Tag Archives: Modern Yoga

Big God Yes

There’s a surge of people expressing their experiences with the Law of Attraction, a life process known by great achievers throughout the earth. Some feel it’s about vision boards and mantras. Others believe you must think of something for a long period of time as a separate exercise of some sort. Few understand the deeper, subtle, and complex facets of it all in every moment of our lives.

Science now knows there is a force fields all around us. Dark matter is what we used to call space. There is no “space” there is only matter in different forms. We literally mold our lives from the matter around us, like molding clay with our thoughts.

Besides the quantum-physics aspect of the law of attraction, there is a more understandable, physical aspect Id’ like to share.

Here’s a good example. I was preparing to practice yoga in my home and I invited my love to join me. She came out of the room and said, “practice with you separately?” Why yes, I replied. I was granting her wish. Come to find out later it was not what she wanted. She wanted to practice with me, for me to lead the practice together.

What happened? She called forth or evoked the energy of practicing separately. If she had not brought forth the thought I would have not granted it. This is a “ask and you shall receive” moment, for you attract what you fear the most. Had I thought about it more, I may have asked more details about her request.  Such thoughts were not present within me because I was already preparing my practice. In the practice we eliminate thought and distraction to move into being. So I granted her request and stayed in a state of simplistic energy.  Think of it as “Your wish is granted and I don’t need to inquire further”. Just know your desire and ask for that. Passivity can lead to confusion.

Law of attraction works like this in every moment. When we think or speak of something, we are evoking the creative energy of that thought, the ability to create it. Some of these creations are immediate and others are over time as the energy we put forth is a smaller subtler voice in our heads.

In conversations we may acknowledge certain beliefs when a topics comes up, sometimes passively, but do not put our attention to it regularly.  These little acknowledgments are like small  bank deposits. This is also known by motivational guru Jeff Olson as the Slight Edge, little things we say, do and believe over time that culminate into reality. It ‘s a constant law  which can disrupt our life or bring us constant joy and happiness .

The God energy we seek to humble ourselves to, wishes for us to be happy and achieve our desires. This God force provides our ability to use free will to create it.  Think of God as saying yes to our every thought whether we really want it or not. It is for us to understand this great power. Evoking or calling forth problems is in our hands, or should I say, minds.

Be the change you wish to see. Be how you wish to be. If you wish to be happy, healthy and wealthy. Begin with being happy. Personal happiness does not require any external circumstances. How about using the slight edge and begin to be healthy? How about using your happy, healthy self to guide you to the perfect accomplishment for your version of wealth?

In yoga we surrender to the Slight Edge philosophy. We seek to only move forward in our physical transformation by a single micro-movement at a time. The true practice of yoga forces us to be in the moment. We learn that through surrender and humility transformation comes quicker be it reconditioning or healing . It’s a true example of the subtlety of the Law of Attraction. We are placing the vision of what we want in our mind. Then we surrender to the experience rather than forcing it and it comes quicker. It’s a lesson I’ve taken to heart and practiced in all aspects of my life.

Whether immediate or slow you mold the space around you every moment. Mold your masterpiece. I hope this helps.

Much Aloha

Douglas

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The Enigma of Yoga Postures

To an experienced practitioner we understand that the yoga postures, even with their specific names, are only guides along a certain path. They are not finished products. There is no posture to be obtained. The only thing we seek to obtain is to be 100% present within our body as we move through opening, strengthening, lengthening, healing, restructuring,  present to how our body transforms. In any posture, there is always something more that can be transitioned through.

To teach this path is a chance for those new to yoga to understand what it is we are actually doing in “yoga.”

Think of yoga asanas, or postures, as a ski hill. We all go down the same hill. Some take the bunny slope and others take the steeper trails. The hill is the same.  This is why you see photos of people in Standing Bow Pulling Pose, some with their back stiff and straight and foot  barely over their hip and others with their back nicely curved and leg way up over their head. It’s the same pose just different levels, same beauty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The benefits are the same no matter what level one practices at.

Every advanced posture starts with a basic move. Just like the ski hill,  learning to stand on your skis is the first step to conquering the hill. If you’re wanting to learn a one legged posture, then learning to stand on two feet without falling over must be mastered first.

Yoga teachers won’t expect you to reach completion, but rather be conscious of your movements. This is why all levels of practice benefit the same. It’s the process of what you are doing that activates the practice of yoga.

The proverbial man in meditation IS the clear depiction of yoga. One pointed focus. Whether sitting in silence or practicing your body movements with music. It’s that deep inner focus and attention to what is being done now, in this moment which provides your lessons.

I’ve taught beginners who are masters and so called masters who are still beginners.

It’s the path of mindfulness.

Any gymnast or dancer can do “poses” pretty easy. That’s not yoga.

It takes practice….lots of it. By the way, that’s why we call it a yoga “practice.” Keep it up.

Aloha

 

 

Coastline Complexity

Our coastlines boast great beauty, but can be something of a paradox. Coastlines are the merging of two worlds, water-world with land, the underworld with the over-world.

