Friday, March 4, 2011

Cycle of Life: Announcing birth and death at the same time.

(2011-     )

I decided to write about both of these topics at the same time today.  Most of my friends and readers are expecting me to write and post photos of my new baby girl!  This I will discuss.  Many of my piers and students are expecting me to write something about Larry Schultz; my guru, my friend, my inspiration and the greatest lose I have ever had in my life.  At 30 years old I found myself lucky to have not lost many friends.  This one came way too soon and on the same day my daughter was born.  This is the cycle of life.

The birth of my baby girl "Lua Nox Kyle-Sallaberry" was @ 7:58pm on February 26th, 2011.  She weighed 8lbs and 15oz, but the feeling of weight lifted off my shoulders was like the world disappeared completely.  I had been informed of Larry's condition a few days before.  My heart and hope was strong that Larry would recover.  I knew he would recover for sure.  I could feel that he would be fine.  Around 7:00pm on the same night my daughter was born, I received a call from the cell phone of Larry's wife... I declined the call at that moment...I knew what the call was for and could not shift my attention from the crown of my child's head as my wife pushed through the final phase of birth.  I wanted Larry to be the Godfather of Baby Lua.  I had purchased this outfit for her to share with Larry... I know he is loving it right now!
The "Rocket Baby" It was a surprise for you Larry!

I want to see this as a day of birth and celebration for rest of my life.  Larry must have know this.  This must be why this day was chosen.  This day marked a re-birth of my guru Larry Schultz.  "Maha Samadhi" as some would say.

Two very special things happened on 02/26/2011.  In the past I would never hold any of my friends babies.  Because of this I was 30 years old before holding a baby and it was my baby girl.  I cried at that moment. I feel deeply in love with her immediately.

I was also told on that day that my worst fear had manifested itself.  My beloved teacher was being released from life support and would be left to smoothly and naturally transition into his next stage.  I have never had anyone extremely close to me die before.  30 years old and I cried again for the first time over the death of a loved one.

Larry taught me many lessons that run so much deeper than how to touch my toes... who can really teach someone that anyway.  We learn asana through our own efforts.  But lessons on life and how to react to things that leave you confused; how to reach for things you don't even know exisist... this is the job of the guru.  This is what Larry Schultz taught me.  He told me to write.  Many things I write will never go further than my mind and a hidden page.  He told me to share.  For now on I promise you Larry.... this I will share.  All that I write.   

Lawrence Schultz (1950 -2011) was a great teacher to who refused to let anyone look further than themselves to find all the right questions.. .answers come and go...  Answers change.  But the core questions in life stay the same.  These questions will lead us in the right direction.  Like a true Great Master he has encourage a revolution in the yoga world.  Everyone knows him unless they are blind or clearly lack knowledge of the modern yoga world.  Vinyasa was Larry's canvas and as a masterful artist he established many of the foundations of the practice as it is viewed by the westerner today.   His practice merged the traditional and Neo-yoga worlds causing many students to be turned on to both at the same time.  He was a gateway to the individuals sense of self discovery.

Larry created the system and philosophy of It's Yoga.  This is a clear guidance to a particular lifestyle that is supported by the practice and sharing of Ashtanga Yoga.  Those of us that are deeply emerged into this lifestyle run It's Yoga studios around the world.  Larry facilitated the opening of 15+ yoga studios in the last 20 years.  Many are still open today.  This would definitely cut him short to stop there.   Many more studios are considered associates to the It's Yoga system  this means they use the It's Yoga system for their classes or sometimes they use the It's Yoga teacher training system for developing effective and professional yoga teachers in the Ashtanga Yoga lineage.  Larry has easily influence the opening of over 100 yoga studios either directly or indirectly.  Hes has trained 1000's of yoga teachers and it would be impossible to count how many students/teachers have passed through his classes in San Francisco.  Larry was a teacher like no other.  He did not travel the world to gain popularity... he stayed in his studio and taught and practiced everyday for over 17 years!  I personally was there to witness this amazing show of strength and determination that does not come around to just any one.  This was a special man.  If you wanted what he had to offer; you had to be willing to search for it.

