Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Freedom Project- in reverence to 2zerozero9

she spoke, 
words of bitter resistance to the way it was, 
she spoke, 
we listened, 
we took her in, her voice was a reminder of illusion, and how it easily enters our frame, 
the invitation is open, 
she painted our pictures, we trusted.
she dressed us, we wore out her song... to the very last moment we missed the poetry in her message,
till the very last moment.
2009 will join us, in the clarity of 2010 but she won't be what she was, her foundation will have shaped us but her slander will have faded, her ability to create order out of chaos drove her into business, 
with hype that fizzles our rhyme takes over with sizzling truths,
when the fight is taken out of us, there is room made for power that was born to heal through inspiration. She is free to transform.
On this blue moon, I've stepped aside, off the continent to return to the paths origin. 
The Peek, may your walk down be soft and careful, cautious, and full of a silence that the stars translate into love, 
we may have missed her poetry, but at the very last moment, we caught it, and read it back to her.
Every sonnet matures with age, 2009, bows and leaves the stage, 
wardrobe placed on auction, that fight that was lost made room for 2010's simplicity. 
All its humility, the spotlight soft, the spotlight of the new decade reframes the stories told. 
The costume is worn out and thrown out, 
she changed our style forever.
Our style.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Freedom Thoughts- Blogged it. The Right Revolution

It’s been a while. And I’m ready to return. Back to the scene of opinion sharing. There is so much on my mind, my soul, and my body…

“the brain” is commonly the topic these days, whether it’s a phone call to my mom, a discussion that is filling the full hour of a private yoga session I’m teaching, or a side bar prior to debauchery at a music festival; all are my best chances to attempt to explain the classification of duties that each hemisphere of the brain provides.

I’m completely floored by the topic. It’s the next level to me. In the same way as I feel that dance is the next level of freedom in movement, this moment I am presented to a new level of evolution of my mind. Talking about it is like an active approach to understanding my two brains, and their individual contributions to my experience of life.

Here’s the break down:

the right hemisphere is:

  • the side of the brain that is thought of as the creative side;
  • the hemisphere that is responsible for all our senses of the present moment… all of it, all that we hear, all that we see, all that we taste, all that we smell, all that we touch and all that connects with us through the senses;
  • a constant receiver and expresser of energy.

It’s interesting to me that the general concept of creativity is aligned with all feeling. Something to consider: what we feel is what we express – that what we bring out of ourselves into the world. What a useful exercise in itself to understand!

Sensations and emotions team-up for the image of ‘expression’.

the left hemisphere is:

  • the information center;
  • the carrier of all opinions that we have;
  • the chatter in our heads
  • operating in language; whether it’s English, Russian, Mandarin, Japanese, math, or any system of rules.

It is a constant separatist of energy into individual items of existence.

To define what that means, imagine that all that is seen through your eyes is blurry-colored, as in one color fusing into another that fuses into another and so on: like a water color painting.

This IS how we truly see the world until the left hemisphere begins to operate (which for the most of us is 100% of our life experience). As soon as the left hemisphere begins to operate, it instantly sharpens the image, giving the blurriness a shape and turning this light of colors into a common language with a meaning that a computer screen would understand – like television settings, only sophisticated to levels far beyond.

Where I get intrigued is here: our understanding of the process of experiencing, tells us there is one mind. In fact, there is a constant layering occurring. The right brain and left brain contributes to each other, collaborates with each other, dominates each other, supports each other and pulls away from each other continuously and nearly simultaneously.

This is how I have seen creativity for some time: it is the collaboration between system (left brain)) with the ability to intelligently break through it, while expressing beyond language (right brain) yet using that language, all at the same time. The constant layering is begging to confuse but it’s the confusion that opens up the state of thoughtlessness where meditation is.

To use a yoga system analogy, the Iyengar system goes so deep into technical alignment, that at some point in the process, the left brain can’t keep up with the rights hemisphere’s sensual experience. At that point, it is creating a gap in thoughts, maybe only for a moment, but that moment of thoughtlessness is meditation. It is just that moment of thoughtlessness where you would be completely in being (as opposed to thinking).

Dance, or Ashtanga vinyasa do a similar duty with a different path. Through repetition of movement until it’s completely programmed into the body, there’s no thinking needed (left brain). Because there is no thinking needed, it creates an uncommon space for thoughts to cease. Not that they always will, but the opportunity becomes heightened when breath focus and visual focus limit external stimuli. It’s like putting a stop to the ticker of thoughts that parade though our heads like the CNN ticker shares news that only by chance has anything to do with what’s going on in the show airing.

Another great example of a practice that follows the principles of flow is running. Yet the constant stimuli from music and sights increases the difficulty to further to a depth of peace.

What a vivid exploration! The deeper that western culture goes into office jobs, and number crunching, deeply entering the left hemisphere, the closer to atrophy we collectively bring our right hemisphere to. Moving into the right side is a version of giving up control, of surrendering. It almost feels like a betrayal to the controlling leader on the left side.

As a cry out for help, our present experience when heavily guided by the thinking mind-tendencies creates insanity, which feeds a ‘healthy’ pharmaceutical industry, and not to mention, alcohol, drugs and other products that numb our senses.

By numbing our emotion’s cry for attention (feelings/right brain), we allow the left brain to take control again. There is this constant fight between the left and the right side for a space to safely lose control. But, to safely lose control is a modern luxury; extreme sports have come into technological existence, due to the systemizing of the world, the balancing act that is nature…

What I realize now is that although the “thinking” left hemisphere is the controlling leader, it’s the “feeling” right hemisphere that has the power to move the world, to connect to a deeper knowledge. It is the right hemisphere that is the part of ourselves that has the deepest knowledge, deeper than any piece of information could ever make us privy to. It is the side that reads light and vibration, the subconscious that is intuitive. Not only does it read energy, but according to it, all that exists is energy, including the thoughts that are made up by the left hemisphere. Nothing but energy and everything is energy…

So if you’re still following and if you are not, here’s the insight - the right brain is so amazingly evolved, that the left brain could never understand its experiences fully. Yet we live in a global zeitgeist that has surrendered to the left hemisphere’s accumulative resources, which are disconnected with the holistic experience the right brain can provide. As such, strong walls have been created between the two that shut out the trust in the right hemisphere’s depth of experience. It is the left hemisphere’s feed of a survival mechanism, so we can feel safe, by adhering to that which we can seemingly understand.

One thing, no matter the belief system one is aligned with, that is a ubiquitous, is the understanding that no one really knows. All of life always comes down to a mystery, of a faith in a greater power, whether its labeled by ones left brain (all labeling is a left hemisphere duty) as nature, or as a god, or whatever it is you see the world as, it’s your right hemisphere that reads and translates the mystery, while the left, perpetually desires to explain it. Re-read that before you read this:

It‘s the egotistical left brain that would ever claim to know anything, the right has no agenda nothing to prove: it just is, it just does.

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

Sunday, November 1, 2009


Here’s the update, I have handed in my notice to Pure Yoga, I will be teaching my last class on approx. Dec 27th,2009.
I will be teaching at YaleTown Yoga In Vancounver, as well as other Yyoga studios for Jan and Feb, during the Olympic games period.
I’d like to thank the students, in HK and Quarry Bay.
I’ll be In Asia, again by May for the Bali Spirit Festival, and other special events please stay posted by email or facebook.

