The story of Sadhama is a story of a journey to the self and its purpose.
It feels now that all the different shades of my life – being born in the Tian Shan mountains on the border of Kazakhstan and China to Russian parents, being in a gang as a teenager, expressing my creativity as a poet, working as a beach lifeguard in America and in a factory in Russia while studying in Ural University – walking the Himalayas and watching storms from a quiet bank of the river in Varanasi, working as a fitness instructor and swimming coach, clubbing three nights a week, studying a masters in Finance in Prague and hitting rock bottom with this direction – coming to London with £100 in my pocket, cycling across Morocco and Turkey, walking 2000km of the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage through Europe, crossing South America, surfing in Japan, sleeping in temples and managing hospitality boxes at Arsenal football club – dedicating time to activism and squatting, turning empty buildings into thriving social centres, meeting my gorgeous wife and getting married in a month, teaching altering states of mind breathing techniques which I was drawn since early age, studying yoga, discovering prevedic roots of Yoga practice in my own culture drawing upon Slavic & Ayrian sacred knowledge that was passed on from teacher to student, starting an eco community and agricultural cooperative – all of it has lead to the profound understanding and direct experience of all facets of life, from the murky underworld of society to the elites at the top of the pyramid.
It was never enough to hear about something, I needed to experience it directly, to go deep only to understand that the real journey starts when you go within, towards your heart.
As I and others nurtured the eco-community into an ethical, sustainable and successful cooperative, the qualities of my personality which had served well in the beginning were becoming problematic. I found myself a driven perfectionist with a sharp critical edge, pushy and often irritated. I started to analyse where this was coming from and how I could change it.
I realised that my personal practice was still based on types of sequences of Kundalini yoga, which naturally creates and exacerbates fire energy – the elemental force behind these characteristics which were becoming overly dominant. Slowly I started to shift my focus on to more meditative, cooling practices, which started to have an immediate and profound effect, bringing to my life what was missing – tolerance, patience, serenity, friendship and acceptance.
It is only through a clear understanding of what makes each one of us special and unique, that we can tailor a practice to serve us, and help us to achieve whatever it is we want in this life. Yoga and self-development are not a one-size-fits-all exercise regime. There needs to be a mandala of techniques that specifically match your own unique fingerprint.
I left the directorship of the cooperative so I could dedicate myself fully to working with people directly on the most fundamental principles of being.
I had tried to change the world through industries and activism, but it felt like I was only scratching the surface. I wanted to help others to realise the true nature of self and work at the most important level where real transformation takes place – in our hearts.
When the change is happened from within the person only then is fundamental for the lasting changes (not just for this person) for the whole society, planet and universe, and the path to that seed of real change is unique for everyone of us. This has been a revelation I have experienced through my own journey, my daily practice and in the last decade of teaching yoga, meditation and breathwork. This is the start of Sadhama.
I now regularly teach at the Sadhama Rewild Retreats and continue to deepen my practice at extended meditation retreats and solo-vision quests with trees. In one of those deep retreats, the vision of the Sadhama Rewild retreats was born after being in a 3-day-long meditation inside a hollow oak.
Trees are the oldest living beings on our planet. They embody stillness and have a strong upward movement of energy through their trunk, which is very helpful for yogis and meditation. Most sages of the past knew about it. We know the famous story of the enlightenment of a Buddha under the Bodhi tree. Bodhi means – “The Great Awakener”. The spiritual tradition holders of the UK are Druids, which actually means ‘ One with the wisdom of the tree”.
I feel the deepest gratitude for the guidance of those magnificent living beings. I share this connection to nature and the tree of life through my work.
Deceiving and going deep with many techniques from Slavic, Vedic & Yogic traditions, and techniques taught by Buddhas, I feel that I have a powerful toolset to share with people according to their nature, inclinations and where they are on their path.
I was the Head Chef for one of the oldest vegetarian restaurants in London, running a fine dining restaurant in Marylebone, serving up to 200 vegan and plant-based meals a night. I ran a wildly successful Permaculture Café at the Glastonbury festival, serving hundreds over the event with top reviews in the Guardian and other media. I was working 90 hours a week, fuelled by a deep love for my work and an unrelenting drive to be the best I could be. Eventually, recognising the toll this was having on my health, I decided to take some time out and reassess where I was in my life, and what was important to me.
It was not long after this that I came across Ayurveda. Suddenly it all fell into place – this was a clear and logical explanation of why some people struggled to lose weight while others ate twice as much and didn’t gain. This is why a raw food diet worked for some but gave others indigestion, this is why some people thrived on spicy food when others couldn’t tolerate it. Everything I learned from an Ayurvedic approach to eating made instinctive sense. And while Dmitry was discovering the alternative path to the one-size-fits-all yoga culture, here was the route past the one-size-fits-all Western diet culture.
The partnering of these two roadmaps to health and wellbeing was natural and instinctual. Like yin and yang, or two sides of the same coin, it was so clear that these aspects needed to be considered together, to support each other, for truly transformative results.
This is when Sadhama became a joint project, as we combined our separate fields of expertise with our shared passion for the well-being of the world, to create holistic programmes that would bring more peace, compassion, and vibrancy to people’s lives.
“This quest to understand my own nature and to apply yogic techniques to my own needs has turned my life around. It brought some profound revelations about my identity and my mission in life, that went far beyond anything I had imagined I would discover. I’ve left the directorship of the company we built to share this knowledge directly with people.”Dmitry Glazkov