As a yoga teacher dedicated to bringing yoga, meditation and well-being to the male community, I continually ask myself these questions:
What do men really need?
What is the highest service I can offer as a Yoga teacher?
From my own life experience I have realized how confusing and challenging the path to be a man might seem.
Yoga is saving us from our own insanity inviting us to have new courage. As 21st century men we are invited to a revolution of the heart and to find our own definition of masculinity.
Can we drop all the old stories and expectations and create and design our own form with integrity and honesty?
Can we find the key to unlock the chains and give us the greatest freedom a human being can know?
How can we be ourselves?
How can we create a new Blueprint to be the best lovers, husbands, fathers and friends?
I have always tried to find answers to big questions like.
Who am I?
Where am I headed?
What is this life really about?
What does it mean to be a man?
Very early on, I realized that what society’s expectations of me was very different from my own definition of masculinity and happiness. I had to learn how to embrace myself and trust my own definitions.
While often confused and lost, arriving without any clear answers, I have learned how to be myself.
I have realized how much of me was enslaved to the physical world around me, imprisoned by the aspects of material existence like recognition, prestige, power, bank accounts and other people opinions. I have learned that we all have the power to choose our own reality. Each moment we can connect to light or darkness depending on our actions.
As we change our definitions change and we expand our life.
I have been asking myself questions about the qualities that make a man a man.
The answer is personal—the billions people on this planet each would say different things. This is definitely the path to follow—the individual approach—an intimate relationship with yourself is the very beginning.
As a Man I want to reinvestigate my own definition of power and I want to learn how to love—not from a wounded place—from a place of clarity and choice.
Our salvation lies in correction of perception. We need to be open to the idea that there might be another way to live our lives. Maybe our thoughts about life are not serving us or helping us get to where we want to be.
This is the true revolution.
Not just in our individual lives but within our communities, families and nations. As 21st century men we want to create a new blueprint based on our integrity, honesty and authenticity.
Somewhere we got it wrong!
We need to drop all the labels, our sexuality, religions, ethnicity, our culture as functioning—this level of reality is creating more separateness. Those things should be honored but we should not let them stop us from reaching further.
We need to deepen our emotional ground of being and find the internal journey. Establishing this new kind of blueprint is absolutely necessary as we move forward.
We have misunderstood what does it mean to be real and powerful.
“We are powerful beyond measure and so deeply vulnerable at the same time. This may seem like a dichotomy, but it isn’t. We have misunderstood real power. It has been something assertive, non-surrendering, pushing on through. This is not real power. This is simply wilfulness. Real power is something else—receptivity, open-ness, the courage to keep your heart open on the darkest of days, the strength to feel it all even when the odds are stacked against you. Real power is showing up with your heart on your sleeve and absolutely refusing to waste one moment of your life hidden behind edginess and armor. The art of enheartened presence. Now that’s power.” ~ Jeff Brown
The mindset on this planet is based on the separation that brings fear and judgement.
The spiritual journey begins when we drop that mindset, surrender and dive within the flow of spirit. I strongly believe that without aligning with the support of the spirit there is no way forward, We, as men, need to learn how to center within ourselves and stay centered—not only in our bodies and minds but mostly in our spirits.
Practically speaking, we can tune into our highest potential when we engage in a few simple practices:
Most of our lives are spent in action mode—movement, thoughts, emotions and forms. The realm of becoming. We are strongly identified with his physical world, with its drama and storie,s completely forgetting that underneath it all lies the greater possibility.
My yoga journey is all about waking up to myself through meditation. Waking up to what consciousness is, waking up to what my “I” really is, waking up to my true self.
We can begin to learn how to be the vibrating stillness, the inner silence. And we can learn how to infuse that presence into our realm of becoming.
I have learned that life is all about interaction between being and becoming.
Start your day with five minutes centering on breath—if you have more time continue with an additional 10 minutes of meditation. Start with being aware of the energy behind your heart—follow the breath all the way down to base of the spine and up as it expands your being.
You can ask the spirit a few questions as your day begins.
Where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say and to whom?
Take five minutes each day to bright the light back to your life.
Working with the body, on the body, through the body, is super fun.
The body is the only thing we have to experience this life. Yoga practice is a perfect opportunity to get to know your own body, create a intimate relationship with yourself, investigating its habits and patterns. Through yoga you can discover the inner abilities to heal and balance. Cherish your body, look after it—it is the only vehicle for you to arrive heathy and strong in your old age.
My experience, as a yoga student and teacher, led me to a place of listening to my body. There are days when I need a boost to get my energy going and there are days when I need to retreat and back off.
The fun begins when we learn what time and which practice is right for us on each day in life.
We can get empowered with some arms balances or backbends or we might want to treat our nervous system with some restorative yoga. It is our choice. The whole point is to listen to the body—to learn what is necessary in a specific moment in time.
One more thing! You’re never too tight to do yoga.
So, to all you stiff men out there, don’t shy away! Yoga can transform your body and your complete mental attitude.
Are you someone who can’t touch your toes—with tight shoulders, tight hips and tension all over your body?
Trust me—stiff men can do yoga too! I strongly believe in making yoga accessible to everyone—yoga for real, for real men, for real life. You don’t have to look like a model or a dancer to practice yoga.
Commit to yourself to five to 10 minutes of yoga practice each day and you will begin to see considerable progress.
From these simple practices we can begin to heal our bodies, minds and souls and take the journey towards being a happy, healthy and strong man.
Thank you to all my teachers—they’ve enabled me to shift my perception: Bridget Woods-Kramer, Claire Murphy, Sianna Sherman, Elena Brower, Noah Maze and Tara Judelle.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Rad Kaim
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock