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  • Community
  • Dan Morgan / Q&A

    16th February 2017

    16th February 2017

    By Shivraj Bassi

    Dan is a full-time yoga teacher based in the UK who aims to help people find balance in their lives through his focus on the physical and mental benefits of health and fitness. We sat down with him to find out more, and to ask some nosey questions.

    “I remember my parents taking me to my first karate class when I was 3 years old, which was where my health and fitness journey probably began. Ever since I've always been involved in lots of different physical activities. Internal and external health is important to me, and my love for it has continued to grow creating a space for me to find clarity and focus. Yoga combined the love I had for developing physically and mentally, stripping away all of the “stuff” that seemed to get in the way. My focus on health, fitness and yoga has allowed me to build a strong, mobile and physically capable body, and allowed me to understand myself on a deeper level. As much as I love movement and physical activity, I also love to chill out. And as much as I love to fuel my body with nutritiously dense and whole foods, sometimes I like a little junk food! It’s all about striking a balance that works for you.”

    Favourite Innermost products, and why?

    The Strong Protein. Strength training plays a huge part in my training week-to-week, and this blend helps keep my internal vitality in check - beneficial for when I’m in the gym as I train, and also as I recover between workouts. The Detox Booster. My teaching schedule is full of late evenings and early mornings, and I always seem to be on the go. This is a great product as it helps support my general well-being, vitality and immunity. Keeping me fit and healthy throughout my week. 

    What's your hustle?

    I’m on a journey to help others discover their true selves. I’m currently a full-time yoga teacher, and training to become a transformational coach. I don’t think the journey will stop here. I have visions to combine these qualifications, and to transition into bigger things... watch this space.

    What does #liveinnermost mean to you?

    To me, it's about coming to truly understand yourself - your needs, your wants, your desires, your dreams. Then choosing to be unapologetic, and authentic in living the life you wish to lead. Living a life that aligns fully with your core identity, with your true values - without concern for what others may think or feel about it

    What do you do to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

    I teach roughly 16-22 hours a week of yoga and movement. This in itself keeps me moving a bunch! I also do my own personal strength and mobility training on top of that - a mix of yoga, calisthenics, mobility training and olympic lifting roughly three to five times a week. I also do asana (physical yoga postures), meditate, and do pranayama (breathing practices) daily. Nutrition and diet also plays a large part in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I eat a varied diet of nutritious whole foods, get six to eight hours sleep a night minimum, and drink plenty of water.

    Usual breakfast?

    Starter: Grapefruit, tangerine or figs, and a smoothie with plenty of fibre. Main: Two or three eggs (poached, fried or scrambled) with a whole avocado mashed with raw red onion, a couple cloves of garlic, and some diced cherry tomatoes finished with a side of some lightly cooked beetroot. Drink: Water. Plenty of it.

    What's your happy place?

    Cornwall - as close to Land's End as you can get. I have so many fond and nostalgic memories of being there. From way back when building sand castles right up to last summer, sat at the pub with my family in the sun enjoying a cool drink overlooking the sea. It's a place I return to regularly, and it feels like home. In fact, its been too long since my last trip...

    Who or what motivates you?

    There are so many people that motivate me, the list would be very long. I think it’s so important that we're also able to motivate ourselves, for ourselves - and this is something I’m practicing daily. Whenever I struggle with motivation, I remind myself why it is that I’m doing what I’m doing. I remind myself of the purpose. And I try to find greatness in the moment. This may not happen 100% of the time, and thats fine - all that matters, is getting back on track when I stumble.

    Book currently on your bedside table?

    I currently have two books on my bedside table. "The obstacle is the way" by Ryan Holiday and "Inner Engineering: A yogis guide to joy" by Jaggi Vasudev. Both amazing reads - I couldn’t recommend them highly enough!

    Current fitness goal?