Where coastlines exist, humans find magic, ponder life, seek answers and appreciate nature’s magnificence.  Through living most of my life within coastal cities, I have found this magnificence carries some interesting oppositions. Coastlines draw the wealthy to build homes and the houseless and homeless to find comfort.  The coastlines is also where the waste pushed into the sea is returned to the land. On the most isolated beaches can be found tons of waste returned from the sea. On warm weather beaches, homeless and the destitute leave their own waste.

Coastlines are where we go for retreat . We swim in the water where it is safe,  safe from the wild deep and dangerous creatures, but it’s the crust, the outer edge, the dregs of earth’s ripple we swim in. At times it’s akin to a kitchen blender stirring and breaking everything up into small pieces including body parts of those using the coastline as a sport.

Coastlines are transition points. Rogue waves consume land life.  Others leap from the mystery of life on the edge of seaside cliffs. We feel a drive to it’s beauty unaffected by the reality of the boundary lines.

We fall into the fantasy of white water.  As a child this white water was mingled with black tar which took hours to scrub off and fade away.  Many go to the edge to sprinkle the ashes of others who’ve passed away on land as if the sea entitles them to merge with a stronger force, to spread throughout the planet and travel to distant worlds.

As an infant my mother screamed as a rogue wave washed her baby off the comfort of her shaded beach blanket.  Found a short while later tucked into a sand berm, to this day I get anxious when I’m away from the sea for too long.  Was my infant body replaced with the spirit of another,  a more watery being? Or did the feeling of our saline earth washing over my new skin possess me to never forget….

We are water creatures on land. We are the mystery.

In yoga we seek to always be in the mystery. With surrender we experience the now. Yoga asana or postures are done with this surrender. There is no knowing, there is no expectation, for the wave of uncertainty looms in every moment. We seek to be present and let the subtle energy of life become who we are.

 

 

Falling Down

Growing up a middle class family, I never felt I was missing anything. We always had Christmas presents. There was always food on the table. I could join sporting teams and given every opportunity the privileged 15% of people in the world get to experience.

Later in life, when I realized how privileged Americans were, I began to wonder what it must be like to be someone who wakes up to wonder if they would have food to eat, or where they might be sleeping. In our privileged culture we have the opportunity to experience such disparity by choice. That is, if a person over-extends themselves or entrepreneur experiences a venture collapse lifting oneself, or a family up from the bottom can be a traumatizing experience, but we still have the opportunity to do it again.

Anyone who’s trekked into the landscape of creating their own way, developing new ideas or companies, and mastering new ways of doing business will eventually encounter a roadblock, hit a wall, even experience complete destruction of well-thought-out plans. Every entrepreneur knows of the risks involved. It is often said, if you’re not ready to lose it all, you won’t have the strength to make it through. Those who’ve ever accomplished anything had to encounter pitfalls and failures. The failures, however, are not failures of self, but only lessons to direct the next step.

There are hundreds of examples. Here are a few you may or may not know:

~Soichiro Honda’s unique vision got him ostracized by the Japanese business community.

~R.H. Macy had a series of failed retail ventures throughout his early career.

~Colonel Harland David Sanders was fired from dozens of jobs before founding a fried chicken empire.

~Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything”.

~After Harrison Ford’s first small movie role, an executive took him into his office and told him he’d never succeed in the movie business.

~Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, had his first book rejected by 27 different publishers.

~A young Henry Ford ruined his reputation with a couple of failed automobile businesses.

~While developing his vacuum, Sir James Dyson went through 5,126 failed prototypes and his savings over 15 years.

~J.K. Rowling was a single mom living off welfare when she began writing the first “Harry Potter” novel.

(Business Insider online 2016)

These pitfalls are part of the process. Through my recent encounter with failure, I discovered the truth of what I’ve spoke about as a teacher. If one has access to water, the battle is half  solved. Having access to water and exercising is the foundation for a healthy life. Food can be found. In Hawaii, you can find many wild edible plants that are healthy and medicinal. Maintaining a healthy mind through it all is what keeps you going. It means letting go of attachment and expectations. Maintaining physical and mental health really is the primary force for living well. From there, one can use the strength to create anew.

I see many people with lots of “things” who can barely move and seem so uncomfortable in their body. In this fundamental knowing, I see the stark contrast of how we’ve created living in this material world. People who are fit and at their natural body weight do not need to each so much. It is the nutrient density of the food that determines the quantity. Wise ones know this. I eat a simple dish of dark greens and find fullness and vibrancy. If we as a species moved into this simple wisdom all our problems would be solved, but gluttony and external gratification have become the teaching methods of the young, so much so that there is a generation of people who know nothing else. It is also these attachments that puts stress on the one attempting to lay it on the line and risk it all for a new life.

Those who’ve been stripped of external things either move into wisdom or panic at the loss, and fall victim of ego control. Drugs, alcohol, complaining, and blaming will only continue the experience. A strong person can say, thank God I have the ability to make new choices, and I will start with the choice to appreciate my body and my ability to learn.

Helen Keller is one of my inspirational mentors. One of her many quotes: “Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.”

