What if you could unlock your inner spiritual growth and reshape your relationships through thoughtful conversations? Our latest episode brings you a fascinating discussion with Amrit Singh, a yoga and meditation veteran who shares his journey of spiritual exploration beyond the confines of the religious community.
We dig into the notion of a potential spiritual crisis gripping modern society and how breaking away from a single religious group can open the door to engaging dialogue with people of diverse beliefs.
Amrit sheds light on his practice of Sikhism, a faith that at its core encourages being a student and spiritual seeker. We also explore the powerful concept of selfless service and its striking similarity to relationships viewed as forms of selfish service.
Our conversation takes an interesting turn as we delve into the role of breathwork in meditation and how nature can enhance our understanding of our spiritual selves.
Amrit also brings his unique perspective on assisting men in transforming their relationships, encouraging them to take responsibility and bridge gaps.
Join us on this enlightening journey of self-discovery and relationship growth.
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Welcome to the your Lifestyle is your Medicine podcast, where we do deep dives into the topics of mind, body and spirit, and through these conversations you'll hear practical advice and effective strategies to improve your health and ultimately add health span to your lifespan. I'm Ed Padgett. I'm an osteopath and exercise physiologist with a special interest in longevity, and when we talk about mind, body and spirit, everyone seems to nod as though they understand. But the majority of people I ask about spirit seem to get a little uncomfortable. The closest lifestyle medicine comes to spirit is a focus on community and stress management, and for some that might be enough, but for others I feel there is a void that they are trying to fill. Today's guest is Amrit Singh. Now he does not shy away from this topic. In fact, he actively embraces it. From an upbringing in Germany and a hard-parting lifestyle, he met a U-turn and found Kundalini Yoga. After practicing it for about five years, he decided to move to India to deepen his exploration of both yoga and meditation. After 20 years there, he left India and has recently moved to Valle de Bravo in Mexico. His experience with yoga and meditation allow him to work one-on-one with clients with a special focus on supporting people to create the freedom they need while doing what they love. Amrit, welcome to the show.Amrit Singh:
Thanks for having me.Ed Paget:
All right, I'm just going to go straight for it. I'm going to ask you what I think is a tough question. You may find it easy, I don't know, but do you think the world is suffering from a spiritual crisis?Amrit Singh:
Beautiful question. I love it. Because a crisis is such a beautiful thing, in my opinion? Because it allows us you know, when our body goes into crisis, it's usually to resolve something and allow for it to grow. We can resist that and we can fight it, and we can pretend it's not there and just say like no, I'm not in crisis, but that just makes things worse. So when we go into crisis, it's a time to slow down, it's a time to reflect, it's a time to go inwards and it's a time to start listening, because the crisis is a little bit of a signal, right. It's a little bit like when you have a refrigerator and you got that red warning, like blinking, and you're like, oh my God, my refrigerator is in crisis. And so you call up the mechanic and he comes over and he's like I got this and he pulls out his pliers and he cuts that little wire to the red light and see, crisis averted, it's not blinking anymore. And you're thinking, oh my God, that's not what I needed. You know, I wanted to know what is the root cause. Why do I have that headache? Why is my back hurting? Why am I having issues with my body? Why am I having issues with connecting deeply with something which I know is inside of me, something I remember from when I was a little child, something I remember from these beautiful, special moments in my life when I deeply, deeply connected. And that's really where I see the world being in crisis around spirituality. Because I think, you know, if we look back 5,000, 10,000 years, there was a lot of spirituality in the world. You know, every little community had their shaman, their practice, nature, medicine, their practice connecting with the spirits in some way. And then over the last 2,000, 3,000 years, it was kind of this more patriarchal, male society with the religion, with the rules, with the standard, really taking this monopoly on spirituality, and I think it really just got stale. You know, I think that's a big problem a lot of the religions are having right now is having this big outpour of people that the young generation is just not interested anymore. They're like, hey, this is not what I want. I get more spiritual connection from watching videos on TikTok than I get from going to church or going to my temple or doing whatever I do. So for me, I get this a lot. Just the way I look, you know, with my beard and my turban, I was deep in a religious practice for many years, but I stepped out of that now because I realized this was just a limiting container for me, which was super helpful because it allowed me to really connect deeply with myself. But it became limiting and so now I'm really. You know, I don't want to just be seen as a Sikh and I don't want to be defined like that. I want to be seen as a spiritual being having a human experience on this planet.Ed Paget:
