A talk about finding love and his mission to reach 15 million singles in the next two years.
A little background on Vishwanath, (Vish), for short from his website bio: “By example of his own 30 year meditation practice, coupled with, being born into a Brahmin family lineage of several generations of Vedic Yoga scholars & masters in Southern India, Vish is a die hard believer that solutions to all human problems (including finding romantic love) lie in Yoga meditation and Yoga lifestyle.”
Karla Rodas: Why yoga and love? What does yoga have to do with finding love?
To me, love and yoga are synonymous; yoga allows me to love myself more deeply, connect with who I truly am, love. It’s limitless and infinite.
Vish Iyer: When people think of yoga what comes into their minds is you need to get into a pretzel. That’s Hatha yoga and the physical is a very small aspect of yoga.
The real meaning of the word yoga comes from, yuj, in Sanskrit, which means union. It is to make 2 entities come together. From a spiritual perspective, it’s the unification of the individual soul with the cosmic spirit.
Karla Rodas: What is love? What is your definition of love?
Vish Iyer: Love is whether you look you look at a sunset, lovemaking, or drinking coffee together, cooking together. Every minute, we’re trying to become one.
I define love as an ecstatic oneness experience in which there is a forgetfulness of yourself, your lower self.
Yoga is a tool to achieve oneness. It’s the most interior way to find divine love and romantic love.
[If we go further, in the ancient yoga scriptures, the great yoga masters, believed that by setting intention, practicing certain mantras and meditations you will attract your ideal partner in six months.]
Karla Rodas: What are some common misconceptions that people have about love and relationships?
Vish Iyer: Most people when they talk about love in the western world they talk about chemistry. What they don’t understand is that behind chemistry is energy. Everything is energy. This energy, Prana, is the blueprint of our physical energy.
The yoga masters say that the quality of this energy, Prana, determines the quality of things you attract to yourself, whether it be relationships, success in life, health. Everything depends on the quality of your Prana.
In his book, Yoga & Love, Vish, leads the reader through the practice of “conscious rhythmic breathing techniques.” This is the first of the Seven Yoga Keys to Love.
He went on to explain how yoga can increase the Prana, the life force energy.
Vish: “The whole concept and the point of yoga is to increase your prana balance so that whatever intention you place in your consciousness you can manifest it. That’s really what it’s about.”
Karla Rodas: Your book is so open about your own experiences, from a traditional upbringing in India, coming to the states with a set goal to study, how you came to meet the love of your life, Deypika. Life took many unexpected but in the end joyful twists and turns. Can you share a little bit about meeting your match?
Vish Iyer: After six months of my practice, I got this incredibly beautiful feeling in my heart. It was a spiritual experience. I had never felt this feeling even when I meditate. Wow, what is this beautiful feeling? When I turned around there was this girl behind me and when she walked away the feeling went away. I didn’t put 2 and 2 together until that night in my meditation.
She’s the girl I’ve been looking for.
My one prayer for myself was that she be interested in meditation.
I did not ask for a beautiful wife, I did not ask for an educated wife, I did not place any requirements. She should be interested in meditation or respect my meditation practice.
Karla Rodas: On p. 113 you quote Einstein, “The intuitive mind is a sacred gift and the rational mind is a faithful servant.” Why is intuition crucial? How does intuition help us find true love?
Vish Iyer: [On the feeling that his wife, Deypika, was the one]
I know now that this feeling was my intuition. Patanjali said that over many years of yoga practice you start developing your psychic intelligence, ability, which lies dormant for most people. Through meditation we can consciously improve this intuitive ability. This intuition has helped me a lot through the years. Two years prior I almost died. I almost got killed when I didn’t listen to my own voice. That was the reason that I listened to it this time. I vowed to myself if I every get this overpowering feeling I’m going to immediately follow and do it because this is my higher intelligence speaking, my own soul speaking.
I have no business from an ego level to reject or refuse it. It is the greatest decision in my life.