Over the past 9 years I have been assisting Larry to spread his vision.  One quote he loved to say was  "One Million Yoga Teachers To Cure The World!"  He really wanted this.  Larry wanted to cure the world by spreading the message and practice of yoga.  This is also something I promise to Larry.  I will help to spread this message of yoga.  I will continue to spread his lessons that have so deeply impacted my life like so many others.  People will not be able to deny the purity and empowerment that is created by Larry Schultz Yoga.  Purity and empowerment for both the students who practice and the teachers who use it to facilitate their inner being.  Thank you Larry... I could not say those three words enough.
The eyes are the gateway to the soul

The amount of inspiration that poured from this fountain of youth was enough to stir movement in the souls of thousands of us when we heard the news of Larry's passing..transition .. re-birth.   As I'm sure many of us have cried... we have also laughed in the past few days... and when all is said and done.. Laughter will be the thought that stands out the most.  Those of us who know Larry... know Larry had a very particular laugh.  You can hear it now.  He had nicknames for us all.  He knew how to enjoy a good class of wine and always had San Francisco's finest medical marijuana.  Whether it was from his own garden or a gift of sacred herbal sacrament.
Larry in a "sea of green"

 We all love Larry.  Because he allowed us to be who we are.  We could all see ourselves in Larry.  I know I should keep my thoughts more to what I have gained from my days with Larry... i cant help but cry because of what I have lost.

My daughter is going to be influence by this man as well.  Again, I feel the closeness of these two events are too much for me to ignore.  There is a strong lesson in this.  Larry love children.  Larry will be my baby girls protector.  There are many more to teach on the other side.  Larry will become the "Guru of the Dead" Not just because he taught the Grateful Dead, but because he will continue to be the guru in this new realm of existence.  I feel good with this image in my head.  Seems like a new job has been given to the soul we call Larry Schultz.  He must have completed his mission here earlier than we ready.  But will any of us ever truly be ready for death?  With the practice of yoga.. we will.  We will be ready to surrender and accept the transition to a higher place.  I know Larry was ready.  I know he assisted my wife and baby girl into their transition.  A mother and father was born on that day as well.  Inside Elizabeth and myself a new life began.  I will never forget the sight of her taking her first few breaths.  The beauty and desperation.  Must be the same way for death.
Larry knew how to live life and this is what he taught.

This is a process that will take time.  Even as a yogi who searches for the ever present moment.  Time has me confined to its one-way linear pattern.  I wonder what kind of ticket you would get for driving the wrong way on this road?  Just real quick so I could say a few things... but not right now.

As Larry once said with his famous lines on yoga practice that really reflects the meaning of life....

"Everybody is trying to take the bind and hold on.... just let go..."

with love and gratitude

David Kyle
"Baby Bull"



Monday, February 21, 2011

Bow Down To the Yoga Teacher - Newsweek

Bow Down To the Yoga Teacher - Newsweek

Thought I might share this one! Thought it makes some people think a little about whats going on in the yoga world. I think anything is a step in the right direction. Everyone finds their nitch...and in the long run, most people who truely disagree with these types of teachers tend to find themselves in a Ashtanga Yoga room moving towards Mysore practice. Thats where all the cream and fluff is removed and we have to drink that straight up and black and no sugar!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

....It's A Rocket! What is this rebel yogi style that is sweeping across the world

For every different type of person, there is a type of yoga that will fit them perfectly.  Anyone who says yoga is not for them is someone who has either given up looking or simply is afraid to start because they know the ultimate result of yoga is to transform and change.  To leave behind the old and shift into the a higher state.

So lets say your like me... You like to work with your body and enjoy the empowerment that unfolds as you challenge yourself to do things that some call impossible.  You like to dance, rock climb,  and enjoy playing just about any sport with your friends.

Then I promise your going to Love the Rocket!!!  This is the only style of yoga that really encourages the individual student to reach for the stars!  How else would your reach the moon and stars in anything but a Rocket!

The Rocket is a particular vinyasa sequence that has between 1-3 levels of advancement.  Like most vinyasa practices having some knowledge of the moving a breathing system of Ashtanga yoga is important but any teacher trained specifically in the Rocket style can easily introduce you to the style.