    Currently I’m working towards a few things - full planche, one arm pull-ups, and a one arm handstand. These are ongoing projects, and have been for a while. They are requiring me to master patience but I’m really loving the challenge. And I’m absorbing everything that I’m learning about myself and the skills themselves along the way.

    Where do you see yourself in three years? Be bold!

    Developing my business "dcmlifestyle" on a larger scale - combining yoga, coaching, therapy, physical therapy and holistic development. I then aim to use my experience in these skills to create various workshops, trainings and retreats across the globe. My hope is to build a community of like-minded individuals that I can collaborate with to bring this vision to life.

    Need some more of Dan? Check him out on Instagram (@dcmlifestyle) and his website (www.dcmlifestyle.com). 

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    Growth And Goals With Innermost Insider Amy Costello
    Hi Amy! Can you tell us a bit about how you got into your fitness journey? Hey my Innermost faves! I was always involved in sports at school and loved running, but it was on my travels to Sydney, Australia, that my passion for fitness as a real, positive, daily part of my life, kicked off. I love the lifestyle in Sydney. Everyone is really invested in their health and fitness and that fuelled me to get my Personal Training qualification and start going to the gym (I’d never stepped foot in a gym before this!), where I learnt absolutely everything I could about functional and resistance training. I read books, I watched technique videos, and I put all of it into practice in my own training and programming. But this was just the beginning! How did your passion for fitness begin to translate into your full-time job? Whilst living in Australia, I met Mike, who is now my fiancé (woo) and my business partner in the fitness empire we are building!  It actually started when my Aussie visa was due to expire, and we were game-planning ways that we could stay together and avoid doing the long-distance relationship thing. At the time I was coaching at an F45 studio in Sydney, and after a bit of research, we realised there was only one F45 studio in London - so Mike got thinking - why don’t we see if we can open one!  It then all happened very fast - within a couple of months we had signed with F45 to open our own studio, had packed our bags and were moving to London. 4.5 years later and we've built an incredible member base and community at F45 Tottenham Court Road, and also launched our own fitness retreat company, Salt Escapes, where we run fitness holidays at various beautiful destinations around the world!  View this post on Instagram A post shared by AMY COSTELLO (@amykcostello) What was more challenging, opening your F45 Studio or launching Salt Escapes?  I would have to say F45. It was our first business so there was a lot to learn and a lot to prove. We made a heap of mistakes and knew next to nothing about business, but we worked our little asses off to build our gym into what it is today.  When we launched Salt Escapes, we already had an engaged, interested customer base in our clients at the gym, so it wasn’t SO terrifying to launch! Also, with it being our own brand and company, there were no limitations like with F45. Instead we were free to branch out, be adventurous and see what works. This is how we like to do things! How has your business evolved through lockdown?  Wow, it’s been a testing year. We lost a lot of members throughout the past year. Being located in central London was a huge advantage for the first few years of business, but when lockdown hit, everyone just disappeared!  It’s almost as though we’ve had the chance to start from scratch, which has meant we’ve had the opportunity to re-evaluate everything from our finances, processes and sales strategies, to our membership offering and client-relationships.  From that perspective (and ONLY that perspective), it’s been great for us. We’ve been given the opportunity to build our business back stronger. Nine months of closure allows you to do a lot of reflecting.  How have you personally evolved throughout the last year?  Well I’ve managed to avoid packing it all in and moving to a tiny island in the middle of nowhere - does that count?!  Haha, no but seriously - I guess for me, it’s been the year I’ve actually understood what it means to look after your mental health. It’s been a really challenging year to own a gym and a travel business, and my sleep and mental health has taken a battering.  Realising the importance of “self-care” (sounds cheesy, but it’s a whole vibe) has been a game-changer. For me, it’s walks in the park, my daily 10 minute Calm, switching my phone to Do Not Disturb, and prioritising learning (books, podcasts, journals).  View this post on Instagram A post shared by AMY COSTELLO (@amykcostello) What does the word ‘growth’ mean to you? Aside from #gains? Ha.  