Beautiful. So let's look at that a little bit. So would you say you are a Sikh. I mean, you wear the turban, you have the beard, but you don't want to be defined as a Sikh. That's an interesting sort of contradiction.Amrit Singh:
Yeah, I realized I really like my beard, so I'm like I'm keeping it and I got long hair, you know, which is one of the Sikh traditions, and I really like my long hair, and wearing a turban is a super convenient way to manage your hair and so I really just enjoy it. It helps me deeply in my meditative practices, so I'm really using it as a tool and so for me I don't know, I still love the word Sikh because it really, in translation, means student and spiritual seeker, and I see myself as a student, but I don't want to just be limited to this narrow religious group. So I don't enjoy much going to the temple. I don't enjoy much, you know, being in the community of other Sikhs, which is very, you know, like all the religious communities. You know, the Christians like to hang with the Christians, the Jews go together with the Jews, and that's okay because I've been there for so many years myself. But now I'm excited about talking to other people from other religions. Talking to people who don't have, you know, who are atheists, talking to people who just believe in the religion of nature. That's what excites me and that's where I find my true spirituality.Ed Paget:
Interesting I also find in organized religions, if you have a spiritual experience and you're not the priest, that's generally not accepted you know I was raised Catholic and my mother is sort of born again Christian and you know she would speak in tongues and have all sorts of information downloaded from you know. From the Lord, she would say, and some people were very embracing of that, she found her community, but other than what traditional Catholics were, they weren't happy with that.Amrit Singh:
Yeah, yeah, because it's scary and it pushes them out of their comfort zone and it doesn't fit into that narrow little slice of reality and that's perfectly okay. But that's also why I walked away from that and I have such a broader approach and I think it's so amazing to talk to people who have practiced other spiritual paths than I have and find all the beautiful similarities and find how we're all doing the same thing and how we're all on the way back to source energy, no matter if we call it God, allah or Jehovah, and it really doesn't matter because it's all the same thing in there. And that's for me like such a beautiful inspiration of really encourage more people to connect with their inner spirituality. Because, like I said already a little bit earlier, I really strongly feel that we're not humans looking for a spiritual experience from the outside, you know where the spiritual beings taking on this human body when we incarnate into our little body, you know into our mother's belly. And we're coming here for this human experience. And this human experience is all about duality. It's all about, you know, having good days, having bad days, you know going through hardship, having high, amazing emotions, and that's what we came here for. We didn't come here to sit in a cave on the mountaintop and meditate for 200 years and, you know, have our body wither away while we're going into deeper spiritual connections. You know we got plenty of that before we came.Ed Paget:
Someone once said to me. A very wise person said you know, a lot of the spiritual gurus have it backwards and I was like what do you mean? He says well, if you spend this, he calls it earth walk. If you spend this time on earth seeking spiritual enlightenment, you're missing the point that you're already enlightened and you spent eternity as a spirit. I love it. Yeah, this is your time as a physical being, so enjoy the taste and the feelings and the pain and the anger and all that kind of stuff, because you don't get to get to experience that as a spirit. Yeah, and I was like, oh yes, you know, like people are taking these, the, the psychedelic mushrooms or the ayahuasca, myself included, maybe trying to have a spiritual experience. But actually we don't need that.Amrit Singh:
We are that, you know yeah, oh, I love that because and I really love the earth walk because it is it's like such a great way of explaining what we're all doing here, and this is this is something which is actually big in my work is where I always bring people back to this point hey, you don't have to try to chase spirituality, you don't have to try to find God, it's all there already. Just get out of the way and enjoy it and just be with it, and it's such a beautiful experience.Ed Paget:
Do you find, you know? Bringing back to the original question, do you find people are trying to chase something that they feel like is missing in their lives?Amrit Singh:
