Cesar Cürti is a Brazilian athlete and entrepreneur, founder of Mahamudra, a unique method he created in 2011 that includes workouts of all kinds, yoga, and meditation. A trainer in England called it the MMA of fitness. His classes are very popular in Brazil because all the students look very fit, sexy, and become real athletes. It is a pleasure to discuss this with people like Cesar. His main focus is on helping people. Helping them to get better, be stronger physically, and more important feel happier using meditation and the power of mindset and positivity. In our conversation, Cesar tells us how he started, his love for always trying new things, how he slows down this year to prepare his first Ultraman triathlon, (a 320 miles race!), and share some tips to feel healthier and in better shape.
Cesar Cürti: My mantra is “When was the last time you did something for the first time?” As human beings, if we let our lives become 100% routine, we stop living life. That is why I always like to push myself to experience new things and learn from those experiences. That is my mantra for now but it always evolves over time.
I just did it! I just drank sugar cane juice, coconut water, and lemonade all together, for the first time of my life! Here in Brazil, we have a lot of guys selling coconut waters in the streets. So I just stopped by one stand and asked him to do it! [laughs]
I think it is a very good combination for runners like me. Because it includes sugar, vitamin C, carbs, and hydration, all in the same package. So I wanted to test it to add to my training or even during my day.
I am naturally from Brazil and I am mix Asian. My mom’s family is from Japan but we don’t have any link to the Japanese culture. When my grandparents came from Japan to Sāo Paulo, the plan was to leave and not go back. With my half Asian look, I started to do modeling in my twenties and was working mostly in Asia. Places like Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong where I was doing very well.
While I was there, a good friend of mine contacted me and asked me to attend this reality show called “The Amazing Race” with him as a duo. At the time, it was a very popular show and for me it was awesome because it was sports, culture, and traveling all together in a race. And guess what, we actually won the show and shared the 250.000 dollars prize!
That is when I have decided to focus on my concept and develop my own business, the Mahamudra method. When I was modeling, I already had this in mind but I didn’t know how to make the jump from this modeling career to entrepreneurship.
This is a method for body, mind, and soul. Mahamudra means “the great gesture”. The idea came when I was modeling and wanted to change careers. At the time, I was going towards yoga and really wanted to learn more about mystic things. When I was living in Thailand, any time I could I would go to islands to do some retreats for myself, taking healing classes, or doing yoga.
Aside from that, I wanted to speak English very well and was reading a lot of books in English about mindfulness, mindset, and happiness. Then I started to ask myself what I really wanted to do with my life and why I wanted to be an actor and a model. What was my real talent. I came to the conclusion that I was always good as a teacher and my passion was to inspire people and to do good around me.
At that moment, I realized I had a few things to work with. I became a certified personal trainer and I was also doing yoga and healing. But I wasn’t sure what to do and what direction to take. On the one hand, fitness and health are important these days. Pretty much half of the population is overweight and people do need help. They focus so much on chasing success and money that they sometimes forget to look at the simple things in life. Like how to move, longevity, and happiness for instance. And on the other hand, people also need healing, mindfulness, and meditation. I was wondering if I had to become a personal trainer, a therapist, a healer, or even a yoga teacher.
In 2010, while I was on Koh Phangan island in Thailand for my birthday, I remember thinking why not mixing all those good things in the same class. That would include fitness, meditation, and healing together.
My first reaction was to check on the Internet because I was afraid that someone was already doing it. Once I realized there was nothing similar to my idea, I decided to go back to Brazil and give it a try. That is when everything else happened, the reality show, and the opportunity to develop the business. That is what I have been doing since 2013 now.
The whole thing started with me, as a young guy realizing the world had many different kind of problems and try to find solutions for myself. People were anxious, sad, spending too much time alone but nobody was doing anything to fix that. First, I tested the method with me and I was getting better. After I started to apply the method on my friends, adding things into their mindset about health, abundance, and happiness.
