Nathan Obadia is the 32-year old founder of Self Collective, which offers group classes on an innovative body & mind training methodology in the centre of Paris. Being an engineer by training, a serial entrepreneur, an athlete, professional Krav Maga practitioner and passionate about meditation and breathing techniques, Nathan is a fascinating young man who has many tips to give us to live a more peaceful life!
What is Self Collective and how did you come to create it?
Self Collective is a methodology to live in peace with others, ourselves, and Nature by reconnecting to our inner strengths.
The journey to create Self Collective is deeply intertwined with my personal journey. In the year of 2015, I was on a path to find the right direction in my life and decided to focus on my lifetime passion: self-defence. It has always brought me many benefits, both physically and psychologically, but I felt it was not enough to find inner peace. It was at a time in my life when I felt the urgent need to better understand my emotions and how to deal with them on day-to-day basis. My Krav Maga Black Belt was not that helpful: it gave me a way of dealing with uncomfortable or even dangerous situations yes, but the ‘combat mode’ I was in was about the only tool I had to deal with problems (even though I have never been a violent person and has never used Krav Maga outside of the gym!). At the time, a lot of my female friends were asking me to teach them some Krav Maga moves to feel safer in the streets and I realized this martial art could be very helpful for them in that sense, but they needed something more to achieve what they were really looking for: confidence.
So, I quit my job and started training in meditation, improvisation, Systema, hypnosis and Non-Violent Communication. The key finding for me was that fighting skills are useful on a day-to-day basis, but only if they allow us to avoid combat and stay peaceful inside.
I created Self Collective with one main offering for individuals and corporate organizations: body-mind training programs to learn how to deal with emotions and find inner peace whatever the nature of the obstacles we face.
What do your pupils say is the main reason that drives them to try your classes and come back?
They say it is a reconnection to what is alive within them. They train to realign body, heart and mind. They get a feeling of inner power out of the lessons that make them feel more grounded and freer.
It is important to understand that physiologically, our brain responds to any type of stress the same way it would respond to life-threatening danger. So given our stressful lifestyles, we put our nervous system under a lot of pressure, which causes chronic stress and anger syndromes for many people. My classes aim to reprogram the nervous system by teaching the brain how to respond (both physically and mentally) in a more relaxed way. Our immune system, mood, productivity and relationships depend on it!
What is your key advice to keep both a strong body and mind on a day to day basis?
Breathe well, eat well, move well. And by ‘well’, I mean with intention. It requires to slow down, which can be a bit disturbing at first for someone with a busy life, but it’s essential. Especially if you have goals to pursue and want to move fast in your life : your body and mind absolutely need to slow down regularly if you want to blossom and be happy in your personal and professional life.
Now… How have you adapted to the COVID situation? How was it like for you and for the business?
At first I was in shock, then I saw a big opportunity to move our programs online, then I realised how much I was acting out of fear (I was comparing myself to others and all the beautiful initiatives that popped up online…). I took the time to slow down and I found that the true opportunity of this situation was to take some time off.
So, we decided to stop everything and settle back to find our inner rhythms and train our resilience.
What does your routine look like during COVID?
Conscious breathing and stretching, intermittent fasting, daily reading and writing.
Then depending on the mood of the day, I go for a run or do a few slow push-ups and squats, the best type of exercise to gain energy and stregnthen joints.
Aches and pains are part of a regular and intense practice of sports like martial arts. How do you prevent them and how do you care for yourself when you are in pain or feel some discomfort?
The best way to prevent and deal with pain and discomfort is to allow the body to breathe well. There are different breathing patterns to get rid of pain and make the body stronger and more resilient. It is very important to vary the speed of training as I said earlier, because when you slow down you increase body awareness and believe me, your body is smarter than your brain.
What is your diet like?
I try to keep it simple: as much organic food as possible, limit sugar intake, eat a reasonable amount of raw food, avoid acidic food. I prefer to eat only stuff that my grandparents would have known, and to have a variety of colours in my plate.
What are your favourite self-care products?
I do not buy a lot of stuff, but the WholyMe Relief Drops are a must for me since I tested them – they help me stay relaxed and focused at the same time.
Given the current lockdown, what do you miss most?
Being « en terrasse » with friends and be in contact with nature.
How do you keep positive and productive?
Every day I think about 5 things I am grateful for. It rewires your brain within a few weeks, it is such a nice feeling. Real power and freedom come from gratefulness and compassion.
So, THANK YOU so much for interviewing me, it was a pleasure to express these important values I believe in. 🙂