The Steamboat Movement Fest was held from August 15-18 in Steamboat Springs, CO. The Festival was lucky enough to have several influential presenters from the Colorado area and beyond. Find My Zen had the chance to delve into some topics with some of the presenters this year.
Former All-Pro NFL football player turned internationally renowned Celebrity Yogi
Mediations coming to iTunes and a book being released in the next few months
FMZ: Obviously football and yoga are very different, how have you found peace in stillness and what are people missing by always moving?
KM: Reflection and contemplation are what you find through stillness. When your constantly moving then you don’t allow yourself an opportunity to see yourself, your actions, your behavior and because over time this reflection doesn’t occur, you adopt these habits and call them your personality.
Stillness allows you the opportunity to make adjustments! Create new a new approach, to change your narrative.
FMZ: Now, talking about similarities, how can sports and yoga be connected and what have you learned from your journey in both worlds?
KM: I guess the connection is that life has game-like qualities, it can be very stressful, pressures high so how can I find my zone. How can I take a loss and bounce back, suffer injuries, in life’s case deal with traumas and recover to my natural form. The game at the highest level has to do with mental toughness, so the mind practice is crucial because your perception of yourself will always be tested, you will not always be a hundred percent but your to execute has if you are. And also just like you have fans, you have those that desire to see you fail. Simple distractions in life and through the practices we are to stay the course.
FMZ: What is your favorite place to meditate or do you practice?
KM: Because I travel so much, an asana practice of meditation, is not always available so through the continuous practice I make it my intention to always be in meditation, live my life this way and why not the zen state is the best state so why leave it. But to answer the question nature is going to be preferred, the prana, the life force that’s around me in those places I get the opportunity to take all of life’s goodness in is like heaven on earth.
Founder, Kali Durga Yoga
FMZ: What first inspired you journey into Yin and Restoration?
KB: Teaching Asana in Venice and Santa Monica for many years, my studentship were often arriving already in quite a “Yang-centric” state. I found suggesting the movement of one posture to the next in a Vinyasa contained class was not the proper antidote for lifestyles that were already moving from one task to the next in their daily lives. As I’m interested in yoga as a therapy, I wanted to build an offering which applies balance to the trajectory of our mental states and physical postures in normal living. As such, my classes naturally leaned further and further towards the Yin side of the practice, where I observed almost instantaneous relief from my practitioners as we retrained the system to settle into simplistic tranquility and innate relaxation response, which healthily taxing the joints and ligaments.
FMZ: What has been your favorite part of your journey so far? What has been a struggle?
KB: In each course or class I offer, there is a moment when the room settles in to the practice in a deeper way than they had collectively practiced up until that point. A visceral, tangible moment when each skeleton in the room finds a sustainable Asana, and experiments with their natural range of motion, and the breath billows, and all the brain waves together sync into a theta brain wave state of deeper relaxation, creativity, and release. The point of surrender. Finding the yin state individually, and collectively. It’s a beautiful part of the journey and I’m always honored to witness it.
A struggle in the journey? I’ll speak towards a struggle in the yoga community overall that I’ve observed, which is a failure to provide accessible yoga training to lower-income communities. We are collectively strengthened by the number of souls who have the privilege to practice, and we need to acknowledge the disparity in access to these practices.
As such, I’ve recently instated a ‘SEVA’ , or ‘self-less service’ scholarship for each Yin & Restorative & Mindfulness Yoga training I offer around the world. Anybody is able to apply for a half or full scholarship to any training I offer, and we award at least one SEVA yogi per training. You can learn more here: https://durgaexcursions.com/seva-form
FMZ: How do you bring your own twist to traditional practices?
KB: At this juncture in my teaching life, I’m most interested in the cross-section of biomechanics and neurophysiology in Asana. In studying interpersonal awareness, my Yin trainings focus heavily on how different mental states/tones impact the connective tissue, ligaments, and joints (the ‘yin’ tissues of the body). Of course, all of the practices are influenced heavily by Buddhist principles. The twist is this: a deep and humbling bow to the ancient wisdom of the East on the yoga mat, but integrating the most modern Western science on brain function and neuro-firing. Did you know we’ve learned more about the human brain in the past 15 years than ever in the history of science? This opportunity to understand awareness both scientifically and somatically is posed at the precipice of our own evolution.
Munay Healing Arts
FMZ: How do you weave your manta of “love, service, and wisdom” into your everyday life?
