About Sherpa


The costs of stress, depression and anxiety, in addition to physical illness – and the sick leave, turnover, absenteeism and poor performance due to presenteeism – are immense, unrelenting and growing in UK companies.

With stress and other chronic health issues – mental and physical – on the rise, your company needs an effective wellbeing initiative like never before. One that delivers.

Free fruit, free gym membership and stop smoking sessions are not enough. Even free massage or shiatsu for every employee is not enough.

Real wellbeing – and the reslience that produces – is deeper than that.

There is a wellbeing crisis. We all know it. Everyone – from executives to those on the shop floor – needs something that is going to nourish and feed their soul and restore their sense of personal power and resilience. Something that each person can do for themselves that works from the inside out. Transformational tools that people can use effectively in a moment of stress or panic that enable them to re-connect strongly with authentic positivity, clarity, energy and wellbeing – and stay connected.

Sherpa delivers such a thing – intensive personal development training – that enhances wellbeing, performance, focus, innovation, clarity, decision-making, positivity, resilience, creativity, self awareness & EI, energy and motivation – yes, all of these. So how are we different?

We train business employers and employees in learning and applying pioneering, yet down to earth and accessible, yogic personal development and mindfulness practices that bring sustained wellbeing, resilience and improved performance for all who incorporate them into their working life.

The practices we teach – Transformation Yoga, Pure Meditation Foundbation and the breathing enhancement practices that comprise our Optimal Breathing all come from the excellent and ever evolving Yogic and mindfulness teachings of the Open Pathway Retreat Centre & Training College in Somerset, England; teachings that have been tailored for 21st Century needs, whilst retaining their core essence.

 

Did we say Yogic?

Yes. The word ‘Yogic’ covers some forms of meditation (including Pure Meditation Foundation) and breath enhancement (including Optimal Breathing), as well as physical yoga. Yoga has been around for 5,000 years and is more popular than ever. Why? Because, as far as we’re concerned, it’s the ultimate and most powerful way to enhance wellbeing and performance and has clearly stood the test of time (to say the least).

The physical yoga taught by Sherpa – Transformation Yoga – is a gentle, adaptable and highly accessible form of Hatha Yoga that emphasises good posture, spinal alignment and harmonisation of the breath with slow, steady movement with focus and – for safety – caring precision. We’ve taught Transformation Yoga effectively to people in their 90’s and wheelchair-bound people with advanced cerebral palsy – that’s how adaptable it is.

What we teach is also, by its very nature, inherently mindful.

Mindfulness

As a highly effective well-being practice with a substantial evidence-base (see Evidence Base, ROI evidence and Links), Mindfulness continues to explode in public and professional life all over the world.

In terms of stress, it is now proven to be as good, if not better than medication for relieving anxiety, and likewise with depression.

But what exactly is it?

Mindfulness can be hard to get a handle on, so let’s pin it down here.

The word Mindfulness could be seen by some as a bit of a misnomer. Your mind is not ‘full’ when you practice it. Rather, think of being mindful – aware of yourself, others and your immediate environment and you’re heading in the right direction.

There are many definitions of Mindfulness. The one that resonates best with us is adapted from one of John Kabat-Zinn’s (University of Massachusetts Medical School and founder of ‘MBSR’ – Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) definitions and is simple and direct:

Mindfulness is purposely paying attention, non-judgementally, to whatever you are experiencing in the present moment

… so, it’s being aware of everything that’s happening right now – in this moment – within your field of awareness.

Although Mindfulness as a concept has Buddhist roots, it is easily practiced in a secular way and many wellbeing practices have it at their essence – it may be called ‘Awareness,’ being awake, being in the ‘Flow’ or the ‘Zone.’

Practicing Mindfulness in relation to something specific (like yoga, breathing, visualisation or affirmation) is a highly effective way of becoming more focussed on and responsive to the needs and demands of the present moment. The increased awareness that practicing Mindfulness brings allows you to start viewing your thoughts and feelings with discernment, without getting lost in them. This leads to wiser decisions when it comes to your work.

The Sherpa practices have Mindfulness at their essence. Your attention has to be fully present in order to practice them.

Having said that…

The Sherpa practices take Mindfulness further…

For example, in Transformation Yoga, you are very mindfully present with the gentle movement and stretching and breathing in harmony with these. But rather than being mindful of anything and everything you are experiencing (pure Mindfulness), you are purposely directing your attention – focusing it on both breath and movement – which then releases tension and pain and re-connects you with ease, wellbeing and flow.

In Pure Meditation Foundation, again you are very mindfully present, but you are also training the mind not just to develop more mindfulness, but also focus and concentration and any Meditation practice should develop this. However, practicing the specific affirmation and visualisation aspects of Pure Meditation Foundation means that the mind is also harnessing its own power to develop all-important inner strength, positivity and resilience.

In Optimal Breathing, you are mindfully present, but again you are purposely directing – focusing attention – this time on breathing alone, in ways that are going to increase your wellbeing, energy and therefore performance.

 

So, while Mindfulness is effective in itself, what really sharpens the mind and takes wellbeing and performance to the next level is:                                                         

a) taking charge of the mind – choosing to practice mindfulness of something specific (like movement or the breath) and developing the ability to focus your attention on that one thing for as long as you choose to, and

b) Using Sherpa’s accessible physical and mental Yogic techniques that powerfully re-connect you with real positivity and wellbeing – making you more productive and resilient at the same time.


Credentials…

Paul Beard (Dip. THY&R [Transformation Hatha Yoga], Dip P. Couns.Coach & OPRC* Registered Teacher of Pure Meditation Foundation) is a qualified Yoga instructor, Meditation Teacher and Coach, member of the Government-recognised REPs (Register of Exercise Professionals), IYN (Independent Yoga Network) and accredited by CSA (Coaching Supervision Academy).

Since 2001, Paul has been training and teaching individuals and groups in self-development, self mastery, well-being and stress management practices.

Paul has personally practiced Yogic self-mastery practices for virtually all of his adult life – finding them to be powerfully life-enhancing in every way.

Paul’s skills and experience have been crystallised in the Sherpa package of well-being and performance-enhancing practices.

 

Open Pathway Retreat Centre & Training College, Somerset, England