Gaia and Yoga Journal have narrowed down their search for this summer’s Live Be Yoga Tour ambassadors to the final six applicants.
Beginning in April, the Live Be Yoga Tour will visit more than 50 yoga studios, festivals, and events across the United States to show how yoga is transforming lives both on and off the mat. The open call for tour ambassadors closed at the end of January and garnered interest from more than 450 men and women from all over the world—including more than 25 countries and 40 states—spanning ages 18 to 70.
“The overwhelming numbers and cross-section of yoga practitioners who responded are amazing,” said Jaymi Bauer, Gaia’s chief marketing officer. “It’s truly a confirmation of what we at Gaia and Yoga Journal believe: Yoga as a lifestyle has taken root across North America.”
The Live Be Yoga Tour will take place from April through September of this year. At each stop, the tour will ask yogis to share on camera their inspiring stories of how they discovered yoga in the studio, at home, and elsewhere; how it transforms their lives; and how they continue to find life balance through living their yoga. The Live Be Yoga Tour will also discover and spotlight the country’s most talented yoga teachers and top locations for yoga practice, retreats, and teacher trainings.
“The people who raised their hands to say, ‘I want to represent the tour,’ were a diverse group—singles, couples, co-workers, and even a few pairs of twins,” said Carin Gorrell, Yoga Journal’s editor in chief. “Some of the applicants were yoga instructors or studio owners, but many weren’t working in the industry at all—they were chefs or engineers or doctors. It’s a reflection of how broad and varied a group yoga practitioners are.”
The final selection of two ambassadors will be made in the coming weeks, as the tour’s full schedule is also being finalized. The Live Be Yoga Tour will begin at Yoga Journal LIVE! New York on April 6, and end at Yoga Journal LIVE! Colorado, in Estes Park, in September.
The #LiveBeYoga movement can be followed online at yogajournal.com/livebeyoga, where viewers will be able to access exclusive content, interviews, and teachings.
About Yoga Journal
Founded in 1975 by members of the California Yoga Teachers Association, Yoga Journal (yogajournal.com) offers all practitioners—from beginners to masters—expert information on how to live a healthier, happier, more fulfilling life both on and off the mat. Every day, Yoga Journal engages its print, online, and live audience with top teacher insights and in-depth reporting on poses, breathing, meditation, nutrition, health, trends, and more. Always informative and inspiring, the magazine’s welcoming, inclusive point of view puts every reader in front of the world’s best teachers. With 12 international editions spanning 28 countries, and five national live events annually, Yoga Journal is the world’s largest and most influential yoga brand.
Gaia, previously Gaiam TV, is a streaming-video subscription service offering exclusive streaming conscious-media content. Gaia’s library contains more than 7,000 films, documentaries, yoga practices and original programs to guide its viewers on their journeys of personal growth, spirituality, and seeking truth. Gaia offers members the unique capability to download content for offline viewing. Gaia is currently available on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, Google Chromecast, and Roku. For more information, visit Gaia.com.
A group of Western yoga practitioners are packing their mats, heading across the equator and 9,000ft up into the Andes to receive direct training in ancient shamanism as used by the Inca. The Q’ero people of southern Peru are direct descendants of the Inca who fled from the Conquistadores high into the mountains 500 years ago. Remaining isolated from the rest of Peru and the Americas until 1955 the Q’ero continued to live and breathe their traditional language (Quechua), lifestyle, religion and healing practices. The Q’ero medicine men and women, “paqos” are traditionally charged with keeping their beliefs and practices alive. The paqos are considered the spokespeople of the earth and offer ceremonies to give thanks to Pachamama (universe mother).
Why are modern American yogis interested in Incan shamanism? Ray Crist, founder of the Jaguar Path, explains, “Yoga and shamanism are both technologies. Each was created by humans, for humans, to help us break though and let go of repetitious behavioral patterns that hold us back in life. Introducing shamanic techniques into our yoga practice accelerates our evolution and increases personal power. These practices allow us to expand into new ways of being, physically, mentally and spiritually.” Crist created the Jaguar Path in 2007 to explore the intersection of yoga and shamanism and credits both for his recovery from life threatening cancer.