Angel's art

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Freedom Yoga Project -Blog 11- That's Deep

Location: Old Saybook Connecticut, Schuyler Grant’s, Director of Kula Yoga Project Summer Home, Kula Yoga Flow Advanced Training

I just spent about 10 min falling asleep as a hard working trainee, Lauren, was taking notes, as she was piling information into her computers memory, I realized, I could do more, more consisted of getting up out of a dream state, and pulling leftovers out of the fridge, sneaking the food so Lauren didn’t see me, saluting her good night, and taking off to hit my bed, with cold soufflĂ© in hand. Weird.

Lauren was completely unphased by my interest in her story, before we met I pulled her email from the trainee email list, and got to see her website. I was impressed with a picture on her website, so I posted it on Facebook as my profile pic, it still sits there today, as yoga is spray painted on a building wall. Not all connections prove to be profound, and a lot of time the profound is in the lack of celebration that comes with coincidence. She’s a Princeton grad, was a wall street trader, then a quick transition to yoga teacher, we come from different worlds, but we find a common practice to help us live in the overlapping the is our world.

After flying in from Asia, and coping with jet lag, I’m starting to feel better in my body now. It might also have something to do with the obsession I’ve had lately with jumping off completely stable and safe surfaces into seemingly dangerous waters, the most dangerous thing about the water is my fear of the unknown that may reside below the waters surface, and that’s why I do it, jump to make the seemingly dramatic mundane. The first time two Sunday’s ago in Bali while touring the volcano region with Sarah, and tonight I skinny-dipped if you can call it that, in the cool Atlantic Ocean.

This training is different then my others, the access to the teacher is like nothing I’ve ever experienced from someone so capable, a sense of nothing to hide. The overall vibe of this thing is tangible. Spirituality is an excepted companion to what we learn here, but far from the priority, or the discussion topic. After leaving a spiritual vortex like Bali, I was quite upset at the lack of dreaming that happens here, at least at first, yet, growth is still finding her cracks into the experience.

After I finally taught this afternoon, Schuyler humbled me with her feedback, she said the same thing I’ve been hearing for a while, “okay so your good, now relax into the space you’re in”, she said my teaching was on the verge of motivational, and not in a good way, more like a bad version of Anthony Robbins. I love the show within the show, and that’s the major thing that is necessary drop to grow, leave the actor behind…undefine the identity. It’s being smoothed out, it has to, growth follows intention.

I left Bali, into a coaxed extension of my time away from work, because growth to me is paramount. Yet it doesn’t have to be biblical, as much as Moses parting the red sea is epic, it can also be a simple as making a choice to go to bed early to create space for a miracle.

Tonight it became clear to me; it’s no longer good enough to play in the same waters as others that are good, in fact that alone would drown me out of those waters. I’m in NY now, where authenticity is the language. Authenticity has nothing to do with others; it’s a relationship with ones self, that relationship is only truly matured, when the present moment is entered. And the present moment is turbulent, It requires breath, and focus.

Schuyler has the same vibration as another New Yorker, Lori Triolo, my acting teacher that spent 2 years waking me up, by calling me on my shit, back in 2005-2007, never for a moment letting me get away with anything. I only left when I felt mistreated, as part of the theatre company we were part of, my writing a parody of the company became insulting, I thought it was genius. I said good-bye in a meeting that had both Lori and I in tears. It was a release, at least symbolically. I quickly became a yoga teacher, the space in my life that was emptied at the time carved out a whole new identity, and lifestyle.

I needed the space to grow, till now; no one with the exception of Ana Forrest has even brought up the idea of what Lori layered my life with. Truth. Deep Truth.
Here it goes again, truth in a time of great leaps.
I haven’t been in HK in over a month, other then the one night I joined some amazing people to rock that city.

My dream along side my yoga-teaching career is to ROCK OUT. To grab the Mic, and share my poetry, my touch, my excitement for life, and it’s potentials.
Can I do them both while separating them? Yes if I want to.
my other home
photo-Patrick Haley

Freedom Yoga aligned them into a definite gray area, fusing creation, performing and boundry breaking. The next stint in HK will be an amazing chance to Rock it out on many levels, in many layers, find a dance with both my own needs as well as common expectations. Drop the drama, because a lot it is simply there to create interest. The interest is present without a pushing of it, the hues are bright and interesting. The story is self told by just showing up, and getting out of my own way, let the light shine, let the light shine out the cracks.

The true moment will come with a jump, a leap into a world of unknowns, that leap is being foreshadowed with every body of water I jump in, every new culture I pierce, everyday I live, and as I write this blog. But the Drama can go.

My road as a teacher is also my road as an artist, and to step into the authenticity that I try to hold for my students, and my teachers, I see that to talk the talk, I must trust the walk, even if the path leads towards unknown land.

This is ‘a choose your own adventure’, only the choice leads to a leap, and the leap continues after the splash. A whole new world awaits, your presence.

Do it.

Open up.

Do it.

It’s the only way.

Go Bee Free

There are no answers only questions that re-create the previous questions, listen to the questions, and nurture their quality. They will nurture you.

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The Freedom Yoga Project- Blog 10- The Seed of Silence

In slow motion, I held the handlebar of the motor bike, I wouldn’t let go, even though the tight turn was steering us into oncoming traffic, I held till my cognitive wiring made sense of grasping the left handlebar brake and bringing the vehicle to a halt with my face looking at a Balinese man in the eyes, I laughed from complete embarrassment, and drove off. As I edged away from the intersection, I heard the voice of my friend Samantha Miller, Acro Yoga teacher and yet another raw food enthusiast that was trailing just behind say, “good save”, it perked me up and kept me going, but not without checking in with Sarah, she was hanging for dear life as my passenger for the moment that felt stretched into a lifetime. The universe has the courtesy of slowing down time and expanding space when death is within reach.

No damage, and plenty of humility.

After resolving the shock, the day proved to be informed by the powerful moment within the moment.

Somehow, a moment that was inches away from disaster was avoided. How? By gripping, holding on to something so tightly. I could swear that it was Sarah’s presence on the bike that got me holding from a deeper place, a silence within, that had me glued with ease and relaxation.

Unscaved, we went on with our day, spending most of it on a Motorbike, and really relaxing into the involvement that an open-air vehicle provides. A car driver is so disconnected from the road in relation to a motorbike driver, on the motorbike your part of the action, in a sheltered vehicle the option of presence is just that, like a family night in front of the television one can opt in and out of the goings on. On a motor bike in Bali, stay aware, Hati Hati (Balinese term on road signs for ‘caution’) because at any moment a dog may shoot out into traffic, a hole in the road might demand a last second swerve, or a 12 year old kid with more motor bike experience then you, might graze your ride with an ear to ear smile, within the ordered-chaos a constant extension of the practice that the lifestyle here makes possible.

The day was rich, full of meetings that took us beyond the Forest of Ubud through the freeways, and exhaust of polluting cars, back into the freshness of beach towns. From the amazing Constance of tribal temples, that act as homes, to the insidious reality of western superficiality that paints logos across people minds. A day with manifesting qualities that will flower in the silence of moments to come.

As the sun set, Sarah remained holding her thighs to my hips, hours on a motor bike can make you go nutty, but even though our asses numbed out and needed a lil’ mushing to feel again, we both relaxed deeply into the depth of conversation that was possible on a cross island trip. I needed to hit up a bathroom, and started feeling a tad lost; the day was full of maps. I randomly stopped off at a building that seemed lifeless, there was a spark of spirit, a guitar playing Balinese man, who reminded me of Lawrence P, enough reason to stop, as I left Sarah with the official map duties, I sauntered off to search for a toilet, walked up the back stairs of what first seemed to be a restaurant, only to have a rush of silence wash over me.
I had stepped into an art space that was full, at least 30, maybe 50, maybe more, Mandalas.