So if you find yourself in a state of deconstruction, read the stories of those who’ve been through it. Keep your head up. You’re not alone. There is a lot of deconstruction happening these days throughout the world. Cry when you need to. Let it out, then lift yourself up. Pray regularly and look for the signs. Perform a ritual to shed unwanted energy. Burn some sage around you and your home. Love yourself. This too shall pass.

Share the love.

Mahalo.

Leaving Los Angeles

It has been quite an adventure traveling to exotic places for six months, then returning to L.A. to earn money to travel off again. As native Angelinos, we’ve experienced the prosperity and the despair of this intense place from childhood into our adult life. Today, however, the continued glamorization of Southern California and reality television has increased the masses of people moving in, and as it happens the native families become extinct. Even yoga in Los Angeles has become a product of acrobatic fitness challenges and commercial magazines. All that being said, I couldn’t imagine growing up any other place. The areas we lived in Malibu, Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks brought us all the enjoyment of Zuma Beach, Santa Monica, Venice, Hermosa, Santa Barbara, the mountains, the cliffs, the music, movies and endless sunshine.

Venice-Beach Venice-Beach2

Even my career carried the spirit of Los Angeles with famous clientele, billionaire homes and parties, the flow of stimulation is endless. This megalopolis is massive and extends for nearly a hundred miles of Southern California’s coastline and stretches three hours inland. It is a collection of cities connected by the largest network of freeways in the world extending all the way to Ventura.

i-5-southern-california-traffic-map

For us, however, it is the endless stimulation, the constant hum of the city, freeways and air traffic which can no longer soothe the dreams of our adventurer spirit. Upon our last move out of L.A., we claimed it as our last. Leaving is like withdrawal from a good drug, but on the other side, it is knowing how the ensuing experience would be something completely new and exciting. We will always be L.A. babies, but it was time to release the umbilical cord, and yet keep the etheric connection to the magic and friends which created our experience and carry it forward.

Collage of Ca Cropped

For most people, a choice to move would start with a job search and job security in the transition. As in the case of the adventurers like us, the first step is to define the location of our highest joy and allow great spirit and the guiding light of our heart to lead the way and create the lifestyle and income.

Since our travels began in 2011, we have lived and relocated ten times. We eliminated our belongings to just a few suitcases and traveled with things, such as gear, clothes, three pairs of shoes each, and musical instruments small enough to fit in our suitcases. The moving has become a perfected routine, and with each move comes absolute gratitude for spiritual guidance. We’ve learned to use particular essential life tools to keep us in harmony with our desires. Our current desire is to settle long term. With our world travel experiences, we thought of several places we would like to relocate. We created a new vision board and mind movie to highlight a clear vision of our next move.

We know how well our skills in health and yoga can blend with a vacation retreat center. We decided to step it up and focus our intention on prosperity to realize this idea. When we ask for change, change will happen. We do our best not to judge how things are changing no matter how unforeseen. The ensuing months threw us right into a free-fall of unexpected events to the next phase of our vision.

While care-taking a 3 acre organic edible garden property in Puerto Rico, we were gifted with a vision for a business. We left the paradise we were experiencing to develop this idea further. During the process, we were swindled out of our money and experienced an ugly side of humanity. When the idea hit a wall and ran out of money we then experienced the proverbial “kick-em while they’re down” behavior from people around us, people we thought were our friends.

It turns out the intensity of it all actually helped us narrow our vision and strengthen our bonds even further. Anger propels intensity and fierce decision. Though I cursed god, I held fast to the knowing that the greatest of achievers have been in this position. I began to search for the perfect opportunity, low and behold. A man who had a large plot of land and built a home by himself on the big island of Hawaii was seeking trustworthy people who could care-take his property and also help turn it into a money making business while he travels abroad for a year or more. The connection seemed perfect.

Though we never met, we felt enough of a pull to make it happen. The Angels seemed to support this move and by mid October, we made it to Hawaii.

A month later and we are leaving. The merging didn’t work out. Even though we were sure this was the place, it was only the catalyst.  Tired and a bit weary, this phrase from the classic poem “The Invitation” rings in my ear… “It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.”

So with friends within reach, we move on.

On a side note,  it’s funny how the the idea of developing a great business opportunity comes a bit of sadness, sadness for what the dealing of business has caused us. We were quite happy on that little island before we had the “big idea.”  This in turn, reminds me that I am not a yogi.  Real yogi’s have no attachments and thus no desires for business, or a new computer, Twitter or Instagram. So as a yoga teacher, all I can do is utilize the lessons of yoga to get through the attachments we define ourselves as. We do our best to detach.. Sometimes we do. Sometimes we don’t. As we all know, life is happening now, a place in time on the vertical choice of our vibrations.

I guess you could call me a wandering angel, or a lost Angelino. I practice and study the lessons of yoga, play music, enjoy my creativity, nature, my body, and friendship. So in the tradition of the modern California yoga dude, allow me to extend an invitation to follow us as we progress into the evolution of our experience.

Angels from the west coast.

Aloha

~D