Since his recovery Crist has been training yoga teachers in the US to use shamanic tools he learned directly from the Q’ero through an innovative 9-month training program in the Berkshires that Alberto Villoldo (author or Shaman, Healer, Sage) called, “An extraordinary life-changing workshop”. Jen Schubert, Sr. Recovery Specialist, a graduate of the Jaguar Path training clarifies how the two technologies work together, “Yoga and shamanism are both designed to help us change our perception of the world and ourselves. My yoga practice has given me clarity and the ability to live more fully from my heart, adding the shamanic work Ray teaches allowed me to see how to take this off my mat and offer it directly to everyone I meet”.
In September (4-11) 2015 for the first time Crist is opening the Jaguar Path “Shaman’s Intensive” training in Peru’s Sacred Valley working directly with the Q’ero paqos in their own land. Travellers will learn advanced shamanic techniques including Soul Retrievals, redefining destiny lines, using chuntas for cord cutting, divination and other ancient healing practices. Crist will lead a daily morning Jaguar Yoga practice amongst the mystical Andeans mountains designed to open body and mind to be more receptive to assimilating new knowledge and tap into higher states of consciousness. All participants will be initiated as a “Pampo Mesayoc” by the Q’ero Elder Don Sebastian Flores.
About the Jaguar Path:
Founded in 2007 by Ray Crist the Jaguar Path offers educational travels and training programs in yoga and shamanism to create empowered healers and liberated individuals who walk with compassion and self-confidence. For more information on this unique trip visit http://jaguarpath.wordpress.com/expeditions/shamans-intensive/
The American Meditation Institute (AMI) in Averill Park, New York will host Leonard Perlmutter’s 15th annual “Heart and Science of Yoga™” summer intensive retreat July 16-19, 2015. This CME accredited foundation course for self-care will present an extensive curriculum of Yoga Science as mind/body medicine including topics on meditation, stress and pain management, breathing, easy-gentle yoga, Ayurveda, Yoga psychology, immortality and nutrition. The weekend retreat is designed for first-time or experienced meditators, and offers 18 continuing medical education credits for physicians, nurses and psychologists. Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev), AMI founder, noted educator and author of the award-winning book The Heart And Science of Yoga: A Blueprint for Peace, Happiness And Freedom from Fear will present all course components.
This intensive “Heart and Science of Yoga”™ course presents a comprehensive training in the world’s most effective holistic mind/body medicine and explains its scientific foundation. Noted physicians Dr. Oz (Mehmet Oz MD), Dean Ornish MD, Bernie Siegel MD and Larry Dossey MD have endorsed the curriculum being offered. The American Medical Association, American Nurses Association and the American Psychological Association provide medical accreditation credits for health care practitioners in attendance.
As part of AMI’s “Yoga of Medicine” program, this weekend intensive will include the following areas of study: an easy meditation procedure; a systematic method for harnessing the power of the mind; breathing practices to enhance the immune system; an understanding of the creative benefits of mantra science; Ayurvedic health principles; easy-gentle yoga exercises for joints, glands and internal organs; and the benefits of contemplation and prayer. The entire agenda is designed to encourage active participant interaction by combining engaging lectures, practicums and Q&A; in a concentrated three-day format. Leonard Perlmutter’s 38 years of personal study and teaching will provide all attendees, regardless of the level of experience, a complete set of meditation tools that can relieve stress, reduce pain, boost the immune system, heal relationships, enhance problem solving abilities, and help them experience greater health, happiness, creativity and security.
Meditation master Leonard Perlmutter (Ram Lev) has taught on the faculties of the New England Institute of Ayurvedic Medicine, the Himalayan Yoga Teachers Association and the College of Saint Rose. He is a disciple of holistic health pioneer Swami Rama of the Himalayas, the Yoga scientist who, in laboratory conditions at the Menninger Institute, demonstrated that blood pressure, heart rate and the autonomic nervous system could be voluntarily controlled. Leonard has presented courses at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the Albany Medical College, the Commonwealth Club of California, “The New York Times” Yoga Forum with Dean Ornish, MD, and the United States Military Academy at West Point.
