How have you been inspired by sacred activism and how does this concept relate to yoga?
Yoga is a form of sacred activism and I’ve been an activist all my life. My mentor, Andrew Harvey, is the father of sacred activism. He showed me that there are so many ways to positively mark the world and there is so much abundant energy you can give from yourself into just one small thing. What inspires me is to find a way to align our inner and outer actions, which is so central to yoga. We want to express creativity in a way that sustains new solutions, not just reflections of the same problem.
I started a campaign for Yoga Energy Activism — empowering yogis to respond to our current global energy crisis by observing an Energy Regeneration Day: a day without phones, computers, TV or electricity. A healthy break from technology helps restore both our planet and ourselves. It’s a chance to reconnect with friends, loved ones, tune in with our bodies and go for zero waste. It’s liberating and offers amazing clarity.
Yogis are mindful and already understand the concepts of retreat and sustaining energy. Energy Regeneration Day applies these concepts to the planet, putting us in tune with how we use energy among thousands of other beings. When you sign up to be a Yoga Energy Ambassador, your individual actions connect to the collective. It’s about celebration and letting natural energy power the world.
You founded the Global Mala Project whose purpose to unite the global yoga community. How has this initiative helped bring the millions of yoga practitioners around the world together?
Global Mala Project is present in over 40 countries, in so many yoga communities around the world. It’s been amazing. September 21 is the UN’s International Peace Day — a call for ceasefire in the over 40 wars on the planet and for one day to experience a vision of peace. Our first Global Mala was in LA with hundreds of studios and thousands of classes. You look left and look right and see who we are as a community. You’re raising money for charity and experiencing the power of yoga for cultivating a real collective consciousness. Global Mala is about getting the power of yoga within the individual to generate community action. So often we lead separate lives, but yoga is about union.
What healing powers of yoga have you experienced or witnessed?
Sahaja — the spontaneous flow of yoga — is all around us. It happens naturally on its own. Animals do their own yoga, look at the way a cat stretches, it’s in tune with what their bodies need. During my teacher training last weekend, I met a woman fighting breast and brain cancer. I taught her how to connect to the state of sahaja within herself and this new way of moving in yoga activated her healing response to the after effects of radiation. Stress hormones, illness, trying to get pregnant — these can create negative accumulations in our blood stream but yoga activates the innate healing intelligence.
What can attendees expect from your classes at the upcoming Wanderlust at the Fillmore and Wanderlust California?
They’ll experience yoga unleashed. I’ve been teaching yoga for 22 years and go to India every year to help me stay very in touch with the roots of yoga as a path to freedom. I’ve studied the repression of free-form music and the power of movement in dance — the Fillmore is the epicenter of this. We’re going to evolve consciousness through the power of yoga and music. Wanderlust brings them together so they can meet in the pulse of the human heart.