Yeah, yeah, because I think we're trained to chase, you know, we're trained to chase money. We're trained to chase the American dream of having the big house and owning it and then having your two cars and having our kids in college. Right, this we're trained and conditioned to chase because our parents were chasers, our grandparents were chasers, our great grandparents were chasers, and it's really this, you know, it's also the people who have survived and had children and had their families survived were the chasers. The were the ones who are out there, you know, chopping wood and and pickling their their carrots and hunting the deer and making sure there was enough for everybody so the next generation would survive. So we're dealing with this now. We're dealing with this generational imprint of being a chaser, and so this is very counterintuitive to say like, hey, you got it all already, you don't have to chase. You know, prosperity and abundance is right there with you. You just have to trust and go inwards and really connect with your heart and connect with your authentic self and everything comes to you. So for me, I have a lot of compassion for being a chaser, because I'm still, till today, a chaser in some certain parts of my life, and I have compassion for myself, and it's a healing journey and it's a process and so what, when you have a client come to you, they you know you're saying that you, you can help them have freedom and do what they want to do, to live in joy and love.Ed Paget:
But what is the thing that brings them to you? What's the sort of the commonality have you? Have you noticed that?Amrit Singh:
It's interesting because it's almost never the real work we're going to end up doing at the end, which is connecting to the heart, connecting to authentic self, connecting to identity, because I realized if I would be leading with that, people would just be oh my God, that the weird guy with weird and determined is right over my head. That's not a connection. So what I find is where I connect with people is when I say, hey, are you struggling with your health? You know, are things not well in your body? Do you want to make changes? And they're like, oh my God, yeah, I want to make changes. You know, I want to exercise more, I want to eat better and I can't bring myself. So we start talking about that the first two, three sessions and then, very quickly, we come to why do you want to make those changes? And then it comes to oh, because I want to be closer to myself, I want to be more connected with myself, and the same thing like I get a lot of clients who are helped in their relationships. So they come to me and they say, oh my God, in my relationship with my wife it's just, she is so horrible and she this and she that, and they keep pointing their finger, and then we talk about that a little, and then they very quickly realize that in order to improve their relationship, they need to step it up. Because, as we all know, we have been in a relationship before. You know, even though we wish for that magic wand, we could just point at our partner and transform them into these beautiful beings which will never piss us off and never upset us and always do the right thing, and they are just wishing for that same stuff to point at us, right? But when you come to that point, especially in long term relationships, I think we all realized that, no matter how hard we try, we cannot change our partner, right? We can maybe like twist the arm and they change for a little bit, but that backfires. Or we can, you know, be all pouty and be like, yeah, you're not nice to me, so I'm, you know. But ultimately the only way to achieve change in your partner is if they voluntarily choose to change, and then it's permanent, and then it's real. And guess, when they choose to change? When they see change in ourselves and when they see us showing up for the relationship and when they see us investing in the relationship and saying like I'm showing up, I want to do something different. You know, like right now I'm working with a group of men who is coming together and we're doing this group coaching program where we inspire each other to show up for ourselves, and then an extension to show up for our families, and then extension show up for our kids, and then an extension show up for our colleagues, for our bosses, for our friends, for our parents. Right, the rebuild always goes bigger, but it starts with us showing up for ourselves.Ed Paget:
Yeah, I love it. There's a book called Conversations with God with Neil Donald Walsh. I'm not sure, oh. I love that book. Have you read that book?Amrit Singh:
One of the first ones I read.Ed Paget:
yeah, yes, it was me too. It really sort of changed my perspective on things. So I totally recommend it to anyone who's listening. Neil Donald Walsh Conversations with God. There's a piece in there. He talks about relationships and he says, well, relationships are essentially selfish. I read that line. I was like what he says, well, if you think about it, you come together and if you're not the best you can be, your partner is going to reflect that back at you and so your partner is your sort of well, your partner in this evolution. And if they are not the best they can be, you're going to let them know and so on. But if you both try and be the best you can be, you're both going to grow and become better. But you can't do that individually. So you go into a relationship to become better and it's a selfish motivation. You do it for yourself. And I read that and I was like well, that's such a different sort of perspective on relationships, isn't it? Like most people from I guess we can call it like a non-spiritually evolved point of view, they come in and say, well, I want to be in a relationship with that person to change them. Or they say I want to be in a relationship with that person because they complete me and it's too much putting too much on your partner, whereas if you come into a relationship and say, okay, this is my opportunity to be the best version of me and I'm going to show this person that and they come in with the same intention, it could be beautiful yeah not totally.Amrit Singh:
