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A minute with

A minute with Andry Sophocleous 500-hour Dharma Yoga Teacher

Where do you live?
Nicosia with my family.

Best childhood memory?
As little as three years old we used to travel with our parents every summer to a different Greek island. The memories I have from these holidays are long walks among lemon trees, rides on donkeys, pram rides in narrow and cool cobbled streets and afternoon pastime in cozy bakeries that smelled of cinnamon, sesame and dough.

Most frequented restaurant and absolute favourite dish? What food would you really turn your nose up to?
I am quite fussy about what I eat, and often friends make fun of that. My favorite restaurant is ‘Andry’s Kitchen’, my own kitchen where you can find organic veggies, fruit and green smoothies. I do not consume meat or any animal products.

What did you have for breakfast?
My breakfast has been a liquid breakfast for many years now. My favourite combination is avocado, banana and almond milk which I have on most mornings. Sometimes I will add maca powder to keep me going on a long day. Maca powder is highly nutritious with Vitamins B, C, E, calcium, zinc, magnesium and plenty of amino acids which is great for vegans.

Would you class yourself as a day or night person? What’s your idea of the perfect night/day out?
I consider myself as a day person, even though I do not go to bed very early. I normally wake up at 05:30 and begin my day with Pranayama and Yoga practice, just before everyone starts moving in the house. I am not fond of going out at night, unless it’s a quiet place where I can chat with my friends.
A perfect day out would be a long day spending time outdoors, preferably in the mountains among trees, walking, biking and going on a picnic.

Best book ever read?
Self-Knowledge by Swami Sivananda. It talks about our life being a life of constant temptation from our environment and that we are constantly spoilt by society either being influenced by mainstream beliefs or attempting to fit in a particular social group, and how the notion of ignorance hinders self-realization. I particularly like the most how this book discusses the notion of death and how we need to view it. It’s a beautiful book that everyone should read.

Favourite film of all time?
I am not a fan of the cinema but one film I have watched and liked is the Green Mile with Tom Hanks and the late Michael Clarke Duncan. The man who was convicted to death and was accused of killing two little girls was in reality innocent. This man had supernatural powers to heal others and even though he was very strong he never killed anyone. For me, this film resonated Jesus’ life on this earth. He came, he healed and saved people always spreading good and love and was treated as a criminal and killed. The world where injustice rules.

What’s your dream trip?
I would love to visit Costa Rica with my family. A land that has no military and where mostly everything runs from renewable energy sources. It is actually one of the most unspoiled islands on earth. I would love to go there and spend time in nature in a tree house.

What music are you listening to in the car at the moment?
My favourite artist is Krishna Das. Even in traffic and long days on the road, he will make your heart sing.

What is always in your fridge?
Fruit & veggies

Dream house: rural retreat or urban dwelling? Where would it be, what would it be like?
My dream house would be a small cottage secluded up in the mountains under the shade of big trees. A small lavender field would lead to the house that is surrounded by a rose garden. Attached to the house, I would love to have a small aromatherapy lab, where I will be working with my favorite essential oils.

If you could pick anyone at all (alive or dead) to go out for the evening with, who would it be?
His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of Tibet.

If the world is ending in 24 hours what would you do?
Pray to the Divine.

What is your greatest fear?
Attachment. Being and getting attached to material goods or external factors will hinder our development towards self-realisation. Aparigraha (non-attachment) is the last of the five yamas (ethical rules) of Patanjali’s Eight Limbs of Yoga, loosely translated as ‘non-greed’, ‘non-possessiveness’ and ‘non-attachment’. We should constantly remind ourselves not to get attached to things or even people. Then we will be able to live fuller lives.

Tell me a joke…
Sri Dharma Mittra, my spiritual and yoga teacher, always tells us this joke when we are not giving ourselves fully on the mat: ‘No waterasana, no watchasana allowed! Then you will need 5 lives to achieve the pose if you are lazy! Do your practice because it has to be done!’ Lazy yoga practitioners are not in his good books!

Andry will be at this weekend’s Mind Body & Spirit festival in Nicosia

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