Jun 23, 2011

To All Freedom Fighters; Yoga versus the State of LA

To All Freedom Fighters; Yoga versus the State of LA
June 22, 2011

 We made history in the state of Louisiana... Something that will affect all yogis now, and for ever in the marking of our history.  Yoga now has it's autonomous mark in our legal system, once threatened by a board of members unsure of what yoga was. A dear coalition group in LA, including small studio owners, have been threatened for a few years about conducting yoga training's. Even under threat, we felt the strong desire and duty to challenge the  interpretation of a law by a committee. After months of  justice provoking of our spiritual rights in the House of Representatives legislature, the Senate, and now the official signing of the Governor, we have tasted sweet light filled victory. These trailblazings to our state capital where tremendous in their lessons for me about worlds I never enter, and how they work. It was an interesting blend of yoga and the state of LA meeting for the first time ever.  Quite something really...History has now been marked forever. 

A few yoga studio owners, including myself, have been receiving threatening letters from a board of education committee for 4 years now. The threats included enjoining us, suing, mandating, and regulating our trainings of any sort over 20 hours. To us this is a violation of anything that yoga stands for in it's radical, free thinking, and free practicing roots.  It did not feel good to get these letters after working so hard to bring high vibes and healing to our city, which has been a determined goal of mine especially since Hurricane Katrina. We have been working very hard to get everyone self sustained, self realized, self medicated/self meditated, and our work throughout the community has spread quickly in such need.

I do not agree with mixing government authority and my spiritual practices. That is not a blend I wish to  engage in, nor will I. Yogis have been underground for so long. Especially after visiting India for my first time, this type of regulation just seemed to bastardize the Vedic roots that we are preserving and fashioning to our modern urban lives. My experience has been, and what has drawn me to yoga, is that yogis go out of the box more often than not, and everything is questioned with great discernment, getting to what is real, and what is a false form of light being imposed upon us to sedate our innate freedom and self rule. 

These letters truly disturbed me and have weighed on me for a long time. I want to do what is right and had to really check in.  My tendency is to rebel, but I want to do everything for the right reason, and not just for the sake of a deep imprint of rebellion that I have. Also, these decisions will affect masses of community members for now and all of time. Through this process, I have been forced to practice great discernment... something I have really been working on more, since I am also such a lover, yet another thing yoga promotes and provokes.

So... these became my questions... Do I submit to every law? Are all laws just? Are all laws even interpreted correctly?  Do those that create laws always follow the laws?  Is it "spiritually correct" to question authority or does that disturb the peace?  I received so much backing from all of my many  teachers here, my parents, my loved ones, my business partner and teacher colleagues... all my heroes in thought, such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, The Black Panther Party and Herman Bell, who is still in Angola Prison due to his same dharmic need to provoke justice.... Herstory/History has revealed, that sometime a battle for a just and right cause is life affirming, even if truly difficult.

Check the Bhagavad Gita. Krsna would agree. Standing tall and standing up for ourselves is life affirming even when it can be confusing and it seems that it will harm others or stir up contempt. We do not have to be complacent  to be a yogi even if we are promoting peace.  It is tricky. We must know when to act, and when not to... "action in inaction, and inaction in action.." As the Gita prescribes, we must be truly aligned in our purpose and intent if we are going to play "God". Things like this can create shifts in the time continuum for the greater good, or greater layers of chaos. Light has prevailed this time. Gulf Coast angels are singing.

It is a great honor to go through the  measures of challenging this, and to be one of those people,  be it frightening and radical. Although harder than just complying, mixed with far more energy and uncertainty, it was time to stand up for our rights, and not just mine, everyone's .  One state allowing this to happen may get more states to think about it. Because we challenged it, the rules are changing now. What if we would have just been submissive? Is that life affirming?

All of our rights tasted sweet victory today. Our Governor just signed off officially on all yoga teacher trainings being exempt from any regulation or government interference.  In the house and senate, our proposal to amend a false interpretation of a proprietary school law which took away of free rights of spiritual practice and would diminish small yoga business owners was indeed, without question, accepted. It is gone, gone, real gone. Gate gate paragate...

 Now, all yogis, small businesses included, and their bright futures will never be threatened, mandated , or regulated for the yogic teachings, some 3,000 years old from India, is in the state of LA, here to stay. Lets officially welcome yoga into our state. This is a wonderful thing to say. Let's let those that know about yoga and  practice yoga monitor the teachings, and while we are at it, why not get the Higher Self involved, and flow with the Divine plan.

Once hearing the news,  I cried all the way home from the Capital. I cried not only for me and all the work that we have put in, how much this all means to us, but for all future practitioners, that can practice, share and serve, free of the government participating, or harassing them ever. This symbolizes a lot,  and it happened. I could feel angels singing in regional joy, after going through so much, and working on so much healing.

Our yoga community has come very far today, after tremendous work. Today is a threshold of power for all the radicals. In this experience, I provoke you to stand up always for what is right, if it brings greater harmony in the big picture. Power to the people. Yoga for the people. Stand up for your rights. Be bold, and promote what is just, even if it is not easy. 

To all Freedom fighters and Cosmic lovers in the state of LA...OMOMOM

I would especially like to thank our lawyer, Jane Booth, our coalition leader, Michael Morton, my Cosmic Energy Advisor, Kelli Eli,  Sean Johnson, my concerned rebel partner, and all the Swans. OM


  1. Jai! May the light of yoga spread through the world and illuminate the dark corners, wake up those who sleep, and give hope to those who are in despair. We are blessed to have overcome this potential obstacle between us and liberation, so that we may serve all the wanderers on the path, and help heal the deep wounds from all that has come before us. Mash Allah!

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