Why we Created Mindbodify
Mindbodify is the result of two personal journeys.
Snezhana’s started in Bulgaria in October 2011:
I woke up one morning and I hated myself. I hated the fact that I had to get up. I hated my job. I hated my body - I felt heavy and overweight. I was tired of life. I had spent a whole year dealing with the unresolved grief of losing my mother after a long fight with breast cancer. I didn’t want to feel, so I kept myself busy up to 20 hours a day. On average 11 of them were spent managing a software company and the rest looking after my family. My youngest daughter was 3 years old and my eldest was 11. My husband supported me as much as he could, though he was dealing with the loss of his father, who had also died recently.
I was destroying myself day by day, but completely unaware of it. My diet was poor, I was taking no exercise, had no hobbies and was not getting enough sleep. The end result was a massive burnout.
I slowly began to recover in the years that followed but the real shift happened when I found the Japanese healing art of Shiatsu. The turning point came when I received two Shiatsu treatments in Rome, Italy in the spring of 2017. I was so fascinated by the effect that a few months later I enrolled at the Shiatsu College, London.
Month after month, practice after practice I was able to recognize how the body, mind, emotions and the higher self are intertwined. I could see how the flexibility that was developing in my body supported creativity in other areas of my life. I could see how the quality of my breathing affected my levels of energy and sense of well being. My self care practice transformed the way I connected with the people around me. Developing a sense of centre helped me recognize emotional overreactions and situations of overthinking. I began to relax and feel more comfortable with whatever came into my life.
When the lockdowns followed one after another, I asked myself whether there was a way to share this knowledge and these discoveries with more people and to help them avoid my mistakes. Millions of people are currently working from home, day after day, shut off from nature and social interaction, deprived of inspiring conversations and cultural events. It’s easy to get "up in your head” spending all day in front of screens. The sense of insecurity and lack of positivity and motivation to look after oneself can quickly make stress levels unmanageable and cause us to lose our balance.
With these ideas in mind, I decided to wait until a solution presented itself. I found Chris - a Qigong, Taiji, Acupuncture and Shiatsu teacher, a musician and dancer, a free spirit and creative soul, co-author of Touching the Invisible. It didn’t take too long to figure out that not only did he embody the qualities required to reach one's full potential, he had spent his life teaching and supporting others on their way. It was a simple choice.
Initially, we planned to create an application for avoiding burnout and supporting stress release, but gradually realized that was not what we wanted. We don’t want to fix anybody. Why draw a map to a destination when you can support someone to develop the skills to go wherever they want? We wanted to share our insights about learning and unlearning, movement and transformation, about how to work with life force and vital energy, how by recognizing our emotions and thought patterns and managing our focus we can influence our levels of vitality.
We hope you will enjoy this journey with us and the other Mindbodify members!
As a boy I had always enjoyed vital health and rarely, if ever, missed a day at school. I could play three football matches every weekend and still hunger for more. I was always interested in what lay behind and beyond things and once I had completed my university studies, this curiosity propelled me out on an extended journey through Asia.
A year of budget travel, staying in the cheapest hotels, eating the cheapest food and using local transport at all times gradually eroded my health and in the middle of the high-altitude wilderness of Tibet, illness struck me hard.
Staring death in the face (or so it seemed to me) three questions crystalised in my mind: What has happened? How do I recover? How do I make sure this never, ever, happens again?
Those three questions guided me to a host of local healers and medical practitioners, to Tai chi and Qigong, to Yoga and finally, to Shiatsu, acupuncture and herbal medicine three of the jewels of Oriental medicine.
The essential thing we need to realise is that we are beings with an enormous capacity for self-healing. In fact, this capacity is limitless – it just needs the right environment and the right ingredients to reveal its full power.
One of the toxins that challenge this power on a daily basis is stress. Once we learn how to manage stress, we are halfway there. Other things we need to gradually come to grips with are fear, worry, anger and sadness - in all their forms.
The tools we use to manage and ease control away from these forces are: breathing, simple presence and our inner creative potential. We slow down the negative spiral and gradually create an upward, positive spiral that leads to ever new levels of awareness and vitality.
So, join us on this journey and as you spiral upwards don’t forget to pay it forward!
As a teenager, I believed I would one day become a therapist. I did a Masters in Psychology and graduated with honors but I didn’t find the answers I was looking for in the academic world.
I wasn’t confident that I had the right tools for a career as a therapist, so I shifted my focus to the much safer territory of business. I became a sales person, and I learned to listen to others’ needs and create strategies that were beneficial for both sides. Later on, I became a project manager (PRINCE2 certified). I still enjoy visualizing where I want to be and creating road maps in my mind’s eye, planning resources and predicting what could go wrong.
But all those years I was living in my head. I saw my body as something to support my head. It came as quite a shock when I finally realized that I am my body. Nowadays, I integrate Shiatsu, Sei-Ki, Do-in, Qi Gong, mindful movement, meditation and Clean Language in a body-friendly therapeutic method to support my clients to the best of my abilities and to deepen my understanding about this beautiful union of mind-body-spirit, also known as a human being.