I live an extraordinary life.
I don't jump from airplanes or surf giant waves. No thanks.
Extraordinary doesn't have to be death defying.
The extraordinary reveals itself to me at any moment, any place--in a song, in a landscape, in a touch. It's when my mind is blown and I access a state beyond all comprehension and I experience the extraordinary in the very ordinary.
The extraordinary has been a regular part of my experience ever since I was very young, around five or six years old, when I had something of a spiritual awakening. I've spent the rest of my life up until this point trying to figure that shit out (and keep it all a secret).
My challenge as been to reconcile experiencing expansive consciousness and living in a human body on earth, feeling trapped in a state between the two, neither totally here nor there.
Although totally not necessary for spiritual awakening, my path has been one of intense suffering and deep pain. Life put me on the path of suffering, but also gave me the wisdom to willingly experience these states of pain as opportunities for growth and awakening.
All challenges, pains, and difficulties have served to break down my monumental ego and at the same time to help me remember that I am, as we all are, an emanation of the divine. In other words, the identity that I had created here on earth, through education, upbringing, messages from society, and my own ego had to be totally broken down and destroyed in order to reveal my true nature.
It was while in a state of great distress that I turned to yoga. I was desperate for help, for a way out of hell. I was no longer satisfied with a bandaid for the pain--in this case, meds. (The meds saved my life, by the way.) I wanted to get the fuck out of the dark hole I was in once and for all. I didn't want to simply manage my panic and depression. I wanted that shit done and over with and I knew that the problem was big.
Yoga was a revelation. It was and is one of the major keys to relief from my suffering and my becoming whole.
I've been practicing yoga for fourteen years and teaching for eight, having been trained and certified as a teacher of Shiva Rea's Prana Flow. As many times as I've wanted to quit practicing yoga and quit teaching, I seem to always find my way back to my mat. By no means the only way to awaken consciousness, yoga is a big help.
Yoga is a practice that surpasses health and fitness, it surpasses stress management, it surpasses general wellbeing.
In my experience, at the most basic level, yoga is an invaluable tool for deep connection with the self and inner transformation, which is powerful in and of itself. But, beyond that, yoga is a form of communication with the cosmos, the whole of which exists within our very being.
When we speak of yoga as union with the self, we're not talking about our little individual self and feeling good about being who we are on earth, but the union with the Self as the ultimate, divine, all pervading cosmic presence.
Yoga asana practice is a way of preparing the physical body in order to receive increasingly higher levels of consciousness, of intelligent cosmic energy.
Very simply put, we human beings are composed of matter and consciousness. Our work is to bring consciousness to this matter. But because matter is very dense, it's often by working with this very matter that we reveal consciousness. Yoga asana practice, among other mind-body practices, works this matter, like kneading dough with your hands to make bread, like burning a piece of wood to ashes, like watering a seed to flower.
We work with the natural elements (matter) in order to access states of awareness about our little selves and eventually our true divine nature and cosmic awareness.
The ultimate objective of our life on earth is to participate in the great divine alchemy: to fully incarnate the divine, for matter to awaken to its divinity. The greatest, most difficult challenge for any being is to fully incarnate, to embody the totality of who we really are, God consciousness, in this human body, this human life.
The objective of the yoga classes that I teach is exactly what I've just described. The yoga class is a process in the greatest, most difficult alchemical process that exists--total and complete incarnation of the divine. Huge!!!
On a practical level, my classes are for people who have already been practicing yoga or even those with no yoga practice, but regularly practice an intense physical activity or sport, as I guide participants through a physically challenging practice, OR for those who are simply willing to engage in a sweat fest.
People who love my classes are people who like to experience the edges of their physical, mental, and emotional bodies, who want to reconnect with their creativity, who are walking the spiritual path, or who are seeking a path to walk.
People who love my classes are humble, committed, courageous, and disciplined, but light-hearted, and with a rebellious spirit.
People who love my classes are willing to drop their egos, love to laugh, can laugh at themselves, and want to thoroughly enjoy this life at this time on this planet.
We are God looking back at itself.
Let's go to that place of remembrance.
I'll go there with you.