Daily Mail

Ann Ziety, the celeb queen of calm ’n’charm


- Craig Brown www.dailymail.co.uk/craigbrown

How to relax in these troubling times? Ann Ziety is the doyenne of Los Angeles relaxation gurus. Her books include Just Relax (2018), I Said, Just Relax (2019), and her most recent, Relax Till You’re Blue In The Face (2020).

Ann’s clients include many of the most laid-back celebritie­s in the world, from TV chef Gordon Ramsay to on-trend zoo-keeper Joe Exotic.

‘Since I first encountere­d Ann Ziety, I’ve been calmer than ever,’ says former mayor of New York Rudy Giuliani, ‘and don’t try to tell me I’m not or you’ll get what’s coming.’

Now, more than ever, the world is turning to Ann Ziety for advice on how to stay calm.

‘It’s all about losing your sense of self, so you’re not thinking, “It’s all about me,” ’ she says as she greets me at the door of her meditation centre — a building that’s easy to find, with its distinctiv­e 100 sq ft full-colour billboard of Ann in her trademark $ 5,000 pearlembro­idered leotard suspended above its main entrance.

She welcomes me like a longlost friend. ‘Poor you!’ she says, her mouth curling in a sympatheti­c smile. ‘You’re looking so miserable! Am I right in thinking you’re feeling INTENSE STRESS?

‘oh, you claim you aren’t? Darling, that means you’re repressing it, and that’s the very worst of all.’

She tells me to get in the mood for relaxation by taking my shoes off. ‘oh my God, don’t put them there!’ she shrieks, as I deposit them by the door. ‘That’s such bad karma! And you’ll get DIRT all over my NICE CLEAN CARPETS!’

She leads me into the meditation centre, where visitors are encouraged to relax and cast away all thoughts of worldly possession­s and social climbing. ‘ Victoria Beckham loves this room best. She’s, like, oh my God, I need one so bad! what’s it cost? I’ll pay, like, ANYTHING!’

Ann encourages me to make myself comfortabl­e, so I sit down on the only available chair. ‘No, not like that! Are you crazy?’ She pulls me out of it, and hands me Relax Like Your Life Depended on It, her five-point-plan for making yourself comfortabl­e. It reads:

Sit on the floor with your right heel tucked in behind your left buttock.

Place your left leg behind your neck, as far as it will go.

Cup your right knee with your left hand.

At the same time, let your left elbow go all floppy.

Imagine you are a flower. ‘You’ve got all the time in the world,’ Ann tells me. ‘There’s no pressure on you. Relax! So you’re a flower, a beautiful flower. Surrounded by compost. Relax! No one’s going to come and pick you. So relax. No one’s going to cut you with a pair of secateurs and squeeze you into a narrow vase full of prickly foliage. So just relax!’

‘Are you feeling calm yet?’ Ann then demanded. ‘No? why the hell not? You’re just not trying hard enough! Remember — it’s not only your time you’re wasting! Gwyneth Paltrow is so much better at this than you are! oK, let’s give it another two seconds, max!’ Before moving on to our next exercise, Ann tells me her philosophy of life. ‘ The world has become so materialis­tic. It’s as though we have to consume in order to live! Crazy! That’s why I encourage my clients to sign up for my s i x - month course, The Best Things In Life Are Reasonably­Priced. I’m pleased to say we have it on special introducto­ry offer — just $55 a session for the first two sessions, clothing, equipment, scented de-stress candles and accompanyi­ng fire-fighting equipment not included.’

Ann believes that 21st- century human beings are far too competitiv­e with each other, and that we can only escape from what she calls ‘ the competitio­n cycle’ by recognisin­g that we all have our own unique qualities, and life is not a race.

‘It’s what I’ve been saying all along’, she adds. ‘And I got there first. But — guess what? — all my so- called “rivals” have started ripping me off, claiming it’s their idea. You know what I call them? Total losers!’

In these stressful days of societal lockdown, Ann Ziety has a message for everyone, not just the rich and famous.

‘It’s all about people,’ she says. ‘And, as I was telling Meghan and Harry when they dropped by the other day, my Elite Relaxation Program is for everyone, and in particular those who can’t afford it.’

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