An art form that in the past I’ve had little experience with, none really other then when Patrick Creelman, my Karmic Brother, and one of the first men that allowed me to dream the dream of a male stepping into the role of Yoga teacher; he placed a large mandala ceremoniously above the Puja for our teacher training, in the summer of 2007.

But now I’ve been shown the light, the same way my mom and I once saw the amazing transformation of our awareness, by me getting my motorcycle license back in 2005, motorbikes were deeply imbedded in our conciseness, and everywhere we would look we would notice them. Since Sarah came into my life Mandalas have become ubiquitous, not only because she has two tattooed on her back, but it’s her language and when someone comes into your life with a message, the message tends to reveal itself by illuminating not the words as much as the silence that words soak in.

There’s a wealth in the Sanskrit term Sundi- meaning the space between, giving life to the seemingly empty.

Like a kid, or a Man, I returned, took over the Mapping duties, and knew that Sarah was about to meet her soul mate, all I could do was give my discovery away, step aside and let life unfold, I gave her time, knowing the language she was about to drench herself in was beyond alien to me. Me and the map, her and her life’s purpose over and over and over again.
I figured out the way to the Gaya Fusion Gallery where my friend Made Surya works, (I call him my brother from another mother-land, a local Balinese artist, and fast friend, that Daphne Tse introduced me to) then headed back to experience the spotlite art work that Sarah had lost herself in.
a Ordered-Chaos Mandala

This amazing trip has made things obvious to me, clear, and without options; within no options, many options do exist. The next step in my life has been unveiled. The discovery came in the silence, silence has been searching for me, destiny if you will, it can’t be avoided it will happen, it just will.

A small crisply tanned Balinese man softly stumbled out of his living quarters to show us his life’s work, with a smile that made my heart melt, and could have brought me to my knees as a student, he was inherently wise, explaining how his one trip to Los Angeles (Sarah’s home), made it obvious that his home was paradise on earth, even though he had no way of knowing prior to leaving the island.

He dropped wisdom in one comment that rode through my veins, commenting on the creation of his work “it all is born from a small seed, that seed is silence, I try to make the world a more silent place”, “ahhhhhhhha” I was relaxed in and inspired to live every moment in that frame of mind.

A day later, after having lunch and introducing Yoga to Wayan the medicine women Elizabeth Gilbert writes about in Eat, Pray, Love, I Walked over to a highly anticipated date with one of my favourite people in the World Cat Kabira. (A women way ahead of her time, we connected with a special dose of energy in May of this year during Ana Forrest’s advanced teacher training program in Rhode Island, Cat has an amazing story, and a solid Forrest Yoga DVD, contact me to buy one) Cat has a big part in Freedom Yoga, her ability to see into the spirit of an individual is magical, and back in May she made it clear to me that my creativity was not being harnessed in a productive way. She read my palms as if she was reading ancient scriptures that she had studied for lifetimes, knowing Cat, I know she has.

Even though Freedom Yoga has attracted a great amount of resistance from many people, including myself, it lives with purpose, and if for other no reason then for me to dance with adversity of creating something and sharing my depth with the world. That is more then enough.

This time Cat simplified her read on me, with five months of development behind us “listen to your body” was the advice, “listen to the stillness, and allow what is already decided to be informed by how you feel now.” As I held my hands in a high ten fashion she read “don’t settle” her gaze then lifted from my hands, pulled into an eye lock with me, dissolving her tender, wit, and as she does so often with me in the midst of core work she went from friend and contemporary to medicine woman, her determined tone vibrated deep into my being “promise me, you won’t settle”, “I won’t”. She is superhuman in many ways, yet she is only two months older then me and a human being with love as her dance partner, finding ways to allow her love and truth align, so very human, this wizard is.

I’m mid-air of this amazing journey.

Bali has re-introduced me to my true self, the stillness that a half a decade ago took MDMA and Eckhart Tolle’s ‘Power of Now’ to locate, now was attained by ‘being’ on an island with a culture of acceptance.

This morning prior to leaving for the airport, sitting on the toilet, while Sarah was four feet away in the shower, I was struck with an obvious truth, so I shared it with her. “ Obviously our connection has been moments of yes. Yes we are soul mates, Yes we found each other, Yes it’s magical, and at the same time obviously, we are finding ourselves needing space, questioning why we have invested all this time in each other. It is exactly where we are in our lives, we are not only mirroring each other, we are mirroring our own lives within this relationship, neither of us know where life is taking us, neither of us have any idea what lies ahead, all we do know by looking at the other, is that the other one of us has so much to offer the world, and it’s going to be big, it’s going to be special, and it’s going to take practice. We are exactly where we are supposed to be, with no idea where this road leads, only a clear path of a small showing of what lies immediately ahead.

For Sarah, her Bali trip was extended, from just over two weeks to close to three months, and potentials of growth in all directions that had a sweet incubation period.

As for Me, I’m in the meaningful intermission of this 5-week play, the Sundi, the space between. The stillness locked in, a return to another Island, Hong Kong, for under 24 hours, to perform with my friends at Gecko Lounge , then the awaited return to the third Island of this adventure Manhattan. Only willingness set as an intention, and the ability to listen to the silence within, will turn the page to the crystallizing story of my first year in my 30’s, into the rest of my life.

The Freedom Yoga Project, means more to me as a Blog, or as a Band of Musicians, but the seed came watching elderly Hong Kong women dance on a sunny Tuesday morning walk in late March, that I never would have went on had my heart not been broken.
Thank you.

For all of you have been my bridge to GOD.

This is the leap into the water; see you on the other side.

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Blog - Undefining Moment (tm)

When I woke up on the 11th day of my Bali adventure, I got up real fast, I was well rested, even though my sleeping hours were under 6. I did a Kundalini yoga class, and it felt F’n amazing, my veins were bursting with Shakti, a creative flow, I knew that things were changing in my life, AGAIN!!

The moment I woke I was acutely aware of the difference in the way I experienced the world, subtle, but distinct. I was seeing the pulse in everything, the complete rise and fall and this rise and fall was something that I am not only aware of but actively teach. I am seeing and feeling the pulse in my belly, in my veins, and I let the amazement barely affect me when I saw it in the Balinese jungle that I have been waking to for now almost two weeks.

Then I saw Sarah, a talented body worker from LA who just recently arrived at here at this amazing artists compound; her heart was palpating just to the left of her sternum, like a animated cartoon character, who had been stricken with love. I could see her organ begging to express beyond its vessel, in layers, rising forward from the center, then making a staircase down to her chest, a sacred mandala . I was no doubt amazed, and started questioning my eyes. Linking sight to vision and feeding the brain, I was wondering if I was lost in the Balinese daze, or maybe just yet again falling for the vision of a goddess in my presence.
the freedom yoga project

When we both entered the space for the yoga practice, I eagerly got on the mat, as if it would protect me from myself as a shield it has displayed in my life many times before. As I sat I refused to glance at Sarah, in fear that I would be locked in a gaze with what was building by her cleavage. So I sat and stared straight ahead and buzzed. The teacher, from Spain, was explaining how her name, which I missed, was a gift that a friend dreamed up for her. I don’t remember it, but it is an exotic sounding name starting with the letter A, and it means a musical instrument I’ve never heard of.

She was however listening attentively and I thankfully took that at a chance to look at her. Her curly locks resembled that of many a girl I grew up around. Thick tight curls, brunette ringlets that hung throughout her head like a Hasidic Jewish man’s Peyos would. Her hair had life, it had a pulse, and my mind took the dance with the pulse of both the terror and the excitement of such an intense perspective of the world. Pulsing hearts, typhoon-like curls. Both as an escape and a grounding mechanism as I was shocked and mesmerized at the sights I was seeing in my minds eye, I closed my eyes.

