In March 2009, Leon had a "Sri Bhrigu" vedic astrology reading in Bangalore. He was told that in spite of his other intentions, a holistic healing centre was on his "astrological" radar.
After making money in the amusement arcade business, Leon had sold two of three buildings in the Reigate industrial park. Planning to go into semi-retirement, he was in the process of selling the third building and devoting himself to his online art business, writing a book and learning Italian.
But in June 2009, prospective buyers for the building pulled out and he had no luck renting it.
Fate would have it that Leon attended a workshop at the Kripalu Centre in Dorking, in an industrial space. It dawned on him then, that he could use his existing building as a yoga centre. So in August he got started with a request for change of use planning permission - and things really started flowing.
The right people came at the right time. Swami Bodichitananda, a visiting friend from Rishikesh introduced Leon to London-based Swami Saradananda who helped Leon hone his vision of the Centre, - she will be teaching a number of philosophy and meditation courses at the Centre.
A few days later, he met Veena, - she had just been working on a new yoga Centre (LisboaYoga) in Lisbon, Portugal and recently moved back to London. Before that, Veena was managing Sivananda Yoga centres in India. She has joined forces with Leon and is one of the three directors.
Leon's connection with the divine Vanamal Devi of Rishikesh brought her to the Centre to perform our opening puja in October, Vanamali Devi in turn re-introduced Dhanashri, to the centre - Dhanashri had hosted Leon at a workshop some time before in Southampton. She was looking for a change and decided to join the team full time too.
And so the co-creators of the Yoga Ananda Holistic Centre started to work to develop their dreams of a spiritually-based venue that would honour all traditions and appeal to local, national and international students.