And what comes to mind, which is so similar, is in so many religious or spiritual practices there is this concept of selfless service right, where you do community service and you go out there I mean Mother Teresa was the best example right Just giving all her life energy to serve and serve and serve. And when you really go deeply into that, that's a deeply selfish act, because when I get to give useful things, I don't end up being the world's best person. Over and over again I'm getting so much more back than I'm putting out. And so that's what inspired these people who, like Mother Teresa, just tried to sleep just as little hours as possible so she could be out there serving more people and serving more people over and over again. And it's a deeply selfish act, just the same way as serving in your relationship as a deeply selfish act, and then from there you know, from the outside, to the person you love the most, to then take the next step to yourself and to start deeply serving yourself as a selfish act. Beautiful things happen.Ed Paget:
Now do you feel as though the spirit should be tested, and I'll explain what I mean. So when we want to make a muscle stronger, we exercise that muscle, and when we want to make our mind stronger, we exercise the mind. And if we've got mind, body, spirit, there's not much exercises for spirit, if that makes sense. But you talk about how a spiritual discipline can make someone a better version of themselves. Is that what we're talking about, exercises for spirit, or can you help me understand?Amrit Singh:
I like that. I like that. I never looked at it like that, but I like the concept of exercising spirit to make it stronger because, just like a muscle, it works the same way. I think one of the big issues which we're all dealing with is that probably 90% of those exercises are subconscious you know like it's this like when your child gets sick or a loved one dies, or you know, the love of your life suddenly tells you hey, I found someone new. By the way, our relationship is over, I'm out. And that's when you start doubting spirit, you start doubting God. You know, you see 10,000 children died in Africa and some famine and you're like, how can there be a God Right? That's those moments when the doubt comes in. And I think that doubt is kind of like a way of exercising spirit and it's a little bit of a subconscious process and so it's not ideal, because it's like all things that are subconscious, it's just you cannot really connect your awareness to it. So what I found is there's many practices and, funny enough, all the religions have them and all the pre-religious spiritual practices have them. You know it's either they're spending the three nights alone in the forest and going through this process of, oh my God, am I going to die? Am I going to die? You know what's going to happen, where I'm going to find food, but then to really recognize that you deeply trust, you know, in the religions, it's like you need to read this prayer five times a day and then you're like, oh my God, reading the prayer is so boring I don't want to read the prayer, but again, it's more of a conscious way of practicing the spirit muscle and so ultimately it's just, it's all just about strengthening spirit, strengthening the connection, strengthening this being tied to what's already there and just kind of recognizing it.Ed Paget:
And if someone's listened to this and that we've picked their interest and they're like, ok, right, so yes, I feel there's a void, or I can hear this quiet voice, but I don't quite know what to listen to. Listen to, is there an entry level spiritual practice that you recommend or you teach?Amrit Singh:
There's so many beautiful things to do, but I think the most entry level, and something which I would recommend to everyone and you can practice right now, in this moment, it's just to take a deep breath in and take a deep breath out, and take a deep breath in again and take a deep breath out again and do it one more time and just really consciously connect to your breath. And again, subconsciously, we're connected to our breath all day long. But the moment you take 30 seconds to just get conscious of your breathing, your mind starts, calming down, your shoulders relax a little bit, your body goes out of this fight and flight response and you're just much more yourself, and so that's the most beautiful spiritual practice. And if you can do that outside in nature, while you're going for a walk or you're just sitting on the bench somewhere, even better. But that would be my recommendation, so interesting.Ed Paget:
