In the eighties and nineties, Cameron Alborzian, a.k.a. Yogi Cameron, was known as one of the first male supermodels, strutting and posing for Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Versace, and Guess. He starred in Madonna's David Fincher-directed "Express Yourself" video, visited a newly freed Nelson Mandela at his home, and made a video with Elton John and Kate Moss in memory of Princess Diana. But 15 years ago, he left it all behind to explore yoga and Ayurvedic healing, India's 5,000-year-old system of natural medicine.
The yogic master and author (of The Guru in You, now in paperback, and a second book on the yoga sutras, out next year) recently became a TV guru with his Veria Living show, Yogi Cameron: A Model Guru, in which he helps clients overcome ailments—from thyroid problems to tinnitus—by pinpointing the root cause, often a spiritual (not medical) imbalance. "When the body is telling you something is going on, you're not supposed to get rid of it straight away," Alborzian says. "You're supposed to say, 'Why do I have this? Let's find the cause'—Ayurveda is all about cause." Recently, he dropped by Details to offer up some tips on healthy living.
How to sleep better:
"Eating at 10 o'clock at night is a killer. It just kills the body. The body is in shock. And when it wakes up, it doesn't like that food—it doesn't do anything with it, and it only uses it as waste and gets rid of it. Because you don't need energy to go to bed. So eat around six. And then you're done with food. If you get really hungry, drink a little bit of hot milk or something grounding and go to bed. And the mind should be calm when you go to bed. You don't watch TV. You're not on your BlackBerry. Everything needs preparation. Don't get stimulated in any sense before you go to bed. Don't have stimulating conversations. Even if they're amazing conversations, they all keep you up at night."
Food for thought:
"Rushing and eating don't go well together. The stomach doesn't like that movement. It needs calmness. If you don't have calmness, don't eat."
What to do with a free hour:
"An hour alone should be spent contemplating. 'Who am I? What's going on?' It's not an intellectual process. Don't speak. Observe yourself. There's nothing like knowing yourself—because you're creating a certain energy that other people are attracted to—and then that cute girl is coming toward you because you're creating that energy. If you know yourself, you'll attract exactly the one you need to."
"Most people don't even sit in silence for five minutes. Being on your BlackBerry is not silence, because your mind is still moving. So give your mind a break. Sit quietly, close your eyes, and focus on your breathing. Are you holding your breath? Are you breathing properly? If you're breathing shallow breaths, you're not using your lungs properly. These are the basics of staying alive. If you don't breathe properly, you're not staying alive properly."
How to deal with that asshole on the subway:
"First off, he's not an asshole. He's giving you an opportunity to overcome something. Bring him in: Look at him with eyes that say, 'I'm here for you. We're in this together.' When you see a homeless person asking for money, you don't always have to give them money. Look in their eyes. Communicate with them: 'Hey, you're okay.' Sometimes that's all it takes."
—Rachel Rosenblit, entertainment editor at Details