and since then have led yoga and superfood retreats in Nicaragua and Brazil.

My journey from Yoga to Breakfast Criminals

The idea of my business, Breakfast Criminals, came to me during a meditation. I was going through a rough patch of my life when I was in between jobs, broken hearted and living in a friend’s living room. That’s when I really got into yoga and started meditating regularly with my teacher David Harshada Wagner. Starting every day with a delicious breakfast – colourful Acai bowls – prepared with love and a positive affirmation was my way of taking it one day at a time and practicing kindness to myself. Because ultimately, inner yoga is just as important as asana, and it all starts with kindness, being present, and joy.

My morning mantra is ..

How you start your day is how you live your life. Mornings are like a magic portal. If you take a moment to start it right, it affects your whole day. My favourite practice is setting an intention for the day. While you’re getting up, brushing your teeth and getting ready, think of how you want to feel today. It can be one word, three or ten – whatever fully captures the essence of the feeling that will make you feel complete at the end of the day. Bonus points if you not only think it, but also take a moment to write it down .Communicating your intention in this way shoots out a rocket into the Universe, magnetising your desired feelings. It works every time!

Life as I know it ….

You can have anything you want in life, so DREAM BIG! Let your heart guide you. No one has the answers to what will make you happy and fulfilled but you. So grab your journal, gather friends and create a vision for your life. I’ve been leading workshops at yoga festivals and wellness summits on vision boarding, goal setting, and connecting to your life purpose using digital tools, and will soon be offering workbooks and tools that have helped me the most over the years on ksenia.nyc.

I am inspired by …

People who have the courage to share themselves vulnerably, authentically and fully. It’s so moving to be in the presence of such realness.

What helps me become a warrior and not a worrier..

Getting enough sleep, taking 3 deep breaths, and remembering to separate reality from the story that my brain automatically created based on past experiences. It’s a very powerful tool that I learned at Landmark Forum, a personal transformation program available worldwide.

Great style for me is always

A creative expression of who you are inside, and an opportunity to take yourself further in life by dressing like the movie star version of yourself. That is something I learned from my mentor Jesse Garza, founder of luxury image consultancy Visual Therapy.

Advice I would give aspiring entrepreneurs trying to make a difference through wellness

Stay connected to your “why”, and make sure that you’re in it to add very clear value to your community. Most often, your biggest teaching comes from very personal challenges that you’ve overcome in your own life. When I teach social media workshops globally, I always start by asking the question – what is your message, in one sentence? Every piece of work you put out into the world should support that message. That’s the key to fulfilment, and success in business will be a nice side effect if you work smart and surround yourself with the right people.

My biggest accomplishment as a Yoga practitioner and teacher ..

Staying humble. You can’t possibly have the answers to everything, so whenever I teach workshops or lead yoga, I love making it a collaborative, co-creative experience in which everyone has the space to bring themselves fully.

What drives me to Accomplish Further

The joy of creative expression, surrounding myself with people who challenge me to be better every day, and getting messages from people who share the stories of how my work has moved them. For example, I get messages every day about how eating from the heart bowl, the Breakfast Criminals symbol of nourishment and self-love, has changed people’s lives.

My ultimate Yoga pose and Acai bowl is…

Agnistambhasana – double pigeon pose. After a long day of sitting, it’s a wonderful way to release tension in the hips and relax. My favourite Acai bowl recipe for you.