You may be surprised to know that many of us here at the Ashram are keen football fans or soccer if you prefer.
Oh yes, yes indeed. His Holiness Sri Twangybanjo is an Everton fan, Mental Guru is a passionate fan of Leyton Orient and I am a Manchester United fan and so we are very much excited about this new season.
Many of the top Premiership players have been over to the Ashram over the years and though I don’t like to blow our own trumpet, I would say that we have been very instrumental in preserving the careers of many of the game’s great names.
Ryan Giggs is still playing as he approaches his forties. His secret – YOGA. When he came to the ashram to see us he could barely touch his toes, after an intensive week here he was able to lick his own spine.
David Beckham I have already mentioned before came to see us when he had put on a shocking two stone over the course of a week by munching on nothing but cheesecake while his wife was away on business. But he left the ashram in the best shape of his life. If you look closely he has a tattoo of His Holiness Sri Twangybanjo under his left armpit which David crazily convinced Mental Guru to do for him. Let me tell you I have never ever seen swelling like it before!
Other greats who have graced the ashram. Lionel Messi. Or should I say Lionel MESSY – his room at the ashram was an absolute disgrace. It took us a week to clear it up when he left and we still haven’t got all that chocolate spread off the walls yet!
Diego Maradona famously came here for three months in the late eighties. He needed desperate help with his addiction to antibacterial hand gel. For some reason he just couldn’t stop washing his hands, he was cleaning them over a thousand times a day. I can’t say he left fully cured but if you meet him you can rest assured that his hands are some of the cleanest around.
Often many of our lectures and talks use football analogies as a way of getting the point across and it works exceptionally well. I often use the offside rule as a way to describe the difference between the conscious, subconscious and superconscious mind, it is a scintillating 5 hour lecture, even if I say so myself. Mental Guru always carries a red and yellow card with him during his meditation classes, gone is the zen stick but now if your attention drifts one too many times you could well be sent for an early bath.
His Holiness Sri Twangybanjo holds a meditation class that has become very well-known and is incredibly powerful. Two teams of eleven people meditate opposite each other for two halves of forty five minutes, swapping sides at half time. Three substitutes are allowed for each team and you would be surprised just how many injuries have occurred during these sessions! Who would have thought that sitting still could be so difficult but we all know it is. At the end of the session the energy in the room is incredible, it feels like Cup Final day at Wembley.
We have a lot of fun with football and that’s the way it should be. Let’s not let things get too serious, it’s only a game, the ‘beautiful game’ – so let’s keep it that way. There’s no need for the violence and the abuse that so often tarnishes the game. Passion is one thing, anger is another.
Enjoy the season.
Come on you reds!
Peace. Om. Chaka Khan