Intuition is a gift of God and gift of spirit to every soul and we’re meant to use it but the problem is that we’re too restless to listen to it. It is constantly giving you direction and not just in love. It’s a natural quality of our soul. It’s from our subtle body. Psychologists say that on average humans have 40-70,000 thoughts in the subconscious mind per day. Every thought has a materializing value. The spirit doesn’t know which of these thoughts to manifest.
Karla Rodas: Have you had a lot a resistance to this in the Western world?
Vish Iyer: When we don’t understand something we reject it, that’s what the modern education system has taught us. There’s a point where there is no basis or explanation of how you know, you just know, because your entire being vibrates with it. This is what makes yoga so beautiful, because, yoga gives us a scientific systematic process where you can consciously tap into this higher intelligence, which is inside your soul.
Karla Rodas: There’s a beautiful quote by Rumi that says, “Lovers don’t meet somewhere. They’re in each other all along.” Why is it so important to love yourself first?
At the core, the essence of this book is loving yourself, working on yourself, not looking outside of yourself.
Vish Iyer: It’s all about working on our souls. We tend to project perfection onto others. That’s one of the reasons why many modern relationships fail. We never look at ourselves. That’s one of the brilliant aspects of yoga, yoga is all about looking at yourself, working on yourself, connecting with who you are, connecting with the love inside you and once you do that you are able to start giving love to others because you see that reflection of how you see yourself in others.
Karla Rodas: How do we move past the Prince Charming—Cinderella, happily ever after notion, the over-romanticized ideas of love?
Vish Iyer: Humans are the greatest imitators. Everything we learn, someone has done it and then we all follow it. We don’t have a standard for what makes an ideal relationship, what makes an ideal couple, what makes ideal love. In the Western civilization the evolution of it has been only to fantasize, to project the fantasy.
They give no means to get there, there’s no clear process or system to get there. How much training have you gotten in handling the most complex thing, which is handling another human’s emotions? How much training have you had in handling your own emotions? Zero and that’s why it’s failing.
Yoga is a systematic training ground, it’s a process to transform your consciousness, to understand yourself better and if you understand yourself better, you can handle another person.
There are two extremes of yoga masters who have come into America, people like Yogananda who teach meditation to find God. At the other end of the spectrum are Bikram, Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, who teach Hatha.
I’m the first one who’s walking the middle. I’m not talking about God here, I’m not talking about physical fitness, Hatha, I’m asking, can we use these great techniques and lifestyle to solve practical problems of life?
A lot of people that I coach are not interested in God, they’re not interested in physical fitness, they want to work on their emotions, they want to have great relationships with themselves and others, they want to attract the right career, so without putting any labels, can we train our mind, our body, our consciousness so that this yoga helps with the most important decisions in life; 1. Find the right partner 2. Find the right dharma (life’s purpose).
If we get these right life can be blissful.
Karla Rodas: Is one of the reasons that people don’t succeed in their relationships because they’re not willing to work at it?
Vish Iyer: We need training. I do train people in physical fitness and if you want to get a six-pack you have to work very hard.
The media conditions us a lot. You get something instantly. Unfortunately, the law of the universe doesn’t work this way. Nothing is free. Somehow because of the media we are taught to be entitled, we can expect great love, some dude will come in a white car and take them straight to the pulpit. The dude is not coming.
Be worthy. Work on yourself. You will attract depending on the person you become. Do not think you are entitled. Do not claim it with arrogance. You can never control love. You can never demand love. You can only give love and become love. The only way to get there is through humility. Once you feel you’re worthy of it, your own soul will lead you.
Karla Rodas: Do you always have to risk to find true love? Is one reason that many fail because they are fearful to take the leap?
Vish Iyer: There are only two things; Love and Fear. If you’re demagnetized as it applies to romance you are constantly fearful. I coach some women who after three or four relationships don’t work out, they’re wondering, “Is this guy going to leave me as well?” In their minds they’ve already created the doom and the relationship is just blossoming. Our thoughts are really powerful. They’re living in that demagnetized and living in a tamasic state, they need to work on being courageous and switching their own programming. In that sense they need to risk. They need to believe in love but they don’t want to because they don’t want to be hurt.
