With a celebrity client list and five best-selling books, Sandy Newbigging is on a mission to teach us to meditate to heal our bodies
Freshly returned from a trip to Geneva, Sandy Newbigging’s feet are briefly touching the ground as the book tour for his latest title, Body Calm, gets underway. Alongside the highly anticipated release, Newbigging’s schedule is brimming as he mentors and trains clients – among them Sadie Frost – and a team of life coaches to spread his meditation teaching, and leads retreats in the UK and his idyllic base in Turkey.
While the whirlwind of activity might sound exhausting, Newbigging is as calm as his book’s title suggests, and he’s on a mission to encourage us all to achieve the same balance in our frenetic lifestyles. “This book is the culmination of a decade of discovery,” says Newbigging, “and Body Calm takes the concept of mind detox further than before.
“A few years ago I was working on international TV shows such as Spa of Embarassing Illnesses and 30 Days to Change Your Life, and doing work that gave me an insight into the mind body connection. It gave me an understanding that if things are unresolved, stress has an effect on the body. I knew this but I still wasn’t happy. I had the tools to change my mind but I still felt stressed and lonely, but then someone suggested meditation to me. I learned how to meditate and it turned my life around as I finally experienced peace.”
Body Calm combines therapy with meditation to heal and address mind-based disease. From an introduction to Newbigging’s approach, it takes readers through a journey with practical steps to shift awareness and embody calm. “Essentially we know if we’re stressed, and that it’s not helping our body,” explains Newbigging. “You don’t need to be a doctor to understand the mind/body impact and also that meditation helps. Exploring self-help is one of the best, non-invasive ways to tackle stress-related symptoms.”
To contextualise Body Calm, it has been estimated that in the UK in 2014, 50 per cent of women and 43 per cent of men regularly took prescription drugs, and that the NHS gave out 22m prescriptions for paracetomol, up 13 per cent on the previous year, at a cost of £80m to the taxpayer.
It’s a shocking fact that only drives Newbigging’s belief and determination to help people use meditation as the powerful, natural and healing treatment that he firmly believes it offers.
“Our mind is so powerful, but it can be a negative as well as a positive force. We all have our rock bottom moment and wake-up call that there must be more to life than this. My personal moment was when a long-term relationship fell apart and, despite the success that I’d had with my books and television work, I didn’t have what I really wanted. I realised that the common denominator was my mind.
“The moment when you first wake up and experience a few seconds of complete peace before the body kicks in is completely pain-free, and the Buddha saying, ‘no mind, no problem’ struck me as the solution so I thought I would go learn meditation. I realised that it’s not the mind but our relationship with our thoughts that’s at the heart of the issue. You want to have peace with your thoughts but rather than waste time trying to manipulate them you need to recognise that while the context is permanent, there are temporary aspects that you can control through meditation.”
Following his own existential crisis, Newbigging took himself off to study meditation 24/7, firstly in Greece for ten weeks, followed by 14 weeks in Mexico. The profound effect that such an intense and immersive period of meditation left on Newbigging have been life-changing. “I feel meditation is as important as eating, sleeping and drinking water,” says Newbigging, “and it gives you life by forcing you to fully experience the present moment through inner stillness and silence.”
With Mind Calm and Body Calm established, Newbigging’s next title will tackle Soul Calm, providing his followers with a complete holistic resource pack for life. His calm living philosophy is already being developed and used in schools and workplaces, and Newbigging has ambitions to grow the resources and reach of his meditation teaching further. “I’m passionate about it,” he enthuses, “In my own journey, I was so close to the peace I was seeking but I just didn’t know where to find it. Helping other to discover the same inner peace is what gets me up in the morning.”
Body Calm by Sandy Newbigging is published by Hay House – find out more at sandynewbigging.com
Take the body calm challenge
Here’s Sandy Newbigging’s advice to tapping into your mind body connection:
Monitor your body and mind for a day. Notice what happens to you body when you are stressed, relaxed, loved – you’ll discover that your mind is constantly causing changes to occur in your body. This is not a fault but about recognising that your body is a tool given to us to help us highlight areas where we are not in harmony or fulfilling our purpose. When our body is in conflict it’s like having chains around us. With meditation our intuition becomes ramped up and the clearer we become, we find bliss.
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