Chris Miller is a personal training, yoga and meditation teacher in London.
In conversation with Chris Miller
What is your morning routine?
6am alarm, snooze and cuddle until 6.30 alarm. Make tea, practice Shamatha / Vipassana (mindfulness and insight) meditation on my balcony (or rug if it's cold and wet) eat porridge or protein smoothie, and cycle off to my first client or class of the day
What is your daily work out or fitness activity?
I cycle everywhere at great speed, though necessity of a tight schedule. I also practice and teach yoga and I demonstrate a lot for my personal training clients. Though my work keeps me fit, I would like to make time for more of my own training, but often I find resting is more important.
What do you snack on during the day?
I am obsessed with the Saffron Buns at Fabrique Bakery so when I found they were seasonal and only available at Christmas, I bought and froze 30 of them. Otherwise, I love a good quality cookie, a banana, pistachios, or a protein shake loaded with goodies.
When are you most energised in the day?
Really this depends on how much I've slept and what I've eaten. I often feel most energised after teaching a class. Often the process of engaging with students and being 'on it' wakes me up and gives me a buzz!
How do you relax?
On the sofa with my pet cockatiel, his name is Bird and we've been together for 8 years. He is a wonderful and calming presence and usually sits on my shoulder or head for a few hours every evening or whenever I'm resting at home.
Shower or Bath?
Shower through necessity of speed, bath with a few cupfuls of epsom salts and some essential oils when I have time to soak and unwind.
Last book you read?
How to be Human by Ruby Wax. A conversation between Ruby, a monk and a neuroscientist. She is absolutely brilliant, basically this book is how I view the world and aim to live. Ruby wax is performing at Underbelly festival on the 25th and 26th of May, try and go. Disguised as entertainment, she delivers the best - and wittiest lecture on mental health, the human condition and a path to manage the above that you're likely to ever meet.
What place did you last visit that inspired you?
My client's house in Chelsea this morning, she makes time and space for herself. I find inspiration in the everyday and much as holidays and destinations.
What physical space or room do you feel most at ease in?
Although I have a social job, based on interaction with others, I have introvert tendencies which means I need adequate time alone to recharge. So just being at home make me feel at ease. Also nature is my first love, getting out into a national park, mountain, beach or forest makes my heart glow.
City break or rural retreat?
I take plenty of city breaks to see friends, by my heart lies in the countryside. My dream is to have a farmhouse and some land one day in Sicily, or maybe northern California. Where I can keep hens and bees, grow lemons and hold wellness retreats (Yes that was an invitation to investors).
Develop more kindness - to everyone. Everyone of course includes ourselves. Through mindfulness training we can become more aware of our inner voice. Notice how often we have self limiting thoughts and storylines, we can start to drop those stories about ourselves and other people too.
Cooking in or eating out?
I love cooking, because I love eating! Having a bunch of people over and cooking at home is one of my joys.
My yoga and meditation teacher, Cyndi Lee - Author of "May I be Happy" When I met her I thought "I'm having what she's having" and it turns out I was already - we both share a background in Tibetan Buddhist study and meditation. Her blend of humour and rigour appeals to me very much - she's funny but knows her stuff and also knows how to engage her students and actually TEACH. I always come away from a class with her having learned something new - or something I'd forgotten.
Coffee or tea?
False dichotomy - the answer is both. I never drink tea if I'm abroad I've even tried taking my own teabags, it never tastes the same.
How often do you digitally detox?
You know, I've not tried. I really need to... I notice sometimes my phone and app checking gets a bit compulsive and increases anxiety. I was watching a great TED talk that touched on it yesterday https://www.ted.com/talks/manoush_zomorodi_how_boredom_can_lead_to_your_most_brilliant_ideas#t-961398
Silence or noise?
Next time you experience silence, try listening a little more closely.
Whats your favourite jogging route – enviroment related question?
My favourite jogging route is around Hampstead heath - there is abundant nature, hills, woodland and open spaces - it's great to see the seasons change up there. I often take a bag and forage as I go - picking blackberries, damsons and crab apples, mushrooms and nettles depending on the season. It's joyful to stop and take in the view from Parliament Hill and also great to plop into the swimming pond at the end of the run.
What is your favourite season?
I'm a summer baby. I adore being outdoors in the sun. In the past I've struggled with seasonal affective disorder, now in the winter months whenever I am at home doing admin, I sit in front of a bright S.A.D. lamp and drink bright orange home made turmeric lattes. The clinical evidence for bright lumen lamps is very strong.
Look after yourself! Access to modern medicine means we are increasingly likely to live a very long time, yet sadly many people are now living a very long time with poor health. What we do to our bodies now will have an impact 10, 20 30 years from now. Remember you are never too develop better relationships with our bodies and minds. Start now.