MC Yogi tours and performs regularly with a yoga and lifestyle festival called Wanderlust. A few years ago, I was booked to stilt in Aspen while Wanderlust was in town. Still in my Uncle Sam garb, I caught the homestretch (om stretch?) of MC Yogi's set. Believing he called out Uncle Sam at one point, I eagerly hopped up on stage. The conscious rapper was soon mashing up the Beatles tune “Let It Be” and I started singing along. Seeing that I knew the tune, he passed me the mic for a refrain or two. It was an auspicious first meeting.
MC Yogi recently released his autobiography Spiritual Graffiti. I just finished listening to the Audible audiobook version the other day, shedding a few happy tears along the way and appreciating the lyricist's trademark perspective and delivery. Spiritual Graffiti namaslays – get the down dog lowdown via the book's Om page below:)
SPIRITUAL GRAFFITI OM PAGE
Jack Cuneo isn't normally attracted to large crowds. But the Kindness Yoga teacher is making an exception for Yoga Rocks the Park.
“It’s always a magical time,” said Cuneo. “There’s just something about the experience of practicing and cultivating healthy habits alongside such a big and diverse group of people. I’m usually an introverted person, but I love it. To be honest, it gives me a little bit more faith in the world.”
Bali is one of three countries author Elizabeth Gilbert visits in her popular travel memoir Eat Pray Love. Actress Julia Roberts portrays Gilbert in the film adaptation. News flash: The book is better (surprise, surprise). Still, the Balinese landscape shines (Location Oscar, anyone?). Lindsay Gonzalez first watched the movie version on her virgin flight to the breathtaking Indonesian province. She was equally entertained by what was happening offscreen.
Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula isn't just for alcohol-fueled college kids. Less than 80 miles from Cancun, you can imbibe a fresh coconut and practice mermaid pose on a quiet beach. “A lot of people associate the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico with the big, touristy resorts of Cancun,” explains Kindness Yoga instructor Ginny Biddle. “Maya Tulum is intimate and quiet. It's located on a pristine stretch of Caribbean coast near the eco-friendly village of Tulum. Tulum's safe, has a great vibe and offers tons of yoga and healthy food. It's also near 1000 year-old Mayan ruins and the 1.3 million-acre Sian-Ka'an Nature Reserve.”
Touch is vital. Research by The University of Miami's Touch Research Institute indicates that actual/tangible human contact has myriad physical and emotional benefits for all age groups. In Institute studies, touch minimized pain, lowered blood glucose and improved both pulmonary and immune function. Sadly, many Americans are touch-deprived. Jen Cameron is not among them.
Jack Cuneo doesn't technically remember his first time seeing “Star Wars.” “My earliest memories of 'Star Wars' are actually from an audio cassette of 'Episode IV: A New Hope,'” recalls Cuneo. “George Lucas donated the rights to NPR and they adapted the script for the radio. I played that cassette over and over every night as I fell asleep.”
According to a March article in The Huffington Post, Alaska is the only state with more yoga studios per capita than Colorado. With so many options available in Denver alone, how does a Mile High yogi—especially one of countless recent newcomers—decide where to unroll his or her mat? Enter: Friday Night Yoga Club. “We've gone from about 10 dates last season to 20 this year,” says FNYC founder Erik Vienneau. “Every night has a different instructor and musician and meets at a unique studio. So in one season you can see most of Denver's favorite instructors, musicians/DJs and venues all at the same event.”
Lena Dunham isn't exactly the epitome of physical fitness. Yet the writer and star of HBO's Girls shared her enthusiasm for acroyoga in a March 12 interview with David Letterman. Referring to a photo of herself balancing upside down on Koha Yoga teacher Whakapaingia (“Whaka” for short), Dunham educated the now-retired late show host. “That is called acroyoga. Believe it or not, that takes a lot of core strength. I say this with a lot of self-love: Behind the wall of fat, my stomach muscles are doing a lot. If I was this adventuresome in my early 20s, I would've had a better time in the boyfriend department.”
Jennifer Lux is a curator of connection. “I am a connector/networker at my core,” says Lux. “At every yoga studio I've practiced at since the late 90s, I've quickly gotten to know and love the owners. Working initially to promote local teacher trainings, I started supporting social media efforts and customer experience for two Denver yoga studios. I was asked to support Yoga Rocks the Park Denver in 2010, along with Friday Night Yoga Club and Colorado Yoga Events. I helped grow YRP nationally until it was sold.”
David Michael Scott is the outdoor type. “I started kayaking with my dad when I was seven years old,” remembers the Kindness Yoga teacher and wilderness guide. “I had a lot of social issues as a child and I wasn’t much for team sports. My father recognized that the wilderness would have a calming effect on my hyperactive personality and that I needed a solo sport that we could do together. I kayaked in my first race when I was nine. The life vest I wore was so big on me that when I turned to look from side to side, I would have to look through the arm holes.”
Stress. It can motivate our finest moments—adrenaline-fueled superhuman strength has saved individuals pinned by 3,000 pound vehicles—or give us gray hair prematurely (see every President ever). Most people react to environmental stressors in a kind of involuntary, knee-jerk manner. There is a better way, though. Think of your brain as an animal that can be trained. Just as intentionally smiling or laughing can actually positively enhance your mood, curating your thoughts and thought patterns can radically and dramatically transform your daily reality.
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW