In the first part I wrote how I met Adrian Gheorghiu, I told about his childhood, about his early career, about how he advanced from a simple analyst in a multinational to the position of Vice President in the same company.
About Romanian expat life in other countries, about how many trips involve a job in a global company, about incomes and expenses and about what a beautiful life he was leading. Apparently.
At least from the outside it seemed so. Because on the inside, after he became Vice President and successfully fulfilled his function, he realized that he was no longer in what he was doing. Something of importance was missing.
At the end of one life path we always show the beginning of another. So it was with Adrian.
As a child, Adrian was passionate about tennis. He practiced in his childhood, left it in when he was a teenager and reappeared at the age of 25. Everywhere he traveled or lived, Adrian always looked for tennis clubs and partners.
Arrived in Canada, nothing different. Adrian joined a tennis club in the neighborhood where he lived and put his name on the wish list of playing partners. No wonder he was immediately contacted by a man to play the next day.
On the field, an old man was waiting for him, dressed in the classic white costume tennis of old times. Adrian was surprised by the quality of the game of that gentleman but also more surprised by his physical condition. The surprise was even greater when this man beat him, a young man. Curious to know what keeps him in shape, Adrian asked his honorable partner about the secret of his form. His answer was simple: yoga.
Immediately the thought went to yoga in Romania with the MISA scandals and the fact that in yoga he saw very few, almost no men. In the tennis club there was a room where yoga classes were held. Adrian tried a few sessions, but maybe because of the hours (the only class he could reach was Sunday from 8am) and the strict rules for access to the classes (the door to the yoga room was locked at 8:00 am fixed, no delay was permitted) caused Adrian not to continue with yoga at the tennis club.
At the same time, Adriana, his wife, found out from a former colleague of Adrian’s about a yoga studio close to where they lived and went to this studio. Shortly, Adriana became a constant student of that community and from time to time teased Adrian with “the door is not locked so fast, you could try it.”
One day, Adrian had no arguments to avoid meeting with yoga and, very skeptically, went with Adriana to take a class at the Power Yoga Canada studio. When he approached the door, he saw “Baptiste Affiliate” written and immediately the thought led him to “when did the Baptist Church do yoga studio?” (Baptiste Yoga comes from the founder of this style of yoga, Baron Baptiste) and ” In what sect did my wife get involved? ”But once he entered the studio, Adrian was surprised by the kindness of the people, by the way he was received, he was greeted as an old friend and at the same time he was given the space and time. And the practice was an unforgettable one: so intense!
They both joined the Power Yoga Canada community, started practicing more and more regularly, went to different yoga events, all culminating in volunteering in Kenya, where, along with 20 other yogis all over the world, they helped an orphanage to have its own vegetable garden.
Volunteering at the orphanage in Kenya awoke Adrian: surrounded by children without parents, Adrian remembered his childhood and realized how important it is for children to have both parents near them. And then the whole combination of yoga, volunteer work, introspection, group discussions, made Adrian realize that it is great to help a community in Africa, but how fulfilling it would be if they would do so and help communities. from Romania to grow through yoga, education, work?
At the same time, after a long period of statehood in other countries, Adriana, his wife wanted to return to Romania. So they packed up and return to Romania. Here they opened their Power Yoga studio where both are instructors, along with other beautiful people.
Stefania: What did you find in yoga that you liked?
Adrian: People and sports, these are two things I’ve always liked. I grew up, my childhood was sports, and through what I did, the JTI experience, I enjoyed working with people the most. And this is what I do in yoga every day: people and sports – community and physical activity.
Stefania: What do you like most about the idea of community?
Adrian: I really like the fact that people find something in common and transcend that common thing, that you can become something more than you are, through others, through the community. In other words, simply saying, “what you do in two you cannot do alone.”
Stefania: Is community important?
Adrian: Yes, it is because we are social beings, we are raised, born, to connect. Good, bad, somehow we connect with each other; community is a form of connection. That community and what means: to have a common object, a common activity.