My first idea was to have people outside of the box, and not have an actual gym place. Until today, our members meet up at the park to train together with our coaches who bring equipment like sandbags, kettlebells and we like to be creative and play around with whatever we have there. We have a schedule and a program but the training is never the same, we like to be pretty functional. Sometimes it can be half yoga or sometimes it can be heavyweights for instance.
The idea is to make our students faster and stronger. In Brasil, we are known to make people very ripped and they start to look like athletes!
We like to mix skills and play with the knowledge of the coaches. If a trainer is certified in Pilates or Yoga, we integrate it into classes. For students, it is an amazing experience because they are getting in shape and they constantly develop new skills. The business side is also a problem for me because it is hard to be so “open” and expand the company.
I am always trying new things. First, I decided to expand physically and open new cities. The challenge was to train coaches and to make sure when a trainer is in Spain or in England for example the method is respected. a single bad experience can affect the whole brand.
Even though we still have classes in major cities in Brazil, we have also developed online classes for corporate companies. Financially, it was a very good decision but I personally didn’t like it because I was missing the interactions with people.
I am always thinking of new ways to grow the method but I realized it is hard to put in a box something that was created to not be fittable in a box in the first place.
For the last three years, I was focusing on growing the business, focus on the money with so many different business partners who sometimes think differently from you. It took me a while but I realized what I really like is to be in contact with people and be more in the present. Be happy. Part of my revenue comes from sponsorship with Adidas. My goal is actually to make all the classes for free and be sponsored by additional brands.
I switch between Japanese and Thai food, those are my 2 favorites! When I am in Thailand, I like to have pad thai for breakfast sometimes. [laughs]
Success for me is to be happy as much as I can and have some free time to do whatever I want. Also sleeping well is important. Because when you are a good person and you do everything right, you go to bed and sleep in peace. Do good, be happy as much as you can and sleep well, that is success to me!
My perfect weekend would include sports, nature, and good people around. To give you an example, I live on an island in the south of the country called Florianopolis and during Carnaval, I was having my exercise during the day and at night, I was going out with my friends. To me, some activities to empty my mind, contact with nature, and connect with good people and music, that’s perfection!
To be real, to be humble, and to be human. It is also being nice to people and living in a way where people will remember your good energy. For sure, to reach that point, you need to have good manners and to be polite!
I like to eat real food as much as I can. That doesn’t mean I don’t eat burgers or pizza but I like to watch what I am eating. Besides, I need to move. This is important. Saving time for myself and be on my own. I don’t have a specific routine as I often travel but I like to train almost every day.
The feedback from people! I love it when I know that I was important to someone. When I receive messages or videos from people who tell me I changed the way they think. People who are stronger or who are back in a healthy relationship. I helped people who were planning to commit suicide and I didn’t even know. To me, having this impact is priceless.
Last month, I met a young guy who was in a very bad car accident and doctors told them he won’t never walk again. Apparently, one of his friends showed him one my talks and he decided to fight and not giving up. He came to the park just to meet and say thank you to me. He was walking and healthy. I really feel like I was meant to do this, create this method and help people. There is no way I would be happy doing something else.
Don’t lose your morals and values. I saw a lot of people losing theirs along the way whether for success, money, or status. I think it was great advice because I wouldn’t be happy or sleep well if I had done such things.
Be more sensitive to what your body, your mind, and your heart tell you to do. Eat what your body is telling you to eat as well. For sure, you need some time alone, you need to work on your meditation and your self-knowledge. Once you reach this point, then it is real freedom because you are doing things because you need it. Not because you were told it is the cool thing to do. Try to feel more instead of doing things automatically.
My advice for people that want to be fit and healthy. Movement is a must! you need to move and our body was made to move. I would suggest to try a bit of everything and see what you like and how you feel. This also can change! You can be in love with Muay Thai and five years later you want to try something new or develop new skills.
Renato Stefani. He is a very nice guy who was very into numbers and corporate kind of job. And became a yoga teacher and has his own company where he teaches people “hacks” to live a better life and be more productive.
You may also like: A moment with Brazilian model and yoga instructor Ricardo Baldin [/mepr-show]
Mind blown, I discovered Mahamudra with your article and I love it!