" When challenged to hold the breath, that is the time to BREATHE"
That was one of the insights that resonated with me from a conversation I had this afternoon with Frank Angiuli of Natural High Lifestyle . Natural High has an in-store pop-up as part of HOLLYWOOD TRADING COMPANY Santa Monica's Earth / Heal the Bay weekend event.
Ten years back, Alonzo E. of HTC was a buyer @ Ron Herman / Fred Segal Melrose ,and Frank cold called him to pitch his fledgling line of 3 hemp Ts. Turned out that Frank had contacted AE at the right time as "ORGANIC" was on their radar. Flash forward , & ORGANIC lifestyle has become mainstream with big box behemoths touting their eco-awareness.
NHL's range is inspired & informed by Santa Monica's ocean, yoga studios,the Venice drum circle & consciousness. The palette of colors (earth tones) and hand of the fabrics (hemp& bamboo fibers) are consistent with the point-of-view of the line; & proudly "Manufactured in Downtown L.A."
Frank & initial founder Ira Rosen (Govindas) goal was to create a brand that inspired an aware lifestyle ;easy care garments which were comfortable to move in. Its customer base is drawn to the fabric & palette + amped that retail distribution is kept to the boutique level. NHL has a Japanese fan base as well ( Beams & the legendary Hollywood Ranch Market Daikoyama ) who appreciate its So.Cali flavor.
The Main St.flagship store in Santa Monica serves as a showroom for the NHL world of apparel, bedding,meditation pillows ,yoga mat carriers & more. The company has recently partnered with Wired to supply the magazine's "Sustainable & Energy Efficient" showcase house in Chicago.
On the horizon are new introductions inspired by a recent trip to Japan plus new eco-fabrics & experimentation for conscious creatives to contemplate in -
"Also our good friend Peter A. AKA MahaMondo (Pedro to friends & family) has kindly donated his limited edition t-shirts in partnership with "I LOVE YOGA". We will have a drawing for the t-shirts Friday through Sunday. Peter gives up the 411 on all info below:
Peter A. AKA MahaMondo is a sales & marketing guru in this incarnation; with a current emphasis on luxury & high-end lifestyle. Yoga & meditation has maintained his balance & focus .
The MAHA (great in Sanskrit ) MONDO ( as in "il mondo" ) blog was born a couple of years back as a vehicle to communicate to the world his ongoing personal journey of transformation, the amazing teachers & the growing conscious Santa Monica community.The global voice of the blog emphasizes tradition, inspiration & newness.
Because of the reach of the blog, he has made connections with fellow seekers & practitioners like the Miami based I LOVE YOGA www.iloveyoga.com. Subsequent conversations with ILY's Moses Love produced the MahaMondo / ILY Ltd.Ed.Tee. Followers of the blog have always commented on the banner graphic. And the T does catch people's attention , the most common question being,"What does MahaMondo mean?" And so the dialogue begins -
I received a preview copy of Cyndi Lee's Om Yoga Mix 2 a couple of weeks back. It has been my soundtrack as I drive to and from our new office building on Robertson Blvd.in BH. The space has been wired with an amazing IPod driven sound system ,so we do not lack for tunes during work. And as it is a French owned company, every Buddha Bar / Cafe del Mar / Thievery Corporation compilation is loaded on it along with Carla Bruni ( their new First Lady) , Edith Piaf & Johnny Depp's wife (Joe Le Taxi).
So Om Yoga Mix 2 serves as my in-car prep or respite from all this Gallic groovieness. Cyndi Lee intended the mix as a soundtrack to a vinyasa class ;so it takes off slowly, peaks and softly lands by the last cut into SAVASANA.
The tracks I have on heavy rotation are Devi Puja ( Prana & Krishna Das), Freeze ( Kodomo ),Hasret ( Omar Faruk Takbitek) & MANTRA (Krishna Das). Nobody can OMMM like Krishna D., so listening to him on the last cut really takes me beyond.
Produced by Cyndi's husband David Nichtern on his Dharma Moon label, the CD is a MAHA aid to keeping the YOGA RASA flowing, whether it be during practice, driving or walking. When I met Cyndi last December, I got to learn more about her focus on the Buddhist teachings of mindfulness & compassion. Best summed up by the DEDICATION OF MERIT :
"May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness. May all beings be free from suffering and the causes of suffering.May all beings never be parted from freedom's true joy.May all beings dwell in equanimity, free from attachment and aversion."
Please come and join all of us here at HOLLYWOOD TRADING CO / FRED SEGAL SANTA MONICA for our HEAVEN IS EARTH WEEKEND- APRIL 25, 26, 27, 28, WITH A KICK OFF PARTY APRIL 25/Friday 6PM-9PM supporting Earth Month, and HEAL THE BAY.
THIS IS A SPECIAL EVENT, AS WE/ FRED SEGAL SANTA MONICA, HOLLYWOOD TRADING CO, AND ALL OF THE STORES IN THE FRED SEGAL SANTA MONICA CENTER ARE SUPPORTING HEAL THE BAY IN THEIR EFFORTS TO BAN SINGLE USE PLASTIC BAGS. PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT THIS! WE WILL HAVE A PETITION TO SIGN, GREAT FRED SEGAL+HEAL THE BAY TOTE BAGS FOR SALE WITH ALL PROCEEDS GOING TO HEAL THE BAY, AND A PORTION OF SALES GENERATED THAT WEEKEND WILL GO TO HEAL THE BAY!