Stefania: But why exactly this type of yoga: baptiste yoga?
Adrian: Because we saw this, we experienced ourselves, we saw its results, it changed us as humans.
Stefania: How did it change you?
Adrian: If it wasn’t yoga, I don’t think I would have had the power to make that decision to leave the corporation and do something that is good for people, to develop a community.
Stefania: But how did yoga help you make that decision?
Adrian: It helped me in many ways: first, it helped me physically and menthally. I felt better, I have better resistance to work, to play tennis, patience with children with myself. There were long hours when I was full of energy, not tired.
Stefania: Was it a new thing for you to feel your body?
Adrian: Yes, it was quite a new experience, because I ran away from the sensations in my body.
Adrian: Because I was scared of what to discover there, because I saw in childhood what can happen if the mind is not in its place, you are not healthy and I ran away. As yoga is, it puts you under stress.
Stefania: And is it important to go through stress?
Adrian: Of course, yes.
Adrian: Stress is really creative, you can consider stress as something negative or as an opportunity to find a new limit.
Adrian: What does stress mean, let’s define it. It is the physical and mental stress. Let’s talk about physical stress, you’ve been at work for 12 hours, you’re physically and mentally tired, but you’ve done something in the 12 hours, you’ve created something, whatever, you’ve finished a report for the boss, it doesn’t matter, but for me that was very important, to have the energy to do what needs to be done, to act. And then, stress for me is a very creative element.
I believe in him, all my successes from times of stress, from moments of “fuck, I don’t know what to do”, from moments of search, uncertainty, where I come from.
Stefania: Interesting …
Adrian: From that madness of wanting to do, I pull myself, to prove myself to the world.
Stefania: But why is it important for you to prove yourself, to prove to the world?
Adrian: Because I want to be accepted, to be loved, to be part of something.
Stefania: By the others? Don’t you think it’s important to accept yourself and love yourself first?
Adrian: If I don’t love myself and I don’t accept myself, I can’t ask others to love me and accept me, but for me this is not life, it’s something great, amazing, accepting and loving me, it’s just me, me, me. And I can live my life with myself, looking in the mirror and saying “what a great man I am”.
Hell, there are 7 billion people on the planet, which can be created if we all thought “Me, me, me”. From here comes the concept of community, which helps you to create more than “Me, me, me”. Two people mean community, to have an idea in common, to share something.
Stefania: To share, but I’m thinking something, on social media is a lot of “me, me, me”.
Adrian: Yes, because it is social media, it is media, today’s technology helps a lot in the idea of connecting with people from different places on certain topics, I consider that the physical presence, the physical contact, is what leads to ” Me, me, me ”to us, to the community.
That is, a community that exists physically, not the Internet. An Internet community stays at the idea of ideas, of exposing an idea.
Stefania: Does real life matter to you?
Adrian: We live the real life.
Stefania: And what would social media be like?
Adrian: It’s just a channel for expressing ideas, solutions, opinions, feelings, as if you had a mouth that everyone on Facebook or other channels hears.
Stefania: And is it important?
Adrian: It’s important, yes, because it represents you.
Adrian: It’s something that generates an idea, for example: you liked something on Instagram and you want to do it too – it gave you an idea, a tip, a feeling – it still depends on me what I do, ok, I like this, like if I do it here in Bucharest?
Social media is a window, a way of communication that will develop even more. After all it is: “what do I do with the information there?”
In real life, life happens here, at this moment, in this interview it is life, not in the interview article, life is here, between us two; further, what will be in the article, on Facebook, are memories, expressions, opinions.
Stefania: Many make a living from social media.
Adrian: I changed Adrian’s time from 6.30 to be with you here to do this interview, why? Because it’s important.
Stefania: There are many who make their living from social media, that is, I just take pictures with them and I live from it.
Adrian: “Me, me, me”. This is the world, everyone, and you and I are “Me, me, me” in the first place.
Stefania: Yes, but we are not just “Me, me, me”.
