Farid Alipour about managing stress and living a healthier life
Farid Alipour, an international wellness trainer holds a cosmopolite background: Iranian-born but moved to Norway and travelled all the way to the Himalayas meeting teachers for the end goal of learning the calming and cleansing ways of yoga and meditation. He later went on to work in over 80 countries.
Farid Alipour, what place made you feel you belong there?
I don’t feel I belong to a specific place, but I feel more at home in some places than others. Mostly in Asia.
Your qualifications are more than enough for the average person: Kung Fu instructor, Yoga instructor, meditation instructor, Thai massage practitioner, QiGong instructor, tea ceremony master. What is so special about each of these techniques? Could you tell us why you started learning them and what brought each one of them into your life?
Kung Fu teaches you, confidence, balance, strength, flexibility, precision, speed, concentration and to bring balance into all of this and connects them with your existence.
QiGong does the same as Kung Fu, because they have the same roots and philosophy. But its more internal work than Kung Fu and teaches you how to control the energy and brings a higher level of harmony. Kung Fu consists of lots of effort, while QiGong is more effortlessness which is essential.
Yoga is the art of connecting oneself to universal consciousness where they become One. Hatha Yoga, is most known in the West, but there are different types of Yoga which are more practiced in India, such as, Bhakti Yoga (Devotional), Karma Yoga (selfless service), Jnana Yoga, which is about understanding, contemplation and meditation. Yoga is a way of bringing an end to suffering and starting a fearless living and approach to life. The end of delusion and living by truth, this is Yoga.
Meditation is an effortless awareness. Seeing things as they are. When the mind is completely quiet, it is able to see the reality of the matters as they are. It can happen to you when you are ready. Sometimes it takes lots of effort and work. Meditation is essential in life otherwise we will be consumed by fears and desires.
Tea ceremony is an art where one uses the tea for contemplation and meditation. It has its roots in Taoism like Kung Fu. KungFU Cha, is used by Kung Fu practitioner before or after practicing Kung Fu. It brings clarity and concentration while you have a talk around the tea table, or simply have a moment of silence.
I have been learning these practices since I was 13 years old back in my hometown in Iran. I believe the question that I had in my mind at that age brought me closer to Eastern philosophies. The question was; “What is the purpose of life?” That question affects all my life and decisions, still today. Finally, after 26 years I understood why! Yet, I am affected by fears and desires from time to time like everyone else, but I am not lost. I know the purpose of my existence.
All I learned was an endeavor to find the answer to my question, and ironically and honestly none of them helped me! When I got so tired of trying, one day I was fed up with everything, and then the door opened to me! Because the real help is unexpected and unpredictable. The question came from unknown as well as the answer. I realized and I saw myself as an observer. The work is not done yet, as long as we live, we have to be watchful and careful with our thoughts and actions. We have to be present every moment. To live without fears and desires. Yoga, tea, Qigong and other rituals and right actions will help us to stay in balance. They are a tool not the goal.
It is said that martial arts brings people, hope and courage to face the difficulties of life. What do you think about this?
Of course, martial arts bring confidence in oneself and help us face the difficulties in life. For example Kung Fu means hard work. To master Kung Fu, one needs patience, energy and time to complete and master the art.
Why do you think that people around the world are more and more interested in Yoga, meditation, QiGong?
There can be different reasons that people are interested in yoga and so on. In the West, Christianity or religion in general has lost its meaning and power. It doesn’t answer people questions. Absence of spirituality is very sensible in West. People lost their trust in allopathic medicine, since they are connected to pharmaceutical industry which is mostly seeking profits and not aiming to find a cure. It is easier, cheaper and maybe in some cases more effective to find the answer and solution by oneself through practicing Yoga and QiGong than using conventional medicine. There are more and more scientific evidences that these activities are helping the body and mind to recover and prevents diseases.
Stress has become in the last years the common denominator for aggressiveness and diseases. What would you recommend to a person who is under much pressure at the office and home?
I recommend Yoga, QiGong and meditation practices. First you have to understand that your health comes first. This is very important. Priorities are different according to the understanding of each of us. I always prioritize my health. Do you do the same? If not, ask why? Why it is less important? Only 30 min. practice a day can be good enough, before or after you work. Better one hour or more of course, but the minimum is 30 min.
You coordinated hundreds of retreats and trainings around the world. Are there any geographical differences between the most required techniques?
Yes, in some places Yoga works better than in others. For example, if you are living in the mountain area or near the sea. Cold or heat can affect your improvement as well as food and environment. But anywhere you are there is a practice which can be more effective in results than others I believe. For example better to practice Pranayama in the mountain or near the sea than cities where the air is more clean and pure.
What do people want to achieve in your trainings?
Some people want to learn more QiGong or Yoga, while others are interested to know more about whole food plant based diet and healthy cooking style.
What will people gain from your trainings? Are they going to be healthier, happier and younger looking?
Healthier I can guaranty. Younger for sure. Happier, I don’t know, I hope so.
Did you see people recovering or improving their condition from major mental disorders or serious illnesses (cancer, cardiac issues) through the techniques you teach?
Yes, last year we had a case where a father of a friend who had liver cancer and the doctors told the family he will have only 6 weeks to live and chemotherapy can’t be used on him since the illness is too advanced and he is too old (75 years). I recommended the diet, some breathing, walking exercise and change of tap water to mountain spring water. Ten months passed since this happened, and the father of my friend not only that he didn’t die, but he recovered and all the tests are good. Another friend had been suffering of schizophrenia for years. It took me one year to bring him into balance. Thank God he is better now.
What are the results of one week from the retreat you will have at Valea Doftanei (Romania) in May (program including Yoga classes, meditation, tea ceremony, QiGong and plant based diet)?
I can’t really say what the results will be. Because it is really up to the person and her or his ability to absorb the teaching. But in a normal condition and person, for sure it will be an improvement in the physical health. They will have a lower blood sugar, LDL, BP, and weight loss. Mentally, they will be more relax and they will feel better. They will learn how to cook healthy food especially not using oil in the preparation of meals.
They will learn about how to serve a good cup of tea, what means good tea, the benefits of it and much more about the tea culture.
They learn QiGong and Yoga techniques which can be practiced daily at home. They will have a basic QiGong and Yoga course where it will be good enough for the rest of their lives. With the understanding of the rule of right and healthy food they get all the tools they need to prevent chronic diseases, which represent 70% of all diseases. And they learn how to calm their mind and how to balance their energy and life. It is a good start to a perhaps a long journey for health and longevity.
See HERE details about the retreat.