Larry Schultz coined the Rocket style when he took his teachings from Pattabhi Jois and modified the practice for westerners, then gave freedom to the students, which had been taken away from us by the elitist traditionalists of the practice.  This is how the It's Yoga lotus flower began to unfold.

His first shift to the sequence was an old tradition started by Krishnamacharya, the Father of modern yoga.  This shift allowed Larry to string the traditional Ashtanga standing series by putting all the postures on one side first.  Then repeating the postures on the 2nd side... instead of doing right side followed immediately by the left side.  This was done to increase they sympathetic nervous system stimulation and wake up a "nation of zombies".  Thats what most people in the US are.

Starting the standing sequence with Utkatasana and shifting into a Bakasana and handstand right in the beginning is a true statement to the style Rocket yoga upholds.  People who love to stand on their hands and push the body to the limit love the advance Rocket classes.

Larry's Rocket yoga classes have probably inspired more vinyasa classes out there than you could imagine.  Bikram was once quoted in Yoga Journal saying that "Larry Schultz is the creator of Power Yoga."  Larry was mixing up the vinyasa series before anyone even thought about it... thats why hes known as "The Bad Man" of Ashtanga Yoga.

The seated series is what distinguishes the level of the practice.  Primary series is used for beginners and 2nd series along with the 3,4, and 5th series are for the advanced students.  This is what is what is so attractive to this system!!!  Larry gives it all!!!

You can find Rocket Teachers now all over the world... just start asking.  Any if you can't find any then check out It's Yoga Puerto Rico or Larry Schultz to sign up for the next teacher training and share your love of the practice!


Yogi D

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Best Place to Stay in Rincon, Puerto Rico

Tres Sirenas Beach Front Inn

This is all you need to know for your next Caribbean vacation!  The sound of the waves will defiantly slide you right into sleep and encourage you to stay in bed a little longer than usual.

I also have to call attention to Lisa and Harry the owners for keeping absolutely amazing grounds!  I tend to wake up early being the yogi around town, but Harry gives so much love to his space that hes awake before everyone personally preparing the grounds and watering the plants so the fresh smell of Puerto Rico is sent into ultimate morning freshness every day!

The breakfast will blow your mind... Its fresh made for the guest with dishes like banana french toast with fresh fruit and juice!  Just the right amount of sense stimulation to go with your ocean view breakfast.

There is a private pool and space to roll out your mat with a few friends for all you yogis, but the 1-2 mile strip of white sand beach to walk is of course the major attraction.  Goes well with the easy attitude of Rincon. 

Stand-up paddle boarding is good for the beach... much smaller waves in comparison to the other well know big wave sure beaches that are close by.

Hope to get to make it... .Tell Lisa and Harry that Elizabeth and David say "Hello"


Yoga D

Monday, January 24, 2011

David's Introduction to Yoga!

I found this page I wrote for someone who wanted me to explain my introduction to yoga.  I always answer these a little different each time even though its always really the same.

What yoga means to me will always change as I become more comfortable with who I am, but how I was introduced to yoga will forever be the same.  This means its a good thing to think about as much as you can.  How did you get to the things you love.  What was the path and how are you going to continue to expand upon that original goal!


Davids’ Introduction to Yoga

To really pin point the moment when the seed of yoga was planted into my consciousness almost seems impossible.  Over time the meaning and experience of yoga has been becoming larger and more expansive than I could have ever imagined.  As for right now I can not even see the horizon. 

We know yoga both as “Union” as well as “Separation”.  Union with what most of us could say is the unknown.  Union with the godhead, Atma and Brahma, or joining the lower self with the higher self.  In order for this to take place we must also separate or detach from our conditioned minds.  Turn off or remove the thinking mind.  This is yoga at its core, but not how yoga was introduced to most of us or myself.