"Finally got to unwrap the eKO MAT last week and try it out at several classes. It does not disappoint. The words "grip and comfort" truly apply ; no hesitations moving into Urdhva Danurasana now even after a torrential downpour of sweat has drenched it. Balancing poses like Virabhadrasana 3 are facilitated with that cushioned layer of matting."
As David Swenson says, "It is best to learn , if at all, under the guidance of a TEACHER."
And this is one of the reasons why I endeavor to get up @ 5:30 AM on Sundays. Last Sunday was an opportunity to practice with Jerome M., as we were a small group. He got us to form a circular yoga mala ; the better to mirror his vinyasas & pranayam.
It was such a FOCUSED & MEDITATIVE atmosphere , that the sound of water dripping from the cooler was distinctly audible. The inspirational & motivational high point of the class was his fluid VIPARITA CHAKRASANA (I counted at least 3 cycles) ; the backward handspring into wheel from the Ashtangi 5th series.
Hard act to follow as none of us in the room could pull it off. So amped that I am looking forward to learning the dropback via a teacher's assistance at some point. As they say, nowhere to get to , just being in the moment.
Advanced asana serves the purpose of creating more space & opening up the NADIS in order to arrive at that meditative state. A good teacher will use ADJUSTMENT in order to fine tune access to these channels. After savasana, the sun was up ; but I felt like I had melted into Santa Monica Bay. Jai Ma!
Via YogaYatra is this GROOVY clip promoting the recently concluded festival in MOTHER INDIA. Entitled "How to Stretch Life to Its Limits", the vid shows the confluence between the traditional & modern , East meets West.
I have been enjoying the vibe of the gent reading the "Indian Express" while effortlessly ensconced in DWI PADA SIRSASANA; all the while rocking it to a drum & bass track-
I first met up with Alonzo E. of Hollywood Trading Company @ Fred Segal after one of Vytas B.'s classes when he properly ID'd my Lucien Pellat-Finet kicks Finally made the connection as him being the boss man @ HTC when I would see him there. HTC, like most of Fred Segal SaMo, is a proponent of COOL but CONSCIOUS CONSUMERISM. Fred S., the man, has been a supporter of HH the DALAI LAMA since back in the day.
ECO directional brands like Ever, Rogan + Wings & Horn from HTC will be staples of your wardrobe for years vs. fast fashion follies. ( And because we aren't going around cloaked in ashes & clad in dhotis in this Kali Yuga )
Seeing Alonzo at one of Jerome M. or Vytas B.'s classes is always a MAHA sign, as he brings his good vibes & soulful practice to the satsang. He is holding Travis Eliot's DVD & Govindas' CD above. Yup, we both knew him when he was still Ira.
Fred Segal Santa Monica, which has been involved with Heal the Bay for more than 20 years , is making a big splash for Earth Month. More than a dozen Fred Segal store owners, HTC included, have united to host a silent auction,raffle and party on April 25th from 6-9pm. The weekend will continue for the general public Saturday the 26th &Sunday the 27th. I will be posting an event flyer & pics in a couple of weeks.
" May you be happy and free with any amount of money!"
That was Brent Kessel's dedication on my copy of his release " It's Not About the Money". I had introduced myself as a friend of Darlene D'Arezzo ,as they had been Ashtanga classmates from back in the day , with Chuck & Maty from YogaWorks. His response being , " She's the only Darlene I know.."
The book is a MAHA synthesis of finance & spirituality , containing massive chunks of guidance which followers of this blog know I am actively seeking. My days are spent in the realm of LUXURY / HIGH END sales & marketing, which at this point in time appears impervious to the "R" word (RECESSION).
It is my mission to CREATE THE WANT , which is contrary to as Brent dedicates a whole chapter to, the Buddhist concept of the WANTING MIND aka in Vipassana CRAVING & AVERSION. How to reconcile these seeming opposites / contradictions ?
" Wanting more is a universal phenomenon. If you pay attention, you'll find there is a whole lot you can do to stop this desire - you just go on wanting material things or better emotional states ..."
There is a lot of candid wisdom in Brent's book which ultimately emphasizes that the shift towards a relationship with the material world & abundance must come from an increased consciousness of mind, body & spirit.
Via Moses " Mosi " Love of I Love Yoga is this update as to what has been going on in Miami and re the upcoming "Being Fearless" Conference @ Omega Center NYC. Some of the speakers listed include Gurmukh Kaur Kalsa , Robert F. Kennedy Jr. & James Van Praagh.
" My brother , i have been thinking of you.the hour is late. the rain is falling in Miami.Yesterday was historic in Miami.Yesterday the tribe of love gathered in honor of the Africa Yoga Project, in honor of the children on this planet,in honor of life...
we celebrated we shared we taught we sang we flew we loved
We raised money for the children of Kenya, for our karma . anyways my brother i wanted to share,also i embark this week on a journey to BEING FEARLESS in NY.It is an extraordinary conference that Omega Institute does each year..I Love Yoga will be there representing .we will bring our love and our ears for listening .we will also have our MahaMondo shirts and Mosi will give some as gifts to spread the word on the East Coast..
thanks for all your support and sharing and deep caring. remembering your laugh so clearly ( Alright Mosi, here you go: Heh Heh )