We see better with our eyes closed. What I saw was a completeness that brought me back to the single time it has touched me: my days of experimentation back in 2005, when I was spending time with the wrong people at the right time. People that were unconsciously exploring their consciousness, through a curiosity in social lubricants. About two years later I became part of a yoga community in Vancouver that was, and still is consciously experimenting with the expansion of their consciousness by stepping through doors that are only unlocked by either nature’s gifts, or scientific design based on nature’s capability.

Today there was only assistance from mother nature herself. I’m in Ubud, and the spirit tends to expedite in an environment like this. Funny how in a place like Hong Kong where everything is expedited, the soul sacrifices her transformation process, to clear the path for an expedited way to Mt. Money. Whereas in this paradise, Mt. Money is already there. Maybe not in the wallet, yet in a way that transcends the physical tangibility of the monetary value. The path up to the top of Mt. Money actually goes beyond the house in which the stereotype Hong Konger has positioned himself; it’s a shift in perspectives: in a way that would place the common Hong Konger’s identity in a half way house, it’s just not that important, the poor are rich here, because the entire world is so obviously connected to the mother, the earth, the dirt.

The pulse that I am describing can never be fully explained to you, yet you know it. It is occurring in your heart as we speak, and that’s on the more superficial level, but that same pulse is happening deep within every part of you and everything that exists on subtler levels.

I’m spending my post lunch afternoon at the local spot, Kafe, a restaurant that offers western cuisine at affordable prices, ranging from beef burgers to raw vegan cuisine (a lot of which is designed by a Goddess chef Goddess chef Leah, killer raw chocolate), and it’s all good. I choose an outdoor comfy couch setting so I can order a coffee and spark up a Clove cigarette. I’m not a tobacco smoker, but "when in Rome, do what the Romans do". It’s a chemical experimentation I’ve become quite fond of on this trip, the jacked up nature of the gourmet coffee, brings me to a sharp awareness, raising my fire/pita level, bringing my inner heat to the surface of my being, the Clove, tends to make me flow, a light-headedness, which gets me both into my breath (albeit not in the healthiest of ways) as well as into my body. This combination is completed with the marriage of story telling devices. The words of Anthony Kedis pulsate off the page of the 'Red Hot Chilli Peppers' lead singer’s autobiography Scar Tissue , while the rhythm of ‘Helios’ beats travel out my earphones through my eardrums resting in an amalgamation with images that the book conjures up in my impressionable mind.

I’m 30 and bowing down to the psyche gods, my brain is impressionable still. I want to learn, and through my yoga practice have become acutely aware that I am a learning machine, in fact the process of yoga makes it obvious. When we do something with care and awareness it will sink in to our cellular memory and our cognitive filing cabinet; add an emotional texture to it, and the learning process is attainable with patience.

I am doing so within the lessons of the pulse of life, many yogi’s have guru’s, teachers and mentors, I’m not one of those yogi’s. I have a pulse that beats experience through me and breathes me through life. I have an understanding that deep within my being there is a guidance, and that guidance has a voice which I can heed the call of, if I’m at the right place to listen to it’s clarity. That is my practice: to connect to the pulsation, of my soul, everything else is out the door.

I’m in process of un-defining every bit of me, because the flux that is my calling has no shape except in the present moment. If you take a picture of it, it’s obsolete, I’m not a yoga teacher, nor a writer, not an artist, nor a poet, not a Jew, nor a smoker, I’m none of these things, because in any given moment I am any and /or all of them, and guess what? so are you.

The paradigm shift is here, your path to Mt. Money starts with the step into the freedom of ordered-chaos, and find the complete freedom of un-defining yourself, your practice, your very is-ness. Eventually as you lay on your death bed and gasp the final earth breath, you will complete your life by an un-defining moment. Why wait, expedite towards the inevitable, and discover the layers beneath the skin, beneath the western idea of who we are, and touch your energetic center, your essence, I dare you, and implore you, I love you, and am you, So let’s.

We will rock we will roll, when the yogi’s take control.
Global Mala 2009 ignites this weekend!! Rise Up!!
I'll be there as a poet, to the Yogic tunes....BALI Pulsate to the rhyme.

GoBee Free

editor-Rani Kamaruddin

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.
Freedom Player
-Sarah A. Green

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Freedom Yoga Project Blog-8-You can’t stop destiny

You can’t stop destiny; something that is supposed to happen will occur, it just will.

Now that doesn’t mean that we have no choice in our lives, to the contrary, we have plenty of choices. The choice comes within our destiny, within the shape that our life was meant to take. I believe that what is meant to be, will be, even if our choices are incongruent. Lovers will meet, even if it’s only in the graveyard burial side by side.

It is a practice to continually make choices, and this assortment of directions that we are blessed with is based on our capacity to imagine. The more we can perceive the more we can conceive, and the more we can layer existing perceptions. The mash up creates a brand new cuisine.
smiles all around

When I was growing up my non-artistic dad got creative with what he connected with most, his food. He loves all food, he would get the leftovers, whatever they were that day, and slice up some wieners, glob in some ketchup and mayo, throw in an egg, and voila the Russian heritage allowed for a westernized version of a midday snack – in his Russian accent he’d call it “Meesh –Maaash” - Mish-Mash.

My friend Daphne, here in Bali, loves to use the word “visualize”. This process and our ability to plug into it as a practice is where our creativity lies, completely. Our ability to establish the visibility of an idea provides the possibility for it to manifest into reality. But before reality is bestowed upon any idea, the possibility to mold it, change it, fuse it, test it and taste it, is a freeing process. It is giving it a chance to organically evolve.

That’s where it all originates: an idea. Ideas are rich and so the creation of an idea is the beginning of wealth. Real circumstances (or boundaries) already in existence may be perceived to condition the process of our creation, but in fact they are a way the world collaborates in our creation process. The creation progresses with any choice you consciously make: instead of working under the conditions, work with those conditions, particularly when “idea” meets “reality”.

Whether it’s in finding your way into a yoga pose, writing a song, or making things work in a relationship, the ideas of how it should be like are naturally confronted with the boundaries of reality (e.g. a tight muscles, writers block, different needs or world views). When we feel confrontation, our natural reaction is to withdraw from it, but what if we realize that in fact, we are now presented with the chance to mold the idea? Instead of reacting to a confrontation, how about confronting your reaction itself?

We must test the boundaries, and I promise the boundaries will test you in return; it is a wonderful dance, that is uncomfortable because it’s confrontational, but if avoided, it’s a sad existence.

It's struggle of letting go of the struggle before you find the route into a pose; it’s the frenetic hair pulling that brings the shadows of your inner world to the the surface in the lyrics of the ultimate poem; it’s the dropping of the need to be right at all times which will break down the tension to finally plug in that one missing piece, which makes friends of enemies and torrid lovers of stale companions.

As poet Charles Bukowski puts it best: “if there is a spark that still lives, then a fire can burn again.”

The Mish-Mash: musicians have been doing it. In the 80’s kid’s taped songs from their favorite artists, compiled them and made personalized playlists, it did so well that today the top selling albums are compilations and on top of that, iTunes has made it possible to make your own mix tape by buying one song at a time.