Although since a very young age I became interested in philosophical writings and mystical experiences, the idea and term yoga did not present itself to me until I was already in my early 20’s.  I was lucky enough to be asked to join my girlfriend at the time to take a yoga class with her.  I had never really understood what happened in yoga rooms.  I figured it was a room of old people practicing headstands.  From an early age I had become fascinated with Break Dancing and the acrobatic skills they used in their style of dance.  Due to this my ego around physical activities like head standing was very large and I felt it was ridicules for me to join a class full of people who were learning how to stretch and balance.  Luckily my love for my girlfriend was greater than my ego and I happily joined a Yoga class that was called “The Rocket”.  I was told it would be exciting and challenge me.  The name seemed to follow this idea and made me curious to see what would happen next.  Long story short… My ego was broken on that first class as I melted onto my mat and dripped away all of my insecurities that were filling my life as I sweated and prayed with my first Ashtanga Yoga class! 

Addiction could be a term that follows the excitement that grips someone who has found yoga.  Also for me a sense of confirmation that I was not alone in the world of curiosity and wonder about this life we live.  I immediately immersed myself into the yoga world and signed up for the first intensive training I could find.  I not only wanted to learn this amazing practice…I wanted to share it with everyone I knew!!!  This practice has moved me through an experience of life that can only be viewed by me as yoga teaches everyone to follow their own paths and see the world through their own eyes.  This practice is a gift that has been given down from generation to generation.  I want to help continue this receiving and giving process as long as I can. 

Living a certain lifestyle is what yoga has given me in response to continuous practice and service to the self.  Enjoying the smells of nature as we walk through life.  Never spending more time going versus just being where you need to be.  Staying warm and full of vitality to keep yourself inspired and to keep inspiring those around you. 

Yoga has given me a strong base to bring a beautiful baby girl into this world and share with her all the wonderful things I have seen and done in my life.  So one day she can tell me what the meaning of life is.  My family is now my yoga.  Im sure the meaning of yoga will grow and change over time, but that first introduction of yoga will remain the same.  Yoga is not what you think it is…. Yoga is only what you feel. 

Enjoy your Day!
Yogi D

Meditation Vs. Hallucination Vs. Over Active Imagination...or Sleep

That's right...going for the battle of 'tion' words today.  I decided to write a little about my opinion on "meditation" and the vast misunderstanding that surrounds its definition as a practice versus a result or response to a practice.

First I would like to share my definition of meditation and its source. Mediation or Dhyana is the effortless and "continuous flow" of consciousness between the meditator and the object of meditation.       (the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translated by Swami Satchidnanada)

For a little personal opinion this means there is no presence of mind in meditation.  Mind is a term we use for the action of the brain like thoughts, memory, emotion, will, and imagination.  The brain is the organ.. the mind is the idea of an individual information processing center that is exclusive to the person.  The brain is what takes in the information from the external world and the mind makes sense of it.  By saying it makes sense; we are saying that we can experience and agree upon something especially if we are talking about external experiences that can easily be shared.

All of this jazz about the mind is to show that the true experience of meditation goes against the normal definition of what the mind does.  We can not experience complete absorption with an object or idea when the mind is continuously engaged with what is going on around us and inside of us.  Most people need to focus on "Concentration" or Dharna.  For most of us this is the limb that is being practiced when people say they are meditating.  This is a good place to be for a long time and it will lead the individual towards the state of release of the mind and allow meditation to set in.

In meditation everything you view as the world both external and internal become null and void.  Neti Neti.  Not this not that.  Because of this definition I ask why would someone even pretend to be able to describe this experience within the context and language of the ego and mind.  Some are poetic interpretations of what they experienced, but this leads the individual more towards either Hallucination or Over Active Imagination.  Unless there are other substances present I would lean towards OAI (over active imagination).  Most people would be very direct if there was a substance based hallucination going on, but it is possible to have hallucinations with out the influence of substance.  In fact we call this a dream :)  So is this color description we have all be told by our friends or teachers a reality that is accessible to all or is it just like a dream that is exclusive the ego who inhabits that particular mind?

The truth is that most of us practice concentration and meditation becomes a response to the practice meditation.  If someone says they practice meditation and begins to describe a list of visualization, breathing, or asana techniques then I have to argue that they are not doing or practicing meditation, but only doing the practice (concentration) that will help them find this meditation.  Include the Buddhists who sit in silence as well...if they are only practicing the concentration techniques.  Meditation is the result not the practice and the goal is to accomplish the absorption experience.  Not one practice is better or worse.  They all have their science with yoga asana, silent concentration, mantra repetition, breath control, serious dancing, psychedelic drugs, or even athletes or warriors where the individual  is completely mentally invested in a specific action or goal.  We all will understand and feel the lose of time and space.