TB: Love, Service and Wisdom permeate’s every moment for me. If I am coming from a space of love, then I am in service and the wisdom naturally flows. If I am feeling blocked, frustrated, anxious or stressed my first question goes back to “am I coming from a place of love”. Love, Service and Wisdom are a constant infinity loop that nourishes my every thought and action.
FMZ: Can you briefly explain neurosculpting?
TB: Neurosculpting® is a guided meditation modality that bridges the gap of Science and Meditation. By combining Neuroscience principles with Mindfulness we can learn how to transform our lives by rewriting old limiting patterns, healing from stress and trauma and flowing through life with more grace and ease.
FMZ: Do you have your own unique practices or techniques?
TB: Yes, as a Vedic Astrologer I have created a monthly offering called the “Inner Goddess Moon Circle” where I create unique guided meditations for each New Moon and Full Moon as well as a video report describing the energy of each. It’s such a powerful thing to connect to the natural rhythm, harmony, and energy of the Moon.
Bethy Love Light
Eco-Herbal Conscious Hip Hop Musician
FMZ: What is it about music and poetry that you find is easy for people to consume (understand)?
BLL: There seems to be a real magic that occurs when conscious, enlightening, educational lyrics are synergized with ecstatic, electrifying, danceable music. Being that music is the universal language, it really offers the harmonic wave for the potent lyrics to enter the body, mind, and spirit. And when the words are truly taken to heart, then profound awakenings and changes are possible. And this is exciting because my intention is to help with the cosmic rising up of humanity for a more peaceful, loving and sustainable world.
FMZ: When did your passion for music/poetry start?
BLL: I’ve been writing poems about truth, beauty, goodness, justice and love as long as I can remember, yet it wasn’t until about seven years ago that I began creating the music to accompany the poetry. In fact, when this passion did ignite, I actually created my own genre called ‘Muzoetry: Conscious Musical Poetry’.
FMZ: Who are some people or events that really kickstarted your journey?
BLL: Actually, it was my beloved, Brigitte Mars, renowned author, teacher, and herbalist extraordinaire, who was the first wondrous human who enthusiastically encouraged me to continue refining and polishing my poetic/musical art. She is truly the dreamweaver who has supported me and continues to inspire me on my journey with Muzoetry. As far as inspirational musicians, Ani Difranco truly kickstarted my passion for wanting to sing. I first saw her perform when I was twenty years old at the Mercury Cafe in Denver and she Star-Rocked my world. I knew then I would one day be singing and rapping for a brighter, better world.
Debra Silverman Certified Astrologer. Life Coach, CPC. Sound Vibration Specialist.
FMZ: Where did your fascination and understanding of astrology begin?
KR: My fascination began when I was a kid. I LOVED reading my horoscope in the paper below the comics (showing my age here). What I remember was that sometimes the statement for Gemini for the day made sense and sometimes it did not. I remember being frustrated with why that was. Now I know it is just 1 part of our whole makeup.
FMZ: How can understanding astrology help us in our day to day lives?
KR: One of the biggest things about day to day is understanding the Moon cycles and how they affect you on an individual level. The Moon rules our emotional body and the Water cycle. As we are mostly made up of water in our bodies, it is nearly impossible to not feel the effects of the Moon in our day-to-day lives. By having a basic understanding of where the Moon is every day, we can know whether we might feel more motivated, introverted, creative, outgoing, etc. We can accept each phase, and not judge ourselves as to when we don’t feel the way we think we SHOULD feel, or get stuck in thinking our feeling is wrong. Just allowing the feeling du jour to flow through us and not get stuck!
FMZ: What is the biggest thing people realize when they start understanding astrology and its connection to us?
KR: The BIGGEST and my favorite thing that people realize is they are not crazy, or wrong, or weak, or insert whatever negative connotation they think in their quiet, alone moments. I teach them to be aware of the different parts of themselves and to truly love, or at least accept all the parts. We spend an awful lot of our energy trying to hide or make wrong, or get rid of the parts of ourselves we don’t like. What I teach is to understand that planetary energy has a vote in their psyche and how to best integrate it into their whole Self, to EVOLVE. Why else are we here??
I have watched hundreds of people accept and love themselves at a deeper level through the lens of astrology, and understanding their natal chart. It is my favorite thing on this PLANET.
Pamela Stokes Eggleston
MBA, MS, E-RYT 500, YACEP
Managing Director, Yoga2Sleep
Co-Founder, Retreat To Spirit
Executive Director, Yoga Service Council
FMZ: What first inspired you to work with veterans?
PSE: My husband is a Purple Heart Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) veteran who was wounded in combat. As his caregiver, I wanted to give back to veterans of all eras, and began to draw from my dad’s experience in the Air Force and my grandfather’s service in WWII during both the Atlantic and Pacific conflicts, while the military at that time was segregated.