The Mish-Mash: yogi’s are doing it, too. Ashtanga is so popular that schools have meshed with the variations they are teaching. We are in an age today, where things have shifted, we have such a wide array of practices available to us today, that a mish and mesh of all styles with vinyasa has become inevitable; and why not?
the Hip to the Hop set up

We say yoga is life, many comfortably say everything is yoga, I agree, if the intention is yogic, like Chandni said to me washing dishes is her yoga practice. Who I am on the mat is who I am in the world but the equation should work both ways; who I am in the world, is who I am on my mat. If we practice on the mat to make our lives more conscious, then why shouldn’t we practice our life in such a way to make our mat time more conscious? It works both ways. When the worlds collide they become one. The practice deepens to a place where it doesn’t start or end, it just is.

That’s the theory; the practice is to flow in the Mish-Mash of presence, on and off the mat. And the yogi steps into a place, where the only distinction between them and a non-yogi, isn’t the physical movement itself but the way the yogi breathes life into his ideas and his intentions that then becomes the personification the expression of a lifestyle that crosses conditions and predefined boundaries the Freedom Yoga movement.

The challenge of describing the Freedom Yoga Project as a system that has definable elements, has exposed the deep truth, that this is a constantly evolving artistic experimentation, which can only be authentic, if its elements are in a continual flux.

For me this means a constant presence, simply the ability to exist in this very moment. The eight limbs of Ashtanga yoga don’t need to be approached in a climb from one to eight, simply be all eight and any others you can perceive NOW. Mold them into one experience, a Mish Mash. The lifestyle has a name, she’s called Grace. Grace is a state of not thinking, but fully doing.

editor-Rani Kamaruddin

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Freedom Yoga Project- Blog 7-Current Vibrations

Re-creating yourself has to do with the company you keep, our environment includes the atmosphere of the space we are in, the people in that space, and how we affect the atmosphere as if with the tide of waters."

The last Freedom Yoga class before the 5 week hiatus did it differently. We visualized the perpetual elephant in the room: the air we breathed and space we kept. Like a fish would with his surrounding support.

“There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says, "Morning boys. How's the water?"

And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes, "What the hell is water?"

-David foster Wallace
Taking a trip

Get conscious, be aware of the water you’re in, go on a trip, make it out of your mind, and indulge in the miracle of life, in a way a newborn would creep into a world of fascinated on lookers, get fascinated with what you choose to surround yourself with and what you find yourself surrounded with, as it is the best way to grow, by learning not just from what surrounds you but becoming aware of that very energy.

People, places, behaviors, intentions, circumstances. The number is 5 and it works like this, for the past 5 months I’ve created here, and for the next 5 weeks I go there and there. ‘Here’ is full of growth and shifts. ‘Here’ was once ‘There’, until the tides changed and winter seamlessly transitioned into spring. The water swayed and the school of fish changed. When the tides changed, a well flowing machine begun questioning his movement, and when the movement changed locations, the shape of objects and objectives were instantly redirected, as was the surrounding and the people to which I was subjectively redirected, a complete revamp of the previous era.

Robbie Tenzer - a student with more heart than she’ll ever know, an inspiration that is rich in flavor, a grit that is the most fantastic thing I’ve experienced in Hong Kong, a yogi, a fashionista, and a genius in designing denim, a complete human, and a woman with a spine – the support

Perri Gorman - our time together is always limited, but her space was my aquarium for 2 months while she traveled. A shift in space created a rush of clarity and a new-found solitary opportunity. This woman is on fire, if she doesn’t burn out, then she’ll fly like a rocket, the queen of getting it done. check out -

Neer, Eric, John, Richard G, Chris, and Peter - the men in my life, a whole bunch, who have proven to me that my individuality is a prize, that my courage is an asset, and that my intuition is spot on. These men are my Monday night Men’s group, and they are standard keepers, the trend setters of my life for the week.

What makes the men so powerful is that with them I can practice the vocabulary fight, it’s a spiritual experience of trust and safety where the art of argument is championed in this sacred group. It’s not so much about the argument as it is the honest and open environment that makes it possible for us to experience our edge, noticing its arrival, and breathing right in to it.

When I make my approaching 5-week trip, what I will miss most are those sweaty hours in the dance sessions with Alfred and Giselle , two Pure-Fitness instructors who influenced my rhythm more than any other teacher in HK since my return from NYC. From Hip Hop to Modern, an unlikely duo that have re-created the idea of truth and have done it better than any yogi could have.

A woman, with whom I spent 83 hours, Ana Forrest , who is the personification of ‘in your face’, of living on the edge with a sense of compassion that makes the present moment sweet and full of depth even when it’s painted with mud. I don’t know what you did, but I’m more awake than I have ever been. Thank you.

Ana passed the baton over toSchuyer Grant , a woman I’ve met only twice, brief encounters post her Kula Flow classes in Tribeca, NYC. I’m following my heart and with limited experience, I’m jumping in to her Advanced Teacher Training starting in Old Saybrook, Connecticut on Oct 1st. Already, her sense of creativity has spoken deeply to my living, now I’m bringing it back with me.

Simon Park and Julia Horn - the mix tape will explain…stay tuned.

Lawrence Pradhan - the other half of the musical force known as ‘The Freedom Yoga Project’ although I would argue he is more than half of anything. I’m humbled for his presence, and his genuineness. I learn from him moment to moment.

A woman who is taking the world by storm. Johanna Andersson is more than a Nike spokesperson, she is the yogi version of Madonna in the making, with heart, and experience (she has assisted Shiva Rea, and had been singled out by Ana Forrest). Her teaching schedule has the 26 year-old traveling Europe with workshops, retreats, and teacher trainings, working themselves in between her own busy training schedule as well as constant up keep of a website and constantly updated blog.

The East Village - Jess and Brigitte , and the trips we take to the tattoo parlors.

But know I’m saving the best for last… the Four Pack: Rani, Alice, Maria, Angel – these are students that have stepped far beyond the call of duty, taking initiative beyond their practice.

Rani - the ultimate, organization whizz, a heart of gold, and a calling for the truth as well as the official editor of this very blog. So wise…wise. I will never forget the moment that we first really saw each other, mats side by side while Nickie Pool worked us hard in the core practice during the Ellen Heed workshop.

Alice - the brave soul, she energizes me on a regular basis with her ability to listen, open her mind, and creatively explore a left brain, with a need to break out the box. The inspiration.

Maria, I remember the day she slipped into my class for the first time, in TST, she has been by my side ever since, a beautiful woman and the ultimate movement expert: a dancer, a Pilates teacher and serious yogi, living from a sense of play - this girl lives in her body.
Freedom @ Mint. modern dance, with a poetic strum, the band. LJM, LP, ML.

Angel, My friend. My student, My teacher, and tour guide to the Milman women when in HK.

These are my currents, the water that I jumped into, they have been and will continue to be. Yet, I’m stepping in to a brand new place, three weeks in Bali, two in the American northeast, from paradise, the terrain I was created on, only to live and be re-created.

GoBee Free.

editor-Rani Kamaruddin

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Freedom Yoga Project- the aftermath-Building it up, to breakthrough.

The breakthrough comes only if there is a struggle. There has to be resistance to experience the contrast between "almost" and "beyond". It's a fine line, but the resistance creates its form sharply, like the level of tension of the strings of a guitar spanning from the machine heads over the soundhole to the bridge that determines the pitch at which the air inside the body vibrates and breaks through in finding resonance at a free frequency.

This experience has been challenging, and rewarding, and I justify the challenging by the reward. I so badly want to grow, to be better than right now. Only I know, I can only be here in the now. That is all there really is. Monica said "I’ve read the book. So go on, you ain’t teaching anything new". Monica is one of my Kula members, Kula means family or community in Sanskrit, and she is my sister from another land that teaches at the same studio as I do. She would remind me that at times perhaps my courage is better left... within. Somehow, when the words descended into my body, it was like the sound coming from a tightly spanned guitar string: it spiraled up a higher vibration that lured my courage to flow….. without.
I know what I want. Presence.

