March 4, 2011

Rainbeau Mars: the Elephant Interview.

Bob Weisenberg, elephant yoga editor:
Hi, Rainbeau. Welcome to Elephant Journal. Recently you wrote, about your recent trip to India, “I tell my mind to not let the ego of doubt and fear control my soul’s ability to grow, let go, choose what makes my heart beat faster and expand.”  Could you tell us more about that growth you’re experiencing, and why this trip was so exciting for you?

Rainbeau Mars, yoga teacher:
Finding our truth is very interesting. If we are in our heads and rationalizing, or even worse, engaging and believing in the limited or negative thought patterns of others around us, we can easily stay stuck in one place. To find our true heart’s passion, we must journey to the inside.

Getting on the mat and practicing yoga is always helpful. The breath is the meditation, the body a prayer. By taking the time to deliberately re-calibrate the inner energy centers/chakras/discs of our inner being, we understand who we are, not as floating heads but as spiritual beings having a material human existence.

We use mantras, color visualizations and innovative movement to balance and re-align the inner and outer bodies in ra’yoKa to dial us into our brighter selves. Therefore, our choices and actions become clear manifestations, an example of the internal work.

My recent trip to India was especially exciting for me because it was to be part of a ceremonial initiation of enlightenment/Buddha Maitreya led by the Dalai Lama – something that has never been done before – and to hands on feel and experience the presence of 10,000 monks embodying prayer, discipline and compassion was simply something to be experienced first hand.

Bob: How do you reconcile the differences between East and West?

Rainbeau: The planet is going through a major awakening at the moment. We as the yogis and beings who are working on self-actualization must realize that each step we take into existence is also an offering and blessing to the people and places that influence us. There is urgency for us to learn from each other, take what is essential and leave the rest behind.

We are all learning from each other, the west from the east and the east from the west. Being on the humble and holy lands of India is always a reality check on not only the vast wealth we have in the west but the realization of our oneness with all things around and within us, from the dark to the light, we must find the darkness within our own 72,000 channeled material form and bring light there.

How do we do this? We are continuously learning. Then, we take this light, and we light the torch of others and so on. Now is the time, and we are the ones. To be part of this process on any level is a beautiful blessing and honor. To be standing and sitting among my spiritual teachers and friends is a gift, and I am dedicated to fully awakening and being of service to the planet. I will forever be a baby student with the realization of how much there is to learn everyday.

Bob: Do you ever find the demands of your commercial activities interfere with your personal practice of Yoga?  Is it ever hard to balance your entrepreneurial success with your spiritual practice?

Rainbeau: No, although funny, I just was talking to a Rimpoche about the Bodhi Satva philosophy – “no one gets enlightened until we all do.” He looked at me with glowing eyes and a bright smile and said, “If you want to make a billion dollars to serve the planet, then this is a good cause.” Here they needed to raise $200,000 in order to allow all the monks to attend this ceremony for free (unlike the spiritually enlightening rock concerts that we fork over money to get into). Someone must pay for the spiritual work these beings are doing. Where does it come from?

I dream of giving hundreds of people jobs and millions and millions of people the knowledge to heal their home, health, bodies and lives. Green energy goes and flows around in order to heal. I celebrate prosperity and realize that we cannot be attached to it. I am grateful for the partnerships Rainbeau Mars Lifestyles has had and the lessons we have learned from the corporate world.

It’s not enough to be on the right path, but we also must know how to walk and be part of the planet, so we are serving and becoming one with our brothers and sisters on earth. The Dalai Lama says…”Give until it hurts”, Empty yourself from grasping or judging, cultivate loving compassion and loving kindness and become empty.  The world is small, time is short and judgment worthless. All we can do is our own personal best and put our time and money to do things blessed. Our thoughts become reality and my hope is that we see the yoga community lead by example.