FMZ: When taking care of others, what is an important step to taking care of yourself?
PSE: I have a regular morning meditation practice and yoga/movement practice.
FMZ: How can we get better sleep and why is it so important?
PSE: We can start with turning off the tv and creating a clean environment: get some plants that create oxygen (aloe vera, English ivy), put clothes away, make up the bed every day, put a salt lamp in the bedroom, and get an essential oil diffuser to use lavender or chamomile. Start to make the bedroom a sanctuary for sleep.
FMZ: Do you have a non-profit or any causes that you currently work with or support?
PSE: Yes: Yoga Service Council at www.yogaservicecouncil.org
Herbalist, Author and University Professor
FMZ: Brigitte, you are an author, vlogger, a blogger, educator, radio host and so much more, what is your favorite medium to share your message?
BM: I love teaching in a class or workshop where we can make wild food dishes and walk outside and identify local plants for their edible and therapeutic properties.
FMZ: What is someone can do in their daily lives to create a diet that is more consistent with nature?
BM: Learn to identify some wild foods in your neighborhood. Dandelions are so versatile and healthful. They are considered one of the top five most nutritious vegetables. They are also one of the first foods for the bees in the springtime, so spraying pesticides is contributing to the demise of our bee populations. Eat all the colors of the rainbow – purple cabbage, wild rice, tree kale, red beets, orange sweet potatoes to imbibe a wide range of phytonutrients. Switch to Celtic salt, as most salt is heated and minerals removed. Make at least one meal a day a salad and best to make your own dressing with olive oil. If you have health issues, find out what you might be allergic to that could be causing inflammation and get off those foods.
FMZ: What is your favorite dish that you have made in the last week?
BM: Djedi Salad made with organic kale, spirulina, hemp oil, goji berries. We also harvested Service Berries (June berries, Sarvis berries) when we were in Steamboat Springs last week and they are Om-azing. I hope you are all eating those rather than buying commercial blueberries trucked in from Maine.
FMZ: Do you have a non-profit or any causes that you currently work with or support?
BM: I am a member of United Plant Savers, The American Herbalist Guild, MAPS (MultiDisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), The Urantia Foundation, and COSM (Alex Grey’s Chapel of Sacred Mirrors)
R.R. Shakti, PhD
FMZ: What is an overarching theme about humanity you have learned from sharing stories?
RS: Joe Campbell showed us that the hero’s journey is a psycho-spiritual quest for wholeness. Soul Stories reveal at least one common human trait. That is, we desire to be whole.
Separation is the greatest human affliction–the deepest wound. We fear the pain of it.
We all crave connection. We all long for Love. The quest for Love, which is another way of saying the hero’s quest for wholeness, is the unconscious driving force behind everything we do.
FMZ: What about these old stories are so important to reflect on?
RS: Soul stories are beyond space and time. There lingers a common misconception that “myth” means old, untrue, and irrelevant stories. But mythic stories are so profoundly true that it doesn’t even matter if they actually ever happened in real time. The dynamics of mythology are living fundamental realities that exist as the soul stories of a collective humanity. They unite us by showing us that at the core, we are all, differently, the same. Mythic images express the drives of the unconscious. When we pay attention, they expose the deep wounds of our human experience. They also teach us how to tend to those wounds. Ultimately they can serve to remind us that we are each already whole beings–that the Love we seek is already within us.
…if we listen.
FMZ: Do you create your own stories or do you stick to the traditional ones?
We are all creating and re-creating our own stories every single day.
Our personal stories, today, are influenced by the traditional stories of the past. Our personal stories, in turn, serve to gradually shape the future stories of the collective.
A mythic story becomes a soul story when it hits you a certain way.
I might find a story from an old collection of Indian folktales, for instance, and there is just something about it that feels relevant to me in this moment. I re-read it again, and again, as a contemplative practice. The archetypes and symbols might speak to me on a soul level. They begin to unravel aspects of my own unconscious tendencies or reveal cultural patterns of behavior. I get so stoked when a story’s message shines through. It is like finding a hidden treasure. Then, when I share that story with others, it naturally takes on different shapes.
I highlight the aspects of the story that speak to my heart. I tell the story using the words that come from my personal connection with it.
Soul stories come out like this:
“Once upon a time, right now, and forever; from my imagination to yours…”
Vedic Meditation Teacher, Wellness Chef and Holistic Health Coach.
FMZ: What inspired you to be a chef in the Ayurvedic practice? How did this evolve from just being another chef?