When the "From the Hips to the Hop Workshop" ended on Sunday night, a huge weight of responsibility rolled off my spine, well I was off to Subway, dinner time. I walk in with my Freedom support pillar Lawrence Pradhan, with whom I not only share my name, but more so, the passion of creation and in whom I find resonance at whichever frequency he plays the guitar. I order a sandwich “cut the bun all the way through please”, they normally do a taco style half cut to stuff it, I like it stacked. I won’t eat Subway meat, so I normally order the veggie delight, with the veggie patty- “please don’t microwave the patty, toast it, with the bun, no, no not on the bun, beside it, yeah, thanks” 45 seconds later, the bread and patty rolled out of the toaster, “will you please, spread the mayo” that’s right I eat mayo,”yes spread across the top half with a knife, right there, there’s a glob, spread that out, thanks, perfect.” I know exactly what I want and how I want it.

The distribution of energy is very much like the spreading of the mayo on the bun, we only have so much of it, and we want to make the most of what we have. The globs are like packets of energy that we let go unspread, unmentioned; just like taboos, ideas and notions that have been deemed immoral social customs.

The way I directed the sandwich-creation exercise can be seen to be laborsome to the naked eye. Even after two years of an average sandwich, every two months it’s always a surprise to those sandwich creators and the spectators in line. This time was different because of my company, Lawrence, who not only found the process innovative, but decided to apply my sandwich-making directions to re-create his own sandwich, re-creating the average into something non-average: I led the way for re-creation to happen in his Subway sandwich-creation life.

Freedom Yoga is just like giving sandwich-creation instructions. No, not bad analogies, but it’s the truth, it’s in the specifics, and it’s asking explicitly for what it is that you want, that, - although it may not seem so -, extends beyond one's individual benefit directly affecting the collective. The sandwich-making creatorship is a skill-developing exercise: it’s important to speak your mind and shine a light toward others to having the courage to speak their mind.

It is not easy to guide the sandwich-artists to follow a routine that I re-created, because it is completely different from what they create. But I do it, because it makes a difference to me, the output is greater than if I were to remain silent. That would be a glob, and I’m looking to spread all the taboos out. My natural instinct is to be a rebellion: to destroy only to re-create, to find a new shape in an update of yesterday’s idea. I don’t believe in right or wrong, I believe in the moment, in making the most, while staying tuned in to the climate that is revolving. What Hong Kong and creating Freedom Yoga here has taught me is skillfulness, and finesse; physically, verbally, and mentally.

I step away from my first ten weeks with the Freedom concept, only with the intention to re-create it again. I plan on making the expression of energy expand, spreading it out like mayo and where I find globs I will expose them. That’s the point to unleash taboos, to find a way to get skillful. We have established a base, and now we can re-create it, without destroying our foundation.

I feel we can, as the rebellion turns to pride, and the pride dissolves into a deep sense of maturity. Phase one has ended brightly, phase two will explore how light meets shadow on the journey that travels through the untouched territory of mysterious but adventurous obscurity.

To be continued.

We’re going somewhere.

editor-Rani Kamaruddin

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Freedom Yoga Project- Blog 5- the Calm Before the Storm in tribute to Morako Victims

Recreating a Pose

It’s just a couple of days away and I am feeling the life force that breathes through this process of creation and re-creation, lifting me off the mat, and taking me on journeys that I have not taken before.

As a grounding influence, this blog has used people to describe Freedom Yoga. It has discussed acting techniques, and hinted at a strong need for movement, re-creation, of what the world knows as yoga. Many individuals that walk into the studio surprise me, of all ages, of all lines of life experience and they are the ingredients of Freedom Yoga. Freedom Yoga is the act of bringing together single individuals to form one cohesive force of energy. The explosive release of that energy in as many different forms as individuals is freedom. It’s free. Or… as the first Pure teacher attending the class on Sunday puts it:

Freedom is available all the time but I sometimes forget that I myself have enclosed it in until someone breaks it out of the box, and says -- ‘Here you go, all yours, now run and jump or stay still --- all up to you, you’re free. I’m right here, won’t judge you, will guide you if you need me and just let you be. Play.’ I loved and savoured every second and didn’t want the hour to end. Thank you for your inspiration. Wind, string, strum, ladder, glass box, ball, water, pole, wings, socks, bamboo, poetry --- my kind of symphony! You are a gift.

A gift, each class so far has been a gift. Earlier this morning I climbed the visionary ladder into the upper chambers of my head, exploring what was there that I could demystify to re-create and give as a gift. I had my workshop prepared, knew exactly how I was going to give form and substance to it, but subconsciously I knew something was about to happen, like the lightening that is expected seconds after thunder roars the skies.

It wasn’t until that moment when the Pure events staff called to me asking for my thoughts on directing the workshop into a charity event for Morakot-victims that I realized how interconnected that natural disaster was to my coincidental state of mind. As the typhoon blew its breath over the island of Taiwan, its life force took away that of many, the death toll was moving towards 500 (last time I checked) and here I was, safely harbored in the upper chambers on the left and right side of my brain, watching the re-creation of turbulence.

To be completely honest, up till the point of that call, I didn’t know about typhoon “anything”. I was consumed with the process of creating as I woke up to the realization that it’s the universe of which I form part, a universe that creates and destroys itself only to re-create itself. The universe that is freedom; the freedom is universal. I am blessed with an opportunity to look beyond the The Freedom Yoga Project, to influence it with it and in it. How ironic in a class that toys with the elements of wind and water, that its maturity is guided by the horrid effects of wind and water!

I can see myself now. I would stand up, the way Sean Penn did when he took out a full page in the Washington Post, printing a letter he wrote to President Bush addressing the way he along with millions of Americans disapproved of how the Bush administration was handling the “liberation of Iraq”, the “search” for weapons of mass destruction. Liberation means a release from constraints, yet it is barely anything close to freedom; liberation almost always follows resignation, where freedom embodies something infinite. In the hope of healing ‘the system’, I would stand proudly in my Jewish heritage, the proof is in the two central words of the old testament, known in Hebrew as the Torah, right in the middle. The core of the scriptures is the idea of continual questioning, and I’ve lived to personify its meaning. Like Johnny Depp was shaking his head in dissatisfaction, I see myself shaking my head off dissatisfaction, claiming both I and the details of all surrounding the workshop could reach a new level of reality, vitality, artisticality.

With that, and the “Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior”, we’ll twist the typhoon this weekend, by cycloning the proceeds of the event to The Red Cross. The mat brings us together, yet life is delivered in the moments between mat meetings. Power struggles, boundaries, and sheer ablity to fall at the feet of love will all shaken the inner experiences like typhoons, rallying the earth in full force freedom.

editing - Rani Kamaruddin
special thanks- Kitty Cortes

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Freedom Yoga Project - Blog 4 - we are the 'Dreamers'

Do. Act. Here. Now.

Just keep going, one day after another, the mechanical hamster wheel of life!

I first became conscious of the hamster wheel when I returned to the treadmill after my first yoga studio was moving away from the 26-2 bikram sequence I had been practicing for a year - 26 yoga postures, each performed twice, with 2 breathing exercises as bookends for the 90 min class - a routine that was the only yoga I knew at the time. Apparently, there were legal issues around copyrighting the name and sequence. I took it as a sign that the yoga wasn’t pure enough for me to stick with; and this was my chance to escape, back to my rightful home, the treadmill, with a book, or better yet, music videos playing on the television screen hanging in front of my eyes to help the time pass unconsciously. Now you tell me which of the two the hamster wheel was.

