Published on January 7th, 2019 | by Andrew Bistak
Hudson Leick Interview
We caught-up with Hudson Leick (https://www.hudsonleick.com/) during her stay in the United Kingdom where she is visiting friends and exploring this amazing country. Hudson also informs us that she loves the lifestyle and that for her, this is the most beautiful countryside that she has ever seen and for now [the UK] feels right to her. While Hudson is fondly remembered by fans as the powerful blonde villainous Callisto in Xena: Warrior Princess, she has focused her energies on another path which was inspired by her passion for yoga.
Interestingly and from our short-time together, Hudson painted the perfect picture of me, one led by coffee and the hustle and bustle of a modern lifestyle with work and family. So while I had the chance to interview Hudson, I also received some guidance to find my own inner peace which I’ve incorporated into my life and I feel better for it.
It seems like you’ve called the UK home for now, will you be spending 2019 there?
I’ll be going back to LA in February , then Ireland and the Czech Republic. From there, I’m going back to England, Wales and India. It also seems that every year is like this for me now with travel.
With your travels in 2018 Hudson, what would you consider your highlight?
I would say it would be visiting my spiritual teacher in India.
How did you find your teacher in India?
I first saw her when I was in acting class with this really… really good looking actor who asked me if I want to see a saint, Mātā Amṛtānandamayī Devī. I thought that I absolutely don’t want to do this, especially at night but he was really cute and I said yes. I’ve never seen him again but I’ve stayed with Amma for 24-years.
How did you become involved in yoga and what’s your connection to it?
I started yoga when I got out of acting school at 24 with a boyfriend at the time and I continued and never stopped. If you have never done yoga before, it would be hard to explain the connection you feel but it brings a lot of peace to the mind which is the most important aspect.
Would you say it’s a spiritual connection?
I would say it’s a spiritual connection but that’s a bit too esoteric for most people and I did not feel a spiritual connection when I first started. At the time I was living in New York which is a very frantic city, however after the class, I felt at peace.
You’ve also got a new book out called Healing Yourself Whole, can you tell us about this?
It’s a book I wrote for a publishing company called Life Science and they wanted me to write about using essential oils in a way that would be beneficial to other people. Although I really enjoy using essential oils, I don’t find that essential oils are… essential [laugh]. They’re not and no one has to use essential oils but it’s a good ritual that can be very helpful and somewhat healing. But even the book itself without using essential oils is really quite helpful in learning how to relax, be more efficient with your time and learning how to care for yourself more.
So while most of us are stressed in our lives, we don’t know that there is a choice and we can actually live in a way that allows us to be more expanded, grounded and have peace. Unfortunately most of us don’t know as we haven’t experienced this and while it all sounds gobblydock, you need to experience it yourself like meditation.
Pain is also a great motivator… when you have a great deal of pain and I’ve had a great deal of pain in my life. When all of the outside things in your life are not helping because at some point they don’t, no matter how much money you have, fame or attention from other human beings, it’s still not enough and you can still be quite unhappy. There must be something else and what is that something else?
When you hit your own bottom and when you’re willing to find something beyond and what society deems is not the normal thing that makes us happy, then you have to be willing to go deeper and possibly learn how to chant or sit in meditation or take a yoga class that feels good to you but is not going to harm your body.
It doesn’t have to be those things, it might be learning how to exercise in a proper way but there’s always something and if you feel that, you will never reach that apple in the tree, that perfect apple when you’re going to have complete happiness for the rest of your life and I think that’s really important to come to you sooner rather than later.
How does someone find the right pathway for them?
Everybody is different and what I teach is yoga so I would recommend yoga and meditation as these are things that have worked directly for me. Throughout my life in my 20’s and early 30’s, I had success and for me, I had a lot of money, a partner that really loved me, I was being groomed by heads of studios to do movies and I had everything that society said would make you happy.
I was miserable, beyond miserable and I was in so much pain and none of these things were filling it and I was so grateful that this happened because it made me search for something else and I was always doing yoga and yoga grew into something else. It also has a flow on affect and for example, if you have pets, they will get calmer and will have that funny smile on their face and they will love it. That’s an immediate confirmation that something is changing.
For beginners, what yoga would you recommend?