According to Leonard Perlmutter, “Human beings are not merely physical bodies. We are breathing and thinking beings also––living with complex thoughts, desires and emotions. Our individual achievement of optimal health does not begin with a lower health insurance premium. First and foremost, human wellness requires a reliable blueprint for mind/body self-care. With active and discriminating participation in our own health management, we can form a healing partnership with our physicians––and stop working against our own best interests.”
Meditation is the unifying thread throughout all Mr. Perlmutter’s lectures. The word meditation is related to the root word for medical or medicate. It implies a sense of attending to or paying attention to something. Meditation involves an inner attention that is concentrated, quiet and relaxed. Mr. Perlmutter teaches attendees how to consciously let go of their habitual tendencies to think, analyze, solve problems, and dwell on events of the past or concerns for the future. Students learn to slow down their rapid succession of thoughts and feelings, and replace that mental activity with an inner awareness or mindfulness. They learn how to witness and set aside stressful mental processes, such as worrying. Instead, they develop a valuable new skill that facilitates detachment, discrimination, willpower and creativity.
The stress, anxiety, speed and dissatisfaction associated with many aspects of our modern culture, has led individuals from all walks of life and religious traditions to practice meditation in order to reduce their physical, mental and emotional dis-ease. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, everyday lifestyle choices are responsible for 53 percent of all disease. According to Perlmutter, “Sound decisions concerning a beneficial diet, healthy nutrition, daily exercise, diaphragmatic breathing and lifestyle selection are all much easier to make when the mind is trained through meditation.”
About the American Meditation Institute
The American Meditation Institute is a 501(c)3 non-profit educational organization devoted to the teaching and practice of Yoga Science, meditation and its allied disciplines as mind/body medicine. In its holistic approach to wellness, AMI combines the healing arts of the East with the practicality of modern Western science. The American Meditation Institute offers a wide variety of classes, retreats, and teacher training programs. AMI also publishes Transformation, a bi-monthly journal of meditation as holistic mind/body medicine.
Unlike books on yoga that provide instruction on technique, Going Om: Real-Life Stories on and off the Yoga Matis a unique collection of never-before-seen personal narratives from celebrated authors. This anthology values the quality of writing over the authors’ flexibility. With candid, witty and compelling experiences of yoga from renowned memoirists, including forewordist Cheryl Strayed, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Wild, Going Om shares a range of observations about this popular practice.
Melissa Carroll has created a collection in Going Om that features a multitude of talented writers and yogis. One in particular named Emily Rapp, a memoirist and former Fullbright scholarship recipient, who shares how yoga helped her battle with anorexia. She provides an excerpt on Ravishly.com, a place to share her story with the world and how yoga has bettered her life in every aspect.
“Perhaps that’s the reason I admire the essays in this collection so deeply. Like shavasana, they seem to be one thing—writers on the subject of yoga—but really they’re another: profound examinations of what it means to be human. In these essays there are funny stories, sad stories, moving stories, and real stories. In sharing their experiences with us, each of these writers have tapped into the universal questions that we’re confronted with when we get ourselves down on the mat. Questions about humility and determination. Simplicity and acceptance. About moving forward, doing the work, and most of all, receiving with equanimity what comes next on breath at a time.”
—Cheryl Strayed, author of #1 New York Times Bestseller Wild
“Going Om is the literary equivalent of dropping in on class to find all your favorite yoga writers packed in there on their mats. Just like our bodies, every essay here is wildly unique—some are graceful, some are sexy, a few might make you cry—the only constant being the diverse ways these writer’s lives interact with their practice.”
—Benjamin Lorr, author of Hell-Bent: Obsession, Pain, and the Search for Something Like Transcendence in Competitive Yoga
Ms Carroll shares her story on Ravishly.com.
Melissa Carroll is a writer and yoga instructor who believes in the power of being present. Based in Tampa, she guides more than 200 students every week at the largest yoga class in Florida. Melissa leads yoga and creative writing retreats all over the world, and teaches creative writing at the University of Tampa. Melissa is the author of the chapbook The Karma Machine, and her work has appeared in many literary journals and magazines. Discover more at http://www.MelissaCarrollYoga.com.