Adrian: This was the click for me to leave the corporation, here yoga helped me. The second element that yoga gave me was this: “I am more than myself, I can do more than make money, it is nice”, I can describe my life in three lives. So far, I have lived three lives, four.
Happy childhood life. I had days when I had no money, I ate dry bread for two days with butter, I didn’t even have butter, I put my dry bread in sugar water.
When I was 13, 14 years old, I had no money, that was, my mother’s pension, that I had become a medical pensioner, and my sister-in-law’s salary was barely enough to pay us maintenance, which is to say, when we were eating cheese we would sing it on Our Father prayer. But, well, from 10 years to 40 and some years ago I was “money, money, money”.
Stefania: You wanted it.
Adrian: I didn’t care if I liked it, if I didn’t like it, it was about money.
Adrian: Of course. I mean, I knew what it means to have money, I told you, I had a childhood where I was given all the pleasures, holidays, vacations, then boom, suddenly without money. So I knew what it means to be with money and to be without money, and then, for me, my whole life up to 40 and something was “me, me, me, money, money, money”. That motivated me in life. I learned from some, from others, to be good with people, to respect, to have 7 years at home, these were the easy elements but, for me, my life meant to be good to me, to be I’m OK with myself physically, mentally.
Stefania: But you had family, so you cared about them too.
Adrian: Yes, but no more than I cared for myself. (laugh)
Adrian: Yes. Sometimes it seems normal to me, otherwise you could say that “I love myself and I am happy with myself” if you do not love yourself.
Stefania: Yes, but I think the moment a family appears, you put the family above.
Adrian: Yes, there are times when you put the family above and must continue …
Stefania: And has yoga changed that?
Adrian: Yes, physically I was better, it’s not just about me, I can do something and I have now moved on to the third life, which is to give, to inspire, to generate a new way of life, a new mentality, to educate.
Stefania: But what makes you want to do this now? That is, from “Me, me, me” to giving.
Adrian: Because I managed to have a financial base, working with myself for all these years 20, 30, from 10 to 40, I managed to make a basis from which to say “OK, which is the next step ”. To continue to make money and enjoy an amazing life, but not to think that it is easy, with stress, with problems, with other problems.
Stefania: What problems?
Adrian: Business, relationship with Adriana, with the children, we had moments when we solved the problems with money, we went into a store and: “take it from here”. We solved the problems with money, which is not even the most OK in the long run, the correct way to solve the problems. And then I said, “OK, it’s more in life than making money and loving me.
I am on this Earth for more than loving myself, for more than making money, for more than my family. I am here for many, to generate something, a community, a change, an education ”.
It was a whole process, I didn’t wake up in the morning.
Stefania: I mean, you gave so much to yourself that you said “OK, this isn’t it”, you already had enough and you weren’t happy.
Adrian: Yeah, I wasn’t super happy with the life I had, I was making money. For me, considering the history of my life, it was wonderful, I could continue to make money, I didn’t upset anyone but I wanted something more.
And it started to work, what I do, I work for tobacco, I want my children to be happy that their father works for tobacco, these deontological things if you want. OK, how do I want my life to look like, only with money and family in Romania, I don’t know where?
Stefania: Have you started asking yourself such questions?
Adrian: Yes, I knew clearly that Adriana wants to go back to Romania, and I want a family. With good, with bad, this is a relationship, this is life, this is stress.
Stefania: Then you didn’t have it because you were gone all the time.
Adrian: Exactly, I suddenly became a husband and father over the weekend, now I’m every day. Which is another challenge, a readjustment.
Stefania: But you prefer this one?
Adrian: For now, yes, who knows what I will do in ten years.
Stefania: I said we would come back, you said you learned three things from yoga.
Adrian: The first physical body, I was never with the six packs, but I feel tight, I run, I play tennis, I play with the children from morning till evening; the second element is on the mental side, it gave me mental strength. It’s a delicate, heavy discussion, I don’t know how it will end, but stay here (Adrian refers to the yoga positions you have to sit, to “resist”).