In the past couple of years - Mike and I have started saying to each other, and our team, “we like solutions, not problems”. Look, in work, training, life, there are always going to be problems, difficult people, and tough days. I used to obsess over the problems to the point they’d keep me awake at night. Now the minute a problem arises, I start thinking about the solution. Because there’s always a solution if you look hard enough, so what’s the point in stressing over things you have the power to do something about?  For me - that’s growth. Pushing forward, maintaining a solution-driven outlook whatever is thrown at you, and working out how to move past problems - adapt, reflect, learn.  How do you push past plateaus? I think the most important thing is that you recognise you’ve hit a plateau. Whatever it is you’re trying to change, be it weight loss, muscle gain, fitness levels, or whether it applies to work and productivity. I love to track everything. I write down all of my workouts, including the reps I’ve done, the weights I’m lifting, and even notes about how I felt during and after the session. This helps me clearly see when I’ve plateaued in my training, and encourages me to then reassess my goals and make a plan to push forward.  There are so many ways to mix things up. If it’s a training plateau, maybe try hitting the gym with a friend, trying out a different class, or getting a PT for a few sessions to give you some fresh ideas and perspective.  What aspect of your life do you struggle to develop most?  For me, it’s definitely finding balance. Running two businesses doesn’t usually allow for much down time, especially as I work with my fiancé, which means that we’re always either at work or talking about work. I really love working for myself, but it’s definitely had a big effect on my social life. Any 'time off' I do get, I usually feel like I just want to chill out alone. I definitely find it a struggle to maintain or build more meaningful friendships these days. Don’t get me wrong - I have a whole heap of wonderful people in my life - I’m just not that hot on messaging back or letting my hair down and going for a night out these days.  View this post on Instagram A post shared by AMY COSTELLO (@amykcostello) Do you set yourself goals? How do you make sure you achieve them? All the time! But I read a great book recently, Atomic Habits by James Clear, which taught me about the importance of goals that are specific and actionable. He says goals are good for setting direction, but systems are best for making progress. I can resonate with this from my own experiences, and from watching so many clients set themselves goals, and then feel like they’ve ‘failed' because they’ve been so focused on the end goal, as opposed to making small, actionable, daily changes to get them there.  So for example, a small goal of mine at the moment is to drink more water as I’m generally pretty bad at this. I’m making this a habit by setting out my bottle of water before I go to bed each night, so I see it first thing in the morning. I tell myself I can’t leave the house for work until I’ve had 600ml water. I also use a water tracker app, which sends me little push notifications throughout the day. System in place, and so far it’s working and I feel great!  What is your greatest life accomplishment? It’s got to be building Salt Escapes. Mike and I have been on the same page since we met. We wanted to create a life where we could work for ourselves and travel the world. We’ve achieved that with Salt Escapes, and there’s a lot more to come!  On top of that, I don’t think there’s any greater feeling than being in a beautiful part of the world, with a bunch of amazing people who have just had the week of their lives, and have been inspired beyond measure, and realising that you made that happen.  What’s one goal you’re going for now? Work goal: Building my businesses back up in a post-pandemic world. We’ve got 9 Salt Escapes trips on the schedule for this year and I’m going to do everything in my power to make them all happen. I just need Boris to play ball!  Personal goal: Mike and I want to buy our first house by the beach. It’s definitely a longer term goal, but everything in our foreseeable future is now driven by this end goal. We’re focused on a future of beach walks, BBQs and puppies!  What are the benefits of having a growth mindset? The opportunities! Personally, I didn’t do too well at school. I didn’t get the point of learning for the sake of learning. But I’m pretty proud of the fact that through hard work, applied knowledge and a lot of determination as an adult. I now own two businesses, work for myself and get to travel the world.  Natural talent or academic intelligence is one thing, but a growth mindset allows you to experience success, build resilience and overcome challenges, all through a simple shift in your perspective.  To keep up with Amy, follow her on Instagram and on Salt Escapes.  Read more