You need to learn how to breathe and I would recommend ujjayi breathing yoga… check out YouTube as there’s plenty of introductory courses. So the deeper you breathe, it flushes your whole system with oxygen and removes the carbon dioxide and the more you do that the more you get rid of that carbon dioxide, the calmer you are and more grounded and better you feel. You shouldn’t believe and I would suggest you try it out to see if it works for you. Make sure you don’t do it straight after a coffee as you won’t feel the effects because you’ll be hyped up on caffeine. First thing in the morning is a great time and make sure you have a big glass of water first because your cells are dehydrated.
Chanting is another way and you don’t have to chant to a diety or the absolute which is what I do. You can chant just one word that’s positive like Om which is the vibration of the universe and you can chant for 10 minutes or 20 minutes. That can be easier than trying to sit still because your mind will go 18,000 directions. But if you give yourself something easy like 10 minutes of oming… or even Google some wan to chant out loud because you’re physically doing something to try to calm down the mind because if you watch the mind, it cannot stay still. The problem with the mind is that because its job is constantly trying to tell you what’s happening, it’s constantly trying to pull information in and is giving you the wrong information.
These are all things I learned, as I was suicidal and hated living. I hated myself so I had to literally hit rock bottom so I could learn how to not love myself in an egotistical. However I won’t deny that I have an ego and I have to work on it… but to honour yourself in a way that is kind and compassionate is the goal.
You only have to look around you to see that the world is going crazy, are we doomed as a society or what can we do to change our path?
My feeling is… and this is the opinion of just one person is that we have stupid intelligence… we have the intelligence to make the atom bomb and it’s a stupid intelligence because why we would want to blow ourselves up? To keep having weapons and we spend so much money on weapons to kill each other instead of taking that creativity and doing something else with it… for sure, the world is definitely heating up right and my teacher tells me that nature and the human mind is incredibly agitated right now. You can also see it in nature with the fires, hurricanes and tsunamis… in fact, my teacher says that eventually it will be nature than human beings being a greater threat to us because we’re pretty bananas at the moment.
In the States, look at all the shootings and Americans are unwilling to let go of their guns and this is my opinion and I own it completely but I do not believe that just people kill people because you have to hold a gun in your hand as a person and shoot it. The fact that we are so (I include myself because I am American), we are so stubborn of having the right to bear arms with so many children dying and this is not intelligent. I understand their point of view but it’s not working… look at what happened in Australia when you stopped using guns and the reduction of deaths. It doesn’t mean there’s not knives or other ways to kill each other… my belief is and I don’t know…everything is heightened, we are addicted to our technology, we want it right now and it doesn’t bring any happiness to us and we’re not any happier.
However there are people who are fed-up from this insanity and don’t like what’s happening in the world and want to change the tide of what’s going on. They are trying to change it and I don’t know but is it possible? Yes, but I also believe this Earth… and I don’t mean to sound dire but I think it goes through cycles of human begins and when you read the ancient scriptures in India, they say we go cycles. This includes cycles of huge destruction to each other and then to a more enlightened nature and when we reach that enlightened nature, we go back to the destruction.
I know for myself I can definitely feel the upset in the world which is why I love to teach yoga so much and be part of an antidote for people to connect to… something within their selves. When you do yoga and when you meditate, you learn how to honour yourself and slow down that self and that sanity in your own mind. That’s more precious than gold, because peace cannot be bought.
When you have more peace, you have more compassion, patience and more love. Although love may sound like a soft and fluffy thing to some people, it’s everything because why do we put needles in our face to try and make ourselves look younger, or get boob jobs or have six packs or make a million dollars, because we want comfort and others to love us. We’re so desperate for others to love us that we don’t even acknowledge it but there must be a sense of self love to feel at peace.
Here’s the thing about self-love and the beautiful thing about it… when you do something for someone else, even when you don’t feel like it such as seeing a homeless person begging on the street and you recoil, judge and think they are addicted to drugs and it’s not my problem, when you take time out and do something for them such as get them a warm drink or food, things begin to change. That person could easily be you and you think it’s not but anyone can lose everything and anything at any time. So that’s essentially you and if you could serve that being and ask them what they want, how many have actually asked them that today? Things became to change.
To serve to another being will bring you more self-love and here’s the caveat to that, don’t tell anyone you’ve done it because then you’re putting it on the Facebook thing and saying I’m doing all this good for these people. You need to make it personal, just between you and another being. You’re just showing up as another human being and going out of your way to be a servant and that will come back to you, absolutely.
Thanks for time Hudson and all the best for 2019 and beyond!
Check out Hudson’s official webpage at https://www.hudsonleick.com/ and her retreats for 2019 are listed below;
Czech yoga retreat