Karla Rodas: How do we move past old hurts, fear and unresolved feelings in order to open ourselves up to love?
Vish Iyer: Pranayama. Through breathing. Through pranayama, meditation and mantra practice, blood flow can be transferred from your amygdala, your animal brain (fight or flight response), to your prefrontal cortex, (region of empathy, power and choice), your higher brain, your spiritual brain. Once you get into the region of power, the region of choice you are no longer karmically bound by those same fears. This is the inside out change through yoga, which is possible physiologically.
Karla Rodas: Can you briefly explain the seven yoga keys to love?
- Love Meditation
- The Mantra of love
- Dharma and love-living with purpose
- Body, self image and love
- Love Magnet Diet
- Love and Sex
Vish Iyer: The seven yoga keys are solutions to any problem. Some people say, I’m really healthy, I eat right, I work out, I love what I do, but why am I still not attracting the love of my life? You can go back to the inner keys, either they don’t love themselves enough, or they are constantly having negative affirmations, negative programming, or carrying trauma from past relationships.
If they don’t love themselves, then they practice the Love Meditation.
If they are having constant negative affirmations, they fix it through Mantra practice.
To heal the trauma they can practice, Pranayama for emotional healing.
To those are doing everything and still not finding love, then they can look at the outer lifestyle, potentially not doing what you love to do. Solution is to find the dharma.
We spoke a little more in depth about the seventh key, Yoga and Sex.
Vish Iyer: The seventh key, Yoga and Sex, is a big issue for a lot of people in the west again from the media programming. Nobody taught them that before commitment it’s better not to get into sex because the moment when you get into sex you are operating from your lower chakra.
Over 70 to 80 percent of relationships don’t work out because people get into bed too early. Sex is an energy that has nothing to do with morality. It’s not morality. It’s possible through breathing to transmit that energy.
Karla Rodas: Let’s talk about magnetism and becoming magnetic as you write about in the book.
Vish Iyer: Becoming magnetic from a yoga perspective, we all know the movie, The Secret, it’s all about it one sentence, “As you think, you will attract.”
I feel that where the Secret left off my book comes in. It builds from the concept that your thoughts are powerful, your thoughts have materializing value and as you think you will attract.
What it doesn’t say is what are the processes to make these manifestations happen? We have 70,000 thoughts a day. We don’t want all of our thoughts or desires materialized. In Sanskrit, prana means, that which is in constant movement. The loose translation of prana is the energy of magnetism, the blueprint of all energy. True yogis say that prana is highly intelligent creative life force. It has its own intelligence.
We all are on a scale of prana. This book talks about this. A person who is really successful in love, career or spiritually has very high prana. A person who’s failing in love, nothing is working out for them, health is bad, or suicidal or depressed, the prana is low. This book is all about taking this Pranic energy and going up the scale, building Prana. We are constantly attracting and recalling things.
The question is, what do we do to go up the scale? We practice yoga, breathing techniques, meditiation, we eat right, we exercise, we follow what we love to do. All these things increase our prana, increase our bank balance. There are currents everyday against it. It’s like a bank account. Once we increase our prana, so many beautiful things happen at several levels in your consciousness, your spirit expands, your intelligence expands, your intuition expands, you’re calm, peaceful, harmonious, because going up the scale in prana means going up the scale of spiritual evolution.
You know your mind better, you’re not reactive, you use your emotions right, you’re strong, all good things. This power of your magnetism once you combine that with right intention, I’m ready for love, you will attract love because you’ve become a powerful magnet.
Karla Rodas: How do you explain intention?
Vish Iyer: Intention is clarity of thought. Clarity of the end. For example, I can say I wish I [could] find love. That’s a desire, which is where most people are. But, if I set an intention, I am going to find love and I’m going to do what it takes. That is intention. That is goal setting.
Karla Rodas: People sometimes skip ahead or stop at, “I want to find love” and quit before putting their intention into action, right?
