Ian's first introduction to Vedic knowledge was in 1984 on the recommendation of a close friend. Prior to this he had an extremely unhealthy and stressful lifestyle that led him to experience duodenal ulcers and heart seizures. The Western health system could only offer copious amounts of medication with undesirable side effects, so he was open to alternatives.
Ian was initially instructed in the practice of Vedic mantra meditation. The profound effects of this effortless technique propelled him to learn more about this ancient health system. Over the next ten years Ian attended countless Meditation Retreats and Vedic Science Courses at home and abroad. He learned and regularly practiced Advanced Meditation Techniques including the Siddhi Yoga Sutras and eventually, in the summer of 1993, emerged from the Maharishi Vedic University in Valkenburg, Holland (Deepak Chopra’s training was in the same lineage) fully trained as a Panchakarma therapist offering an extensive range of bodyworks and elimination therapies and as an Ayurvedic Wellness Consultant offering pulse diagnosis and lifestyle solutions.
After graduation Ian spent the first two years in clinical practice applying these techniques under the supervision of medical doctors in London, England. He treated mainly very sick people and although he saw amazing results, he realized his passion was to prevent rather than cure illness. Ian also wanted to provide the Ayurvedic therapies in a more relaxing environment. So for the next three years, with the financial support of some client/investors, he developed the first residential Ayurvedic Centre in the UK. It was based in a Meditation Academy within a large stately home in a beautiful rural setting.
This approach proved to be a great success and the business grew to the point where they had to find larger premises to accommodate demand. They then purchased and converted a seaside hotel in Bournemouth, England.
During this time, with the encouragement and guidance of his teachers, Ian adapted the presentation of Vedic knowledge to suit people living in a modern Western society and named this European Ayurveda. This made Vedic knowledge more accessible and self empowering with an emphasis on practical application in everyday life. This approach gained much media attention and gained wide popularity.
Eventually, he was approached by one of his regular clients, Anna Selby, who was a published author and journalist, to write a book that would give an introduction to the Vedic lifestyle. The book was named The Home Ayurveda Spa and was first printed by Collins & Brown in 2001. The book was very well received and sold 20,000 copies to one book club alone. It is still in print and can be found on Amazon.
In the meantime, his client base grew to include many celebrities, captains of industry and immediate members of the British Royal family. Because of the high profile of some of his clients, he developed a travelling therapy unit to provide services in the homes of those who were more security and privacy conscious. The travelling therapy unit then expanded to provide services, including practitioner training, to many residential Meditation Centres in England and abroad, making his approach accessible to an ever wider audience.
With ever increasing media attention, the larger health spas started to show interest in his services. In 1999 the decision was made to amalgamate with Hoar Cross Hall Health Spa Resort in the heart of England near the historic town of Lichfield. While this was a good move for the business, Ian grew restless. His original goals had been met and exceeded; he looked for new challenges and new horizons.
Canada beckoned and he emigrated in 2001. After taking a year out to rest and settle into his new home, he started working at Poundmakers Lodge, an Aboriginal residential addictions treatment centre on the outskirts of St Albert. His role was to design and deliver an aftercare program to help prepare the clients make the necessary adjustments for a sustainable addiction-free lifestyle. This was a truly rewarding experience and he found the history, culture and ceremonies of the Cree Nation to be fascinating.
Ian discovered in talking to Elders, that to make Vedic knowledge more accessible, the Sanskrit terminology of Vata, Pitta & Kapha, needed to be replaced with the elements of Space & Air, Fire, Earth & Water. With this “Elemental” approach, both Aboriginal and Caucasian people came to understand and adopt the Knowledge much more easily. The aftercare program gained accolades from the Executive Director of Poundmakers as well as Justice Wong from the Edmonton drug court. Unfortunately due to a change in Chairman, and political direction, all non Aboriginal staff were removed from employment at Poundmakers Lodge.
Ian continued to work with Aboriginal organisations and other groups in Alberta for the next few years, until a friend requested his help in setting up a new spa. In 2010, Ian joined the team to set up and train the Vedic massage and relaxation therapy’s offered at the Water Garden Spa in the new Holes Enjoy centre, St Albert. During that time he came to realise that he needed to move forward independently in order to take his passion for Vedic Knowledge to a wider audience. In the spring of 2012 Elemental Life Solutions was born and his adventure continues.