As my business relates to my own personal practice, I believe it’s all connected.  When I am in alignment with the commercial aspect of running a business, my practice and business are not separate, I am always in practice, regardless of whether I am on or off the mat. It’s all one and the same.

Bob: You are traveling the world as a kind of ambassador for Yoga.  What kind of differences do you find in various parts of the world in the approach to Yoga?

Rainbeau: Each culture has their different textures, styles, talents, foods, beliefs and limitations. At the core, it is usually the same – everyone wants equanimity, beauty, health, greater success, better postures.

In Asia, you see great warrior like discipline, Korea is balanced with health, Brazil, raw freedom, Sweden, aesthetic sophistication, Dubai, modesty and yet, great fitness, India an inner light with not as much attention to detail.

I could go on and on, but again, it’s the simple refinement and balancing out of the cultures tendencies and assets with whatever may be lacking. In some places, more grace may be needed, softening, in others, less shame, and still others, more focus, better food, more love. I say we go in to go out, down to go up and back to forward – but these can all be reversed as well… Where we begin and where we will end up no one knows, but the idea or strengthening, aligning, realizing, expanding and yoking or unifying is pretty universal I would say.

Bob: What is the most surprising experience you’ve had in your travels?

Rainbeau: Hmmm… Actually, I was very surprised on a pure yoga performance level with America… Is it the food, the freedom, the evolution of our mutual cultures? I don’t know. But I know that I have experienced a melting pot of talent that I am sure we as Americans must realize we have a lot to share with the rest of the world and the 6 billion people on the planet.

There is room for a lot more teachers and a lot more in-depth study, which is why we created a virtual teacher training on www.rayoka.com. We want people to be able to go deeper virtually with their studies and also give people around the world access to some of the information that we are accessing here. We all have room to grow and have a lot further to go… But the steps are being taken and it’s a very exciting adventure to be a part of.

Bob: What’s the most important thing you’d like your fans to know about your work that they don’t know already?

Rainbeau: Rainbeau Mars Lifestyles is an omnimedia company at your service to heal the planet one home at a time. Our focus is what’s in your life and sport is affected by what’s in your kitchen, what’s in your kitchen affects what’s in your bathroom (your beauty rituals), bedroom (how and why you make love or don’t), your home (inner cleanliness) and garden (tending to the fruits and flowers that are the earth’s treasures) affect what you do in your life.  We are here to help give you the tools you need to awaken all of these aspects of your life and the lives of others.

I want you to know that we are always thinking of your best interests and we exist because of you. I read all of your emails and suggestions and take them to heart – even if I can’t always immediately respond. We thank you for all of your support.

Bob: What’s the most interesting question I should be asking that I haven’t thought of yet?

Rainbeau: “Who is your Greatest teacher?” Answer: My daughter is by far the most endless giving and strengthening project I have been a part of. I suppose all of my enemies, my judgments, the people who don’t just drink the kool-aid I am serving, my sicknesses, my fears, my egos. I have learned and continue to learn, not by what was handed to me, but every moment that has been hard. I am so grateful for every role that everyone has played to help me realize all that I am learning today.

Bob: Thanks for joining us here, Rainbeau.  And best wishes for all your ambitious projects.

Rainbeau Mars

Raised by a family of natural healers, Rainbeau Mars (yes, that’s her real name) brings a lifetime of learning and practicing yoga to her successful career, which includes being the founder of the ra’yoKa fitness and teacher training system. She was the Global Ambassador for a major sports brand and consulted for their clothes as well as co-designed her own clothing line. Rainbeau is also an author, a mother, the creator of numerous yoga DVD’s and a highly sought after yoga instructor in Hollywood.

Rainbeau has taken her yoga philosophy all over the world, participating in celebrated yoga events in over 20 countries and facilitating classes of up to 3,500 people to help bring yoga to the mainstream. It has been her infusion of modern day living with thousand-year-old roots that has allowed her to connect and resonate with cultures around the globe.

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