Vish Iyer: Yes, that’s because people think that they’re entitled. There’s this entitlement (energy) disease going around. What people don’t know is that they can consciously find love. It’s not a random thing. You follow a set of processes. You do certain things to transform your consciousness, to get away from trauma from the past, to love yourself, to connect with the love inside. There are specific brain centers, which you can activate which we access through meditation to find love on the inside.
Once you find love on the inside you can find love on the outside because, there’s a beautiful Vedic phrase that says, what you are on the inside will be reflected on the outside.
What people are doing in the modern world is the opposite; they look for what’s on the outside. Yoga says flip it. This is the inside out approach to love.
Karla Rodas: How does dharma, living with purpose, help us find love?
Vish Iyer: It is of paramount importance. The Cinderella story is loving what you do with the person whom you love alongside you. That is the absolute fantasy. That can happen when you work on yourself consciously which is what I did. I’m living the dream life. It did not happy by randomness. It did not happen because I sat and prayed. No, I consciously worked on it everyday and I work on it today everyday. It’s a ritual.
It’s really important from a vibrational level, doing what you love and also from a practical level. Doing your dharma is nothing but manifesting your highest potential.
When you’re manifesting and living your highest potential you are vibrating at a very high frequency, you are almost vibrating at the frequency of your soul, your intuitive mind. Things line up and it’s an automatic beauty.
When you project your highest self, your magnet becomes really powerful, so that a potential partner comes; they are seeing the best of you.
When they see the best of you there is a soulful interaction.
Karla Rodas: Instead of soul mate, you use the term Soul Help mate or Partner—Gary Zukav author of, The Seat of the Soul, explains it as a partnership between equals for the purpose of spiritual growth.
How do you define soul mates or soul helpmates?
Vish Iyer: A requirement of a soul mate is flexibility. It’s about the other person’s growth. It takes precedence. Every case is different. It’s not written in stone. If my wife walked up to me and said, “Vish, I don’t want you to do so and so”, and it could be really dear to me, I would say, “Yes ma’am”, because the relationship takes precedence over anything on the outer. We need to honor that if you really believe that person is a soul mate.
I talk about soul help mates, I don’t believe in the, “You complete me”, line from Jerry Maguire. We are all beautiful and completely whole all by ourselves. The other person helps you on your journey. There’s only complement and support.
Karla Rodas: What does a healthy, sustainable relationship look like to you? How do you sustain this healthy partnership?
Vish Iyer: The triangle model in the book which explains. I’ve named the chapter, “Ok, I’ve found love, now what? “It’s setting it up for next book, it’s for people who are already in a relationship and how to sustain it. That’s why you practice these seven keys even today. I do the yoga keys everyday and so does my wife. You can’t take it for granted.
I’ve seen people who are probably meant to be together who didn’t respect it or took it for granted and that’s where free will comes in. They broke up.
Karla Rodas: Is there anything else that you want people to know?
Vish Iyer: You can consciously work on yourself to find love and I want everyone to know that. It’s not some voodoo spirit practice, some other-worldly practice, yoga is about energy. From here on after reading the book or interview, when somebody says yoga, the first thing to come to your mind is energy. Fix the inside and the outside will fix itself.
Believe in love. Never lose your faith in love no matter how many times you’ve failed love is coming if you’re willing to consciously work on yourself.
The self-published, Yoga & Love, by Vishwanath Iyer will be available in the coming months. In the meantime, the official website, www.yogaandlove.com, offers a sneak preview, free instant access to the 7 Yoga Keys video series, interviews and more.
Karla Rodas has a passion for life and serving others. Her intention is to serve others with love, patience and compassion. Inspiring, educating and leading others in the sacred tradition of yoga is one of her true callings. Through yoga and writing, her greatest hope is to help others heal and tap into their own inner beauty, strength and limitless potential. Karla is currently an apprentice editor and contributing writer at ej. Karla lives in San Diego with her beloved husband Frank and two teenage sons. You can reach Karla through her site www.yogaconkarla.com.
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Ed: Kate Bartolotta