JJ: Working in the stress and high intensity of the fine dining scene of New York City led me to find yoga, meditation, and eventually Ayurveda. I was pushing myself too hard and was completely out of balance. Yoga and meditation helped bring me back and the deep desire to want to help others and share this wisdom lead me to helping people with food through Ayurvedic principles. The offering evolved as I evolved. As I grew it no longer became desirable to be in environments that didn’t align with the practices. Opportunities to continue to learn and grow became more available as I dedicated myself to my own practice of meditation and seeking knowledge to help others. I was invited to help open a yoga retreat center as the chef which really allowed me to explore how to nourish people through food. We had a biodynamic farm and I was studying holistic nutrition so I was able to have a broad view of health and diet. It helped me really see how this could all work and then allowed me to really connect to Ayurveda in a whole new way.
FMZ: What are some new exciting breakthroughs in your field? How do you keep such a 5000 year old practice feel new?
JJ: The knowledge is essentially the same. The eternal wisdom of the laws of nature and how. The foundation stays the same but our modern society has shifted so the need to reconnect to simplicity, natural foods, and stress management through meditation has increased. It’s exciting to see modern medicine start to embrace some of these practices and scientific research support the wisdom. It’s new and exciting because people are really open and receptive to the knowledge and the knowledge is growing with the changes in our modern lifestyle.
FMZ: What is your favorite meal to make on a night in?
JJ: I am looking forward to the foods of fall. Soups and more grounding foods like roasted root vegetables. My favorite thing to make is a roasted cauliflower soup, a side of vegetables, and a grain like quinoa.
Inner Light Revival
Breath Work Specialists – Aja Rose & Danny Balgooyen
FMZ: How did you decide on circular breath work and how does it differ from other types of breath?
AR: I was very moved after my first experience of it in Thailand and ended up immediately signing up for a month-long training. It felt much more powerful than anything I had ever tried, and I liked how easily it put you into an altered state of consciousness. The depth of relaxation at the end was also unparalleled to anything I had experienced prior. One unique thing about Conscious Breathwork is that it’s a 1 hour-1.5 hour journey where healing and transformation on many levels can happen.
FMZ: Why is our breath so important to unlocking our subconscious?
AR: In my experience, it takes specific techniques to keep our awareness in a theta/alpha brain state, which is where the subconscious is more easily accessible for change. The breath is one effective way to drop into these states relatively easily. I have seen many people who do not ever practice meditation, yoga, etc, access these states in Breathwork journeys.
FMZ: When did you discover breath-work and what results have you seen in yourself?
AR: I first heard about this technique during a trip to India in Nov. 2015, which then brought me to Thailand to experience it. At the time I was still suffering from chronic headaches that had started at the age of 6. After just 2 weeks of my month-long training, the headaches disappeared almost completely. I also used to have a very hard time public speaking, which fully shifted in the training. The breathwork has allowed me to recognize the ways I was limiting myself through different beliefs and conditionings. Today I feel empowered and peaceful and have been able to create a life that is in alignment with my truth. I could go on for pages about the benefits I have experienced 🙂
FMZ: Bonus: Does fluoride really block the access to our pineal gland?
AR: Many would say yes, but I can tell you that we release 75% of toxins through the breath!
FMZ: What attracted you to tantra yoga when you first started your practice? And what drew you to the Kaula perspective?
WW: When I first started practicing Tantra Yoga I had just left Germany where I was playing semi-pro soccer. I had many injuries during my years of football and skiing. Initially, Tantra Yoga brought my body into balance and eased long term pain. It then brought me integrated strength and coordination and finally a deep relaxation while I flowed through seemingly strenuous body positions which translated to relaxation in every aspect of my life, including the physically, mentally and emotionally strenuous life events.
The Kaula perspective explains the foundation of life. I wanted knowledge that applies to every aspect of life. I found that in the non-dual Kaula Tantra perspective.
FMZ: What is the most valuable lesson you learned from your years in India?
WW: I have learned that there are many ways to live life and there is not one equation for happiness.
FMZ: In your past, you played semi-professional soccer. How can you connect conventional sports to your daily practice?
WW: The “zero space” I find in Shavasana after the Kaula yoga practice is the same as the “zone” I found while playing soccer. This practice is amazing for culturing athletes to relax and act from their most potent intuitive, cultured skill.
FMZ: Do you have a non-profit or any causes that you currently work with or support?