Stefania: Stay there.
Adrian: It won’t be forever.
Stefania: But be there and don’t run from it.
Adrian: Yes, because it’s not easy. How things became more serious and deeper, how I was running, because I didn’t have the growth and education to show my feelings, I grew up on the street, I bounce back, go or run, fight or run mentality. And yoga made me discover elements, breathing, so many elements about me.
Stefania: Let’s say in life when you are in something that is uncomfortable for you, but you have to stay.
Adrian: That’s just it, stay in the idea of being awake and active with yourself.
Stefania: Don’t wait for me to torment you.
Adrian: For example, I had moments when, one is that you are struggling, but you close everything and I can become numb, you no longer feel, you are inert, without sensations, you have closed so much, or, me -I closed, I had many periods, or lately, I closed to Adriana, to Canadians, I didn’t care anymore you can throw anything in me, I’m invisible.
Stefania: You didn’t want to feel because you didn’t like it?
Adrian: It was the shell, which is not OK either.
Stefania: And what do you do, sit there and breathe? Do you stay in a situation and breathe?
Adrian: Yes, I am in a situation and I observe my reactions, I try to be careful about what I am told, to listen to what is being said and to pay attention to my sensations.
Stefania: And now what are you doing, listen?
Adrian: Now I try to be as attentive as possible, to listen, to listen to myself was the challenge of life, even to listen to the idea of listening, not to confirm my idea, to agree or disagree. No, just to understand what it is about.
Adriana always asks “what is the goal? What do you want to get? Why do we have this discussion? ”And here yoga has helped me a lot, it won’t last forever.
So physically, mentally – to have the patience to listen to myself, to listen to others, especially in difficult times, stress, creative stress. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes not, it doesn’t mean that if I do yoga I don’t explode.
Stefania: Yes, it is a life-long learning process
The third thing?
Adrian: The third thing is this, something bigger than me.
Adrian: I mean, I generate something bigger than myself, than my simple universe.
Stefania: For what reason? For what purpose?
Adrian: For the simple reason of creating a better world, of creating a better life, of generating a world that is willing to listen to the other, to accept the contradictory opinion of the other.
Stefania: Why would you want this, a better world?
Adrian: Because, for me, this is, I think, the most important thing in my life, coming from my experience, losing my father in a tragic way and my mother in a tragicomic way, as a result of hatred, hatred between people, whatever the system, I think that no system is perfect, be it communism, democracy, but as a result of hatred, I have had a disturbed life.
For me a better world, which is no longer so divided between opinions, we now live a very divided society in Romania, now is the time for community, to have an honest discussion between us about what is happening, what is the solution . I don’t think others are bad, in my view, no one is perfect, anyone wants to live a wonderful life.
Stefania: That’s right.
Adrian: Specifically, to respect a contradictory opinion and, despite that, to find a common denominator towards a goal greater than my goal. Like tonight, for this interview I didn’t do yoga anymore, because we both have a common goal, this interview, bigger than my goal. This is the community. I gave this example, yes, it is nice to make money, but it is much more beautiful when you create something with other people.
There are so many ideas and ways to do something with other people, yoga generates this opportunity for me, to create a better life, a better world, through the yoga community. Money is important, I would love to make money with yoga, I am not aware that yoga should be free, but first of all, it works with you and for you, and when you are ready, you will have time and of yoga.
When I ate bread with water and sugar, my mind didn’t think of yoga.
Stefania: You had to survive.
Adrian: I can help people through yoga who can’t afford it, yes, but it is my volunteerism and those in our community who can afford to give back to the community.
Stefania: This is a great thing.
Adrian: Then, from what you do, it can also come from my mother, to see her as a teacher, as she explains, she really liked mathematics, engineering and spoke passionately, with stories, she always attracted me. And then, my corporate experience, when I managed to teach someone what I was doing, I think it’s the most beautiful experience to share the knowledge you have and to generate passion and pleasure to others through the pleasure you have.
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You can find Adrian here: https://poweryogaromania.ro/