One of my most vivid memories of the long, storied relationship I had with the treadmill was of this day: I was at ‘extreme’ fitness in Thornhill, a Toronto suburb. As gym rats hovered nonchalantly to the world being set up for a revolutionary shift that is still quivering today, I, a fresh 22 year old, was jogging at a dilly-dallying pace on the treadmill, simultaneously eyeballing CNN, unconscious of the fact that within minutes I was about to witness the world being shaken by images of planes crashing into the twin towers. September 11th, 2001.

So, three years later, over a year into living on the Canadian west coast and practicing yoga for the same span of time, I exchanged my yoga mat for the treadmill. I brought a book, read and ran. I felt like a hamster in a hamster wheel: fooled. Though my mind and body were both there, the different focal settings led me to only getting half of the experience. It took me less than a week to get my act together, cancel the hamster wheel membership, and step onto a brand new yoga mat. The contrast made it obvious that I craved for a fully connected practice. That’s right: a practice. Not for hamsters.
Patrick Haley
AYC 2009

Let’s wheel back to Sanford Meisner in Blog 1 . In the 2-year acting program, Sandy asked the class of acting neophytes “how many light bulbs are in the room?”. It sounds like it may have been a trick, especially when perceived by a student who is looking to impress, yet there isn’t a right or wrong answer to the question, rather, the answer is irrelevant. The question is just a device, and the device is to instigate a ‘doing’. It means nothing to count it the fastest, as it means nothing to have the right number of light bulbs; as really, the focal point of that question is to actually ‘do it fully’.

When we are fully steeped in our activity, that what we do becomes us and that is what is undisputable. Like one can say whatever one wants about Michael Jackson, the artist, yet it is undisputable, that when he was in the moment performing, the stakes were high and the pressure of that moment closed in on one focal point. As such, all the opinions melted away, because in that moment he was captivating for one reason: he had a talent for ‘fully doing’. The greats seek out high stake situations. It’s not about showing off their acquired skills; rather, it is an ‘expression’ of their talent under intense circumstances to conquer the left brain and find the right side just in time for the storm. The storm brings out the deepest truths, the hidden talents as well as hidden blockages. The storm is the action of the mind and the body swirling away from the spirit. As the storms arise, we get still, connect to our center, and ride the waves. Staying cool. Watching. Feeling. Being. The serious at play.

A practice of letting go of time by so ‘fully doing’ creates the space for time to pass on its own without the urge for us to find any form of distraction to help it ease it’s passing.

Yoga has always been a form of art. While the mainstream has offered its friendship, there is a community growing parallel to what we see. What one would call the watering down is actually a fortifier. Spreading the practice may seem like thinning the quality. However, publications like Yoga Journal have taken yoga beyond the dogmatic followers of endless lineages, deepened it beyond the upper middle class and landed it there where it has always lived within the urban artists, those individuals that have made a life out of living yoga. Yoga didn’t change us, it just lent us a tool to communicate, a common language. Finally, those of us that have the ability to make our dreams come to life in this world have found our medium to share our soul secrets on a regular basis with the television generation (after all, many of us are spawned from this media culture), the generation that was conditioned into the left side of the brain, almost as if it was deprived of the right side.

As Caroline Myss PhD. and bestselling author says: the parts of us that we have developed are just as much part of us as the parts we have yet to discover. By use of music, imagery, organic movement, breathing/pranayama exercises, and one of the best workouts you’ll find in a Hong Kong hour, Freedom Yoga is creating a small space for big transformations in empowerment to take place, within you. Again, not for hamsters.

I can’t tell you how proud I am of the first 8 classes, guards down, students come back and back, times 8. To sweat, and play, to dream a little and smile a lot. The intention for me is to create that space where inspiration and insight meet one another. I now walk out that studio door, feeling both.

The mat played a part in a new type of domestication. The Freedom Yoga way is to throw the mat to the side, stepping off the mechanical wheel, out of the box, into the unknown, into becoming Freedom Yoga. It can never be anything but yoga, no matter what happens; baseball is yoga, dancing is yoga, Sebastian Foucan is yoga, Jill Bolte Taylor is yoga, Freedom is yoga, everything is yoga, because, ‘The Dreamers’ don’t do yoga; we live yoga.

Welcome to the start of the re-creating of what we thought we already knew. Do it fully. Break the hamster wheel.
Stoke of insight-click on Jill Bolte Taylor for amazing link.

editing - Rani Kamaruddin
special thanks- Peter Lloyd

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Testimonials- From Freedom Fighters

Rani Kamaruddin-
from a freedom follower who's attended 4 out of the 5 sessions:

break the routine, don't become a machine;
get out of your shell, you too have a story to tell;
start to feel, it makes everything so real
spice it up with that beat, really that's what you'll need;
a class that empowers liberation, in movement and imagination;
create your own creativity, apply a sense of sensitivity
check it out yourself, this doesn't come off a shelf;
so get your spot fast, that mat belongs to the past;
it's going to set you free, and that's just one guarantee

GO CHECK IT OUT, words are limited in terms of expressing freedom. DO IT.

John Morgan-

First taste of FY tonight: lively, unique, fun, unpredictable, positive, different… it sneaks up on you to make you sweat… perfect sounds for the experience… then you sweat more… a combined sense of work in development and , yes, freedom. Well done, L.

Angel Yan-

Not yet find a simple & easy way to explain what is "Freedom Yoga" though I already took a couple of the best way to understand it is to "try it" & "feel it" sometimes feeling cannot be literally expressed. Once you try, I am sure you will love it as I do.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Freedom Yoga Project- Blog 3- The Definition Of "Hip Hop"

Today is Saturday, July 25th. The day started as my friend Patrick woke me up. I stayed over at his family’s home the night before. We watched Inside the actor’s studio with Johnny Depp , then slid in the DVD of “Dead Man Walking”. Sean Penn. As mentioned in "WRITE NOW” (Blog 2) , I love to read. I recently colored my life with Sean Penn, by completing a transition book on the return long haul from NYC: “ His Life and Times. Sean Penn the authorized biography”. Penn had just become one of my teachers; his life carries a stench of integrity, and I stand in that stench inspired. As the waft lingered, we made Vision Boards. Slicing up magazines to create a creative collage of what I’m designing of my life. Inspiring INTO my life.
Book Cover I carried From NYC to HK

I would be speaking at an interfaith dinner tonight. I was invited to speak on the topic “Freedom”. I would be sitting there side by side with religious scholars, an ordained Interfaith Minister Peter Llyod, a Lutheran Priest of the Christian church, a Hare Krishna since he was eight years-old and then there was me. What life throws at you can be so odd! Of course this is a dream, and I am the contributer assisting its unfold, one moment at a time.

This day off felt different. I intentionally created the space to be exposed to the space to create. The real conception of what happens in FREEDOM YOGA starts from here: the creative process, which heavily relies on my spirit. In the way a musician leads the breath through a saxophone deducing sound, it’s the breath capacity that leads the spirit through me inducing creation.
Blowing Breathe

The breath and the instrument are powerful tools, independently; the saxophone is a brilliant architectural design, and the breath, the birth right of every human being, yet together they create a brand new paradigm, re-creating their solo identity, a whole new world view. It’s a creation of the breath journey - a new wave of frequency that concurrently fuses with the truth already existing, like a ray of sun shining through mosaic glass, creating a kaleidoscopic range of colored light, yet it’s still light in it’s purest form.