Yeah, breath work is so key to many of the meditation practices and even the martial arts practices, and I think you've hit the nail on the head with just breathe, yeah. I mean it's a beautiful thing to practice isn't it, and the nature aspect. you know, when people say to me well, I'm not so sure there's, there's your spirit, or they're uncertain about some sort of more creative forces in the universe, I suggest to go into nature and just look at a leaf, or look at something that's not manmade, and just be sort of overwhelmed by the awe of how perfect everything is.Amrit Singh:
Yeah, beautiful, I love that.Ed Paget:
And so with your work with you, work with men and women, is that right?Amrit Singh:
Right now I still work with men and women. I'm focusing more on going the direction to help men who are struggling in their relationships, because I realized that most of my clients who have been coming to me over the last couple of months were kind of those type of men. And I'm super excited about it because it's something I went through in my life. I've been married for 20 years. I broke through that pattern of oh my God, I need to stop trying to change my wife and step up my game and take some responsibility. And it really transformed my marriage. And so I'm so excited about sharing that Because I feel this practicing in relationship is such a beautiful way and how my teacher used to put it, he said being married is the highest form of yoga, because that's spirit practice. Every single day when you're just thinking like, oh my God, that person did it again. And obviously there's nothing to do with being married in the traditional sense, but being in a committed relationship. And it doesn't matter if you're straight, if you're gay, whatever, because a committed relationship is a committed relationship and you need to show up for another human being. And that's a big challenge because you ultimately have to really process what's going on inside of you. You have to look at the things which are hard to look at, which are so easy, much easier to just blame on the other person and if you don't process that, you start passing that on into the next generations and if you have kids, your kids will pick up your own patterns how we picked up our parents' patterns.Ed Paget:
Yeah, and are these men all in their midlife? Do you find this is a sort of a stage people go through, or is it after a certain time in their midlife?Amrit Singh:
No, it is a stage it's about 35 to 55, what I found where the men really say, like you know, my kids are not babies anymore, but they're still young teenagers. We're still going to have them for 10 more years in the house. My connection with my wife is getting worse by the day. You know I'm seeing this gap opening, and my old approach or just being stoic and just say like I'll just wait three weeks till she comes down and then you know everything is okay Doesn't work because it produces the result of widening the gap. So what can I do to start closing the gap? Because I'm committed to my family, I'm committed to my children, I'm committed to this person I'm in love with. So I used to be in love with and maybe I think I'm in love with now. But every time I see her I just get upset and I want to fight right. To take that responsibility and start making the change is such a beautiful thing, because it doesn't need the other person in the relationship to also make a change, because if you do the work, your relationship is going to change and that's a beautiful thing.Ed Paget:
That is beautiful. And how can people find you if you've picked their interest and they want to learn more from you?Amrit Singh:
One way to find me if you're a man and you are in a relationship and you're struggling, is through marriage reconnectingroadmapcom, so we can add the link later, maybe under the podcast so you can do that. Or you can also find me on coachingnowinfo, which is my regular website, and that's also where I take one-on-one clients. And if you're not a fit for that program, I'm also willing to work with people one-on-one on other aspects. And what's really important for me is to work with people who are willing to go deep and to want to come to their authentic self, and we can take the road through their business or through their health or through their relationship, and it really doesn't matter. You know you're a man, you're a woman, it works. But I need that level of commitment because if that's not there, I'm not willing to invest my time, because I think it will be a waste for both of us.Ed Paget:
Well, thank you very much, Emma, for being on the show. That was very enlightening and a lot of fun.Amrit Singh:
Awesome. Thanks for having me.Ed Paget:
Thank you for joining me in my conversation with Amrit Singh Now. If you've enjoyed listening to and learning from this podcast, please leave a comment, and you can leave a suggestion there for a future podcast guest as well Visually, an Apple. You can leave us up to a five-star review as well as a comment. If you want my direct help with any aspect of longevity and lifestyle medicine, you can send me an email at ededpagetcom or visit my website edpagetcom. And while you're there, you can also set up for my weekly newsletter, which is packed full of great advice about lifestyle medicine and adding healthspan to your lifetime.