WW: Sva-Tantra Ashram, where I live and share Tantra, is partnering with Im’Unique, a Denver based organization that works to close the gap between people and cultural groups, and ensure general health for the greater community. We are planning to bring some young adults from the USA who might not have an opportunity to learn yoga and experience a vastly different culture like India.
Monica Mesa Dasi
Owner, Yoga for the Peaceful Brand Studios
FMZ: What do like about teaching teachers?
MMD: What I love about teaching teachers is inspiring them to find their most authentic expression, deepen their love for their own personal practice, and the realization that they can change lives through teaching.
FMZ: What are some of your favorite places to practice?
MMD: My favorite places to practice are anywhere by the ocean, bodies of water, and in the great outdoors.
FMZ: What is your favorite part of living in the mountains of Colorado?
MMD: My favorite parts of living in the mountains of Colorado are the majestic beauty that surrounds us, the outdoor lifestyle, and the way that living in tune with nature is of the highest priority.
Founder, Soulpwr Creative
FMZ: What was your inspiration for SOULPWR, and why did you decide to create your own business?
DB: SOULPWR was born from a recognition that in order to evolve as a society, we need to look to our most powerful structures for change. Government. Education. And business. I started my career working in the fast-paced, cut-throat agency world in Los Angeles. I was working for an entertainment marketing agency at the time, while simultaneously becoming increasingly called to deepen my practice of meditation, yoga, Ancient Eastern philosophy, holistic healing, and spirituality. I felt an ever-widening gap between the world of Soul and the world of corporate business.
I started SOULPWR because I recognized that I could no longer contribute my energy to an organization that I knew wasn’t committed to a positive impact before profit (at all costs). There were no visible organizations speaking to evolving business for conscious change, so I founded one myself. I founded SOULPWR to prove to myself, my clients, and the world that business can be done consciously, compassionately, sustainably–and still be profitable and impactful.
FMZ: As a writer and creator, what themes do you see in the Wellness world that people should be aware of?
DB: The big wave I’m feeling now is INTEGRATION. We’re blessed to have access to so many teachings, books, and opportunities to practice together to promote our wellbeing on all levels. The information is out there. The real challenge we’re facing now is how to truly integrate and embody this wisdom in our daily lives. How to take peace off the yoga mat, and presence off the meditation cushion. The other way integration is showing up is through the weaving of different wisdom traditions into modern science, technology, and philosophies. Modern healers and teachers are taking ancient practices and reviving them with our current tools and advancements to serve students and clients in fresh and relevant ways. As a writer and creator—I am a messenger and a broadcaster. It’s my job to contribute to these conversations and amplify the voices who are likewise doing so in integrity.
FMZ: What exciting plans do you have in store for SOULPWR that you can tell us about?
DB: Right now, SOULPWR is truly blossoming into the vision I’ve held for many years. A true collective of digital experts united by a mission to evolve outdated, disconnected, and unsustainable business practices into new ways that serve the collective’s Greater Good. The growing SOULPWR Collective is a team who can serve all the offerings of an agency, but without the political hierarchy, shady dealings, or wasted time. It’s called the Digital Ecosystem. Where we once only could share marketing services—now we offer web builds, online education production, PR, high-level business strategy, positioning, financials, digital advertising, strategic partnerships, and more. Everything you need to grow and thrive online, held by our commitment to education, inspiration, and awakening for all.
Founder, Find My Zen LLC
FMZ: Michael, you have been an entrepreneur since you were 12! Connecting people with similar interests in every space you enter. Where did this spark come from?
MP: I would say that being an only child pushed me to develop a strong desire to meet different groups of people to see what resonated. I also had lots of different interests growing up, so I was always trying to get people to understand and explore the different areas that I was excited about. Lastly, I think that having a general childlike curiosity around people and their passions and how I can help empower them has allowed me to feel more connected and purposeful in my own life.
FMZ: You have been in a lot of different circles, what have you enjoyed most about working in “Wellness”?
MP: I have had other types of success in my life, but they’ve been filled with competition and stress. Working in the wellness space allows my business to be aligned with my personal practices. It is a very different world when your business partners and collaborators truly want shared success, and to create community and impact with the things that we’re involved in.
FMZ: What exciting plans do you have in store for Find My Zen that you can tell us about?
MP: We are about to launch a teacher/facilitator directory which I think will be one of the most fun features of Find My Zen. So often people get involved in the wellness industry because of their passion for a modality, and the wanting to help in people’s growth. Then the reality of the business side of things can really hinder creativity and belief of one’s value. If we can be the support for teachers and their specific style/type of teaching, not only will the teacher benefit but their students will have the right teacher that allows for them to go deeper with their own journey of health and vitality.