Freedom Yoga is yoga, yet it carries the spine of Sean Penn’s courage; the courage of a man that married and divorced Madonna, said “no” to a ten million $US film role for the mere fact that it lacked depth, got on a plane to Iraq, when the world was convinced that “Weapons of Mass Destruction” were hidden under some Persian rug in the region. He is embarrassed by being an actor, because he is much more than that, he is an artist. Like Sean, Freedom Yoga invites you to go beyond the boundaries, to reform the shapes that condition your mind, to step out from the expected and be curious as to what else is there. Here.

It soaks up Johnny Depp’s heart, the man is completely unsatisfied, “If I was completely and totally over the moon about my work and I was satisfied. I would get out of the business immediately. I would leave this work behind. Because I think, for me as an actor, if you get to a place where you're satisfied, you're happy with it, then you're dead. It's over. You're not hungry anymore. You won't try things anymore.” That thought personifies his lust for life, Depp illuminates life’s beautiful unknown, the Freedom that lives in the mystery, and the mysterious urge to lose control by the continual evolution of exploration, and experimentation.

When your full time job is to play, playing itself becomes focus. Freedom Yoga, is yoga, but it’s so much more.

It’s a yoga class by all means, but ignore the gossip, it’s neither a dance class, nor is it a hip hop class, (although it is derived from the deepest truth of hip hop - to make the most out of limited resources). It is the canvas of a painter, the blank page to a writer, the denim of the designer, the empty studio of a choreographer, a welder’s metal and now a playground to the explorer of breath, imagination, and emotion.

Spiritual, in it’s very true nature. As it calls on your spirit to give more then it’s used to. Giving more in the sense of complete surrendering, the ultimate LET GO.

Alignment, increasing one’s breath capacity, or exploring the great philosophies that were born out of the yoga traditions, are the pillars of the yoga zeitgeist. Freedom re-creates all three by marrying them; alignment, breathe, and deep truth, contained in a makeover that asks YOU to participate. You must show up with the open mind of a philosopher, but then be prepared to throw it all away again just to allow your spirit (you may call it your subconscious) and your body to be swept by the music, while your imagination leads you through the rise and fall of your body. In some classes you can fake it, in this class you’re exposed. BIG TIME. The feeling of inability to play puts the truth right in the centre of the spotlight: to play is a choice, and choice is the most powerful energy there is, even eclipsing love; for even “to love” is a choice.

As the mic was handed to me, after freedom was explained from the Christian perspectives, as well as the Hare Krishna angle, I simply said I was born Jewish, and I teach yoga, but my religion is Art, I am an artist. I believe in the truth of expression, creation, and ideas. Freedom is the process of the three coming together and moving apart as solo identities with the sole purpose of coming together again to move apart again; making the most out of limited resources. recreation and re-creation.

editing - Rani Kamaruddin

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

photo- Patrick Haley
Asia Yoga Conference

Friday, July 24, 2009

Freedom Yoga Project Blog #2 - WRITE NOW

“When I read I get lost, willingly, hopefully, I beg of thee, book, take me away from this reality and flow my imagination to a playground where dreams come true.” – Lawrence-Jacob Milman

Freedom Yoga Project Blog #2

When time frees up what better, then get a book to let your mind grow, fill it up with mystique. And when a long haul flight to JFK airport in New York is ahead, 15 hours in a sky steeped tube will grant you a head start. Books don’t usually tie me up or render me helpless, but when they do, the pages smother my existence, as they did this time.

On May 10th sitting on the runway moments away from lift off, I put away my cell phone after sending text messages to many that touched my life in the past year and a half of my HK experience. I felt I was preparing on something to shift. I was committed to returning to the Asian island different, reinvented, fresh. The text messaging was as much a “Good Bye” as it was in appreciation. In fact, simply those two words graced one particular message, “GooD ByE”.

With one ending, many beginnings were about to be born. I’m a descendent of Russian Jews, my Mum, and Dad, both from the Ukraine met in Canada, married in Toronto, and had three Canadian children, we are the first generation, I’m the eldest, middle sister Jax, and eight years my junior Mark, our name is spelt Milman, one L. It was a book that has been brought to my attention various times over the years, and it only really stuck due to the author’s name, he phonetically shares my family name. It’s called “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”, by Dan Millman.

The book was made into a Major Motion picture. While still living in Vancouver B.C., I connected with the big screen version. I very much have a system when embarking on any journey: 1. Choose a book that will color my perspective, and 2. Write, in fact WRITE NOW, which happens to be my personal mantra. This time, the book chose me. A new yet keen student offered to lend me the sequel Millman book “Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior”, she said it helped her get through a loss of a friend. It turned out that the book prepared me for the shift, as I was going to spend nine intense days with Ana Forrest, an unconventional master of the art of yoga, in the unconventional yogic setting of Cranston, Rhode Island.

I’m a Poet. No question about it, everything that leads you to this point is part of who you are. I came into teaching as an Anusara-Inspired yoga teacher, meaning, I jumped through the hoops to get my name accredited on the Company website. Hoop jumping is a huge part of what everyday life is, the hoops that Anusara led me through were truly heart opening, empowering and nourishing. It’s a system and philosophy that is both bio-mechanically and spiritually elegant and since I decided to live a life of elegance, the flavor was satisfying. The lines are sharp, the physical benefits are sleek, the performance visually stimulating and intellectually challenging, a high performance vehicle, somewhat like a Cadillac. BUT…. I’m a Poet – and in being one, it’s where my heart hijacks my mind, and takes it on a joy ride into my gut. I see yoga as the breath that links these three, The Mind, The Gut, The Heart.

Ana Forrest stands in all her shit and, like a lotus flower, rises above it. The depth and darkness of her story frames the context in which the use of the word “shit” is appropriate. Against her story, that word carries sweetness in the images that she has passed through. Forrest Yoga is flavored in a way that’s more like my time studying theatre; sharing the commonality of feeling. Ana’s mantra is “mending the hoop of the people”. To heal we must surrender to the disease, and the discomfort would not be pretty, in fact the demons inside of us are dark. How do you make come to terms with your monster? By creating a safe space, and believing in its ability to heal its hoop. It’s not swatting the cockroach but surrendering to its quirkiness.

In the book, Dan Millman’s journey has him striving for an opening beyond the third chakra, into the heart. It is said that the journey from the third to the fourth chakra is the biggest leap any individual can take. The shift from manipurna to anahata is as huge as if you’re taking off on a long haul flight to JFK, it’s like flying. Or like in the movie The Matrix, where Neo had the ability to leap like superman, but still had parts of his identity to let go of before he was ready to feel the depth of his ability. That giant’s leap, that was the shift; that was my shift!!!

Ana’s hoop imagery is inspiring to me, so much that I recognized it in Leonard Cohen lyrics-

"Ring the Bell that still can ring, forget your perfect offering, there is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

Healing is the ultimate acceptance of the monster, and the monster when looked at through the eyes of possibility, through the fourth chakra, Anahata, is the window to the light. The crack is nature finding an artery to shine the light in. Mending the hoop doesn’t need to look like a car with a brand new body, as it’s perfect already as it is, as a vehicle with a dent in the fender and a rope holding the door closed. In these creative moments we discover character, grit and authenticity. This is the seed of Freedom Yoga.

Copyright © Lawrence-Jacob Milman, 2009. All rights reserved. The reproduction or transmission of all or part of the work, whether by photocopying or storing in any medium by electronic means or otherwise, without the written permission of the owner, is prohibited. Any unauthorised use or act in relation to the work appearing on this website will result in both civil and criminal liability.

the leap
grey's chakra's