A Moment With Ed Harrold

A Moment With Ed Harrold

Ed Harrold wants to help you be your best self. 

After practicing yoga at his own studio for years, his yogic beliefs came to shape his entire philosophy for living. Based on those concepts, he and his wife, Wendy, then founded The Center For Whole Self Health to guide others on their paths to self-realization, wellness and the actualization of their hopes.

Here, Harrold describes his coaching method for individual transformation based on “The Four P’s” and explains why aligning desires and actions is essential to his process:

Live The Process: When and why did you decide to found your Center For Whole Self Health? 

Ed Harrold: I had owned a yoga studio for seven years and, during that time, my interest was in teaching the practice of yoga and pranayama [or the extension of the breath]. As my own practice grew, it became more about living the practice of yoga, not just practicing yoga as a part of my life. For me, that meant incorporating the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of self—living, as I put it, "whole self health." In 2006, my wife and I opened The Center For Whole Self Health in an effort to educate our clients on what it means to live well and be well based on the yogic philosophy.

LTP: Can you explain your “The Four P’s” philosophy?

EH: It's been my experience that most of us give our power away to something or someone outside of ourselves. This creates needless suffering and leads us to believe that we have no power to change any given situation. This begins with the nature of our thoughts. We are not our thoughts; we are the being watching our thoughts.

The Four P's involves the client in an educational and experiential process in which he or she works towards living well and, eventually, actually being well. "Participatory" means the client must be involved in his or her own health, wellbeing and lifestyle choices.

When you get involved in your choices, you can then make some "Predictions" about the outcome—the laws of choice and consequence. So, if I choose to eat a cookie versus a handful of nuts, there will be a different consequence and we can predict with some measure what that consequence might be.

In order to be healthy, we must be willing to take "Preventative" measures, engaging in self-care routines regularly. 

Finally, "Personalized" ensures that my clients know they're being seen and heard on every level of consciousness. I'm designing a program based solely on each individual and I'm in it with that person.

The end result of The Four P's shows the client a way to live with less suffering, transforming him or her from the inside out.

LTP: How do you coach your clients to rid their routines of unproductive habits that act as obstacles to their full potential?

EH: My transformational coaching is based on therapeutic yoga, conscious breathing and meditation. We use these tools to ground the clients in their bodies in order to cultivate mindfulness. As each client becomes aware of his or her "whole self,” we are able to identify keys areas for transformation—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. The Yamas, Niyamas and Kleshas [or the ethical guidelines of Hinduism and yoga in Sanskrit] provide us the foundation from which to identify the roots of our suffering. The therapeutic yoga, conscious breathing and meditation provide us with the tools to heal and transform beyond limiting beliefs and negative patterns of behavior.

LTP: What tips would you offer to people who want to integrate contemplative practices such as yoga and meditation into their very busy schedules?

EH: Busy schedules are a choice. So is the time we make or don't make for self-care. So, first we must examine our choices: You must be a priority. As we develop and nurture our relationship with self, we realize how magical and rewarding these practices are to our wellbeing. For me, it starts with my breath. In those moments when my inner saboteur wants to pull me away from my self-care routines, I slow down my breath, which slows down the pace of my thoughts. Taking a few moments to breathe deeply inevitably calms my monkey mind and brings me present. In the present moment, I can make the choices that support my desires.

LTP: What does happiness look like to you?

EH: A couple of months ago, my daughter told me that there is little that she fears being able to work through because she knows I've always got her back. It made me happy to know she feels so safely held, as she grows into a young woman. 

LTP: What does it mean to you to "Live The Process" and how do you do that every day?

EH: Living the process to me means living in alignment with what we say we desire. The action process helps me to do that, through exercising my awareness, choice and ability to transform. When I utilize the tools to keep me present, I can make the best choice for myself and transform.

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