Reiki, Meditation, Yoga, Nutrition, Running, Cooking, Gardening
Any time is a good time to sit and breathe.
This picture is from a recent trip to Washington D.C. to rehearse one of my operas with the Army Field Band and Soldier's chorus. We were waiting for a friend to meet us for dinner in the lobby of the hotel and my friend and collaborator, Jerre Dye, was on a phone call, so why not take a minute and breathe? He caught me in the moment... As "payment" for his photography I gave him some Reiki (energy healing) for his back.
Looking back, I suppose the signposts, though passive, had always been there. Even though my parents kept a picture of Baba Muktananda hanging in the house (ever since a brief three night stay at his ashram in the 1970s) and sang me to sleep with "Om Nama Shivaya", they didn't have anything that resembled, at least to a child, a formal practice/relationship with "yoga". Despite the lack of asana awareness my parents', my past lives', and the universe's influence must have had some positive impact. By high school I had started reading about Zen, experimenting in Tai Chi and Aikido, and sequestering myself in the band instrument vault during tunes for which I didn't play to sit cross-legged with my eyes closed and breathe. However, sadly, and most ironically, these practices stopped when I moved to New York for college and a mentor answered my interest in studying yoga/meditation further with "those are all cults."
Seven years later, a health scare (at age 25 40 pounds over weight, 300 total cholestoral, 450 tryglycerides, pre-diabetic - all tested because my father just had a triple bypass due to the "widowmaker") forced me to rethink how I was living. Doctors said I'd need pills because of my family history. I said "no". I started running and reading about nutrition (I'd never really done either). Nutrition became an obsession and is to this day. Brittney encouraged me to try the yoga studio (AROUND THE CORNER TO THE APARTMENT I HAD BEEN LIVING IN FOR TEN YEARS!! - can you tell how frustrated I am that I listened to that "mentor") as I trained for my first 100 mile race in 2015. Life changing. Thank you Jaya!!
Along the "road to 100" I also discovered the miracle that is whole food plant based nutrition (and the debunking of the idea that in order to thrive one needs to consume animals and animal products). In my humble opinion (and experience), eating solely plants (no consumption of anything that came from an animal) and practicing ahimsa (love and kindness to all beings) are the key to begin thriving from the inside out no matter who you are or from where you come.
Yada yada yada, here I am now eight years later with a daily practice, a 200 hr yoga teacher training certificate from Jaya Yoga, I am attuned to the Reiki thrice ("Level 2"), and cook lots and lots of plant based meals for the whole family...including a recent infatuation with plant based cheeses (see Instagram and Blog for more on that!).
I live in Greenwich, CT with my wife and two children. I'm here to talk and work with anyone who finds that the signposts have been pointing you towards an exploration of any of these practices and lifestyle changes as well. Please reach out if you think I can help in anyway!