 If people want to really educate individuals then all the steps should be discussed.  It seems to me that people are trying to describe their action by their intended result.  The practice of yoga should not be described by the experience of yoga and the experience of yoga should not be described as the practice.  The are directly related but easily confused as the same but distinctly different.  Students should start with the practice so the experience is more easily assimilated into their lives. Practice allows the student to experience these things.  We are moving directly towards the experience with no practice is similar to simple minded faith. 

What would be the best route for people to begin this journey... Are the students not suppose to climb the mountain to get answers to there questions or would it be ok to take a helicopter tour up to the top for $9.99?

What is meditation to you friends?  Is it nothing or deep revelation?  Is it Hallucination or Over Active Imagination.. or are we all just asleep... like walking zombies dreaming whatever we want?


Yogi D

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Going Home: What this means for the external world and internal world.

As a traveler..small scale, but I did clear the platinum status with American Airlines last year;  I find that no matter how much I love the place that im in... Im ready to go home after a few weeks.  Some people are able to travel for months on end with their lives on their backs and in their bags, but I prefer to have a home to store my things.  A quiet place that is only for me and my closest family and friends.   When I return home there is a calm that washes over me as I reside in the one place that is truly my domain.  Soon to be a place that I can come home to a full family.

Often times we refer to our bodies in the yoga practice as a temple.  The asana is a cleansing practice to keep our bodies pure. Pure enough to be attractive to the gods themselves.  Strong, supple, and capable.

Meditation is the process of coming back to the original home.  Moving deeper into the same calm and quite space that is always inside us.  This is a space where you are truly a master of your domain.  Like a mobile home your mind is a place that you can use as refuge from the chaos that surrounds us.  Yoga will make you mind orderly and set a tone to keep yourself steady and easy at all time.

We can use the practice to get us into our bodies, then we have to deal with the body.  Once the body is prepared... once the body and mind have been made a hospitable place, then your true self can move in!  We can let the ego be a roommate for a little while, but eventually he will have to move out with the rest of the toxins!

Home sweet Home


Yogi D

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Are we celebrating the beginning or the end? Happy New Years Post 2011

Does it really matter?

One of the most beautiful memory I have is my wedding day.  As I stood poised with a glow of success and the sun shining in my face there was definitely a glare that caused my eyes to tear.  The glare was from the beauty of my soon to be wife, Elizabeth.  The sun was truly pale in the background to her.  I remember the priest speaking of the symbolize of the ring that was being used to secure our vows.  The ring was made of pure metals that were forged from human will and shaped into the form of a circle. After the ring has been caste there is no beginning and no end.  It becomes absolute and perfect in form.  What better way to begin a journey together.  We see ourselves as two forged into one through our will and commitment.  Purity is found through the release of all the bad qualities we don't need to be closer together in this relationship that is longer than time itself.  It is beyond all and part of a perfect folding and unfolding of lifes cycles.  This new year will bring my first child!  Lua will be my baby girl.  Yoga has been kind to me.   My life is full of love.

Lets look at the new year in this way.  We can acknowledge this repetitious nature of life and become aware of its predictability and prepare ourselves for everything that is going to come.  "Know your history or be doomed to repeat it"  Not sure who was 1st quoted with that phrase, but it speaks supreme truth.  We find ourselves every year saying good bye to the end on one piece of time and hello to new possibilities and opportunities.  We make resolutions that promise change for the better.  This is the beauty of our human nature to evolve and become more than we are.  Take a firm grip this year and move into the drivers seat!

As we move into this new year, think of the feeling that was present during your most cherished experiences throughout your life and let them continue to happen again.  Instead of driving blindly into the unknown, let the known be felt over and over again with their natural cycle of life.  Revisit places the places that stimulate you the most.  No need to find new places...they will find you.

You are everything at this present moment.  There is no beginning or end.  This is the yogic perspective.  To quote Terrence McKenna " You are the center of the Mandala."  We can access this power of happiness at any moment... or chose to put it to the side. 

Be good to your family and friends.  Support those around you in any way that you can.


Yogi D