How an Ancient Life Science Can Save the World

Happy Father’s Day, Summer Solstice and International Day of Yoga!

Lots to celebrate!

Today in particular, I think lovingly of my dad, Dennis Rose. He was a respected fine artist and portraitist who also ran a multimedia house and graphic design studio in Montreal and later in Toronto. My father was also very athletic. He loved playing baseball, swimming and cycling. Having three daughters did not stop him from starting his baseball team in Montreal, where we even played outdoors in the winter! Even in his 70s, he thought nothing of cycling from Toronto to Hamilton (an hour drive on the highway!) to have lunch with his brother, and then cycling home for dinner.

Our family conversations often revolved around spirituality and art. Though very open about religious beliefs, my father loved the Bible and Jesus. He woke up every day at 4am to read from the Good Book, meditate, seek guidance for the day and deepen his connection to Christ consciousness.

My father tragically passed away in an accident a few years ago, but I feel very much that the light of his essence is alive today. Not only in my beautiful niece, his granddaughter, who was born after he passed, but in my sisters, my mother, and all of creation. There is a vitality that is expressed in our inherent connection to nature that is beyond time and not limited to form. It is the stardust of which we are all made.

Whether your dad is with you or not, whether you feel happy about your relationship with him or not, see if you can find some gratitude for the part he did play in bringing you into life. Beyond the temporal and passing nature of personalities, thankfulness and love are all that remains between your eternal light and his. Go there.

This week also brings both the Summer Solstice and International Day of Yoga on June 21. As a dedicated yogi, I sincerely aim to celebrate yoga every day, be it through morning meditation practice, asana refreshes as I step away from my music production console, or the repetition of my mantra throughout the day.

For many, the question is: what is yoga really? Why does it have the power to make a profound difference in our lives? And why is MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, an act of yoga?

To most in the Western world today, yoga is a series of physical exercises involving flexibility and perhaps some hints of Eastern spirituality, such as a statue of Shiva Nataraj (the universal father, first teacher of yoga and cosmic dancer), incense, or the chanting of Om (a Sanskrit syllable that invokes the sound of the universe). Yoga has become a trendy practice and a lucrative industry, but in many cases, it has also become disconnected from its intended purpose—which is to be a means for realizing our essential unity with all that is. Once we set aside popular perceptions, we gain the opportunity to enter a sacred garden within, and touch the healing heart of yoga.

With all forms of yoga, the potential for union relates to the breath, which is involved in everything we do. Breath is the vehicle for our very life-force; it literally keeps us alive. At the same time, it is shared by all living things. As such, it reminds us that we are not isolated beings, but interconnected with the uncountable billions of living beings that share this planet—all breathing the same air. Remembering this, we live with greater awareness and responsibility, while receiving the vitality that comes from being tapped into a collective whole that is so much bigger than the limited ego.

We may come to our first (or our one hundred thousandth) yoga practice hoping to find better health, deeper inner quiet, or some relief from the stresses of life. But we have walked into a far bigger picture than these three admirable intentions. The riches of yoga have so much more to offer.

Aside from physical exercises on the mat, yoga is an ancient art and science of life. Through yoga, we learn how to live as human beings in the world. Whether we find ourselves in a yoga studio or anywhere else, we discover how awakened action purifies our mind, body and spirit—returning us to our true, interconnected nature. As this beautiful and rich process unfolds over time, our actions become powerfully effortless, and we experience relaxed joy. We meet the challenges of every day with greater clarity, luminosity, kindness and effectiveness. Our very presence will help others do the same. Ultimately, yoga changes not just our own lives, but the world.

Just as yoga helps us brings awareness to parts of our body which are suffering, it helps us become aware of the need in the world around us. Most people don’t know that the Arctic Ocean protects literally all life on Earth, but is under unprecedented threat. It is our planet’s air conditioner that ensures we all have the food and water we need to survive. Yet it is melting at an unimaginable rate, and corporations and governments are moving in to profit from its open waters.

With a vision I attribute to my long-standing yoga practice, and supported by yogis around the world, MAPS, the Marine Arctic Peace Sanctuary, is an effective and immediate response. It transforms the entire Arctic Ocean north of the Arctic Circle into an international peace park. By taking Arctic seabed oil off the table, MAPS will accelerate a global shift from fossil fuels to renewable energies. As countries come together to declare MAPS, our world moves from short-term individual gain to long-term collective good. MAPS is an expression of yoga.

To realize MAPS now requires urgent action for immediate conservation. This is only possible by melting the hearts of the world, creating lasting global transformation in the way we see ourselves, each other, and our world. Yoga supports that global shift. Yogis like Seane Corn, Koya Webb, Tias Little and Deva Premal understand this, and have already aligned themselves with MAPS through the growing Yogis Unite movement.

As stewards of the Earth, we are all called to live in harmony with ourselves, others and our planet. As we breathe and reconnect with our true nature through the practice of yoga, we give life to the world.

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WHY YOGA IN THE NIGHTCLUB

I am often asked what inspired me to bring yogic expression into the club scene. I answer easily. Yoga In the Nightclub is a natural expression of who I am as a musical artist and dedicated yogini. Yoga is not a physical practice but a way of life. It is about learning to be present in all one does, to see the divine here, now, in this moment. As such, yoga is everywhere. It is about feeling connected to something much greater than our limited ego or will. It is about being in service to life, feeling interconnected to that very life force. Yoga In The Nightclub is a celebration of life and a reminder that we can find awakened presence everywhere.

Yoga in the West is mostly known as a series of bendy physical exercises. Yet there is much more to it than fitness. Yoga’s systematic breath and body exercises, designed to clear the subtle channels in our energy system, prepare us for meditation, through which we may experience a life inspired by our interconnected, multidimensional true nature. Our body, that once was seen as “mine”, is no longer our identity, but a gift on loan from the divine. We care for it, but we are not attached to it. The practice of yoga offers us the opportunity to experience the transmutation of matter into pure light, embody the multidimensional and rest in the eternal.

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WE ARE ALL CONNECTED

Hatha yoga, the physical practice of yoga, is just one of many aspects of yoga, which range from selfless service to astrology and prayer. The Sanskrit word “yoga” most simply translates to “union”, implying that the practice of any yoga will bring together our perceived sense of separateness. As a whole, yoga is an ancient science of life. It is a practical method of shedding excess and bringing us back from the self-delusion of separation from the divine so that we may realize our inherent interconnection to and ultimate oneness with it.

As we begin to understand that yoga is everywhere, we come to see how we are all connected in vast ways far beyond the limitations of our personal will and ego. What I do affects you, and vice versa. We are one earth family. At the heart of it all, we share the same heartbeat. Breathe to be. We are one.

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AWAKENED LIVING

When we are open, life blossoms, just as a flower opens to welcome the morning sun.  We see that the sun, though it is millions of light years away, has a tender yet powerful relationship with the flower, as do the rain and the clouds. From this perspective we see that we are part of the whole. Life is a symphonic masterpiece with which, when we are open, we are completely resonant.

As we come to understand our oneness, we can revel in it with wonder and joy. We can consider in awe how immense it all is. We can let go of the idea that an illusory, isolated sense of self could possibly be in control, and open to an exquisite unfolding of life in absolute perfection. Our actions become not about “me” but about the whole. Each moment is integrated within the whole. No one decision is separate.

When we begin to see that each decision we make affects not just ourselves but everyone and everything on the planet, we act with more compassion. When we have more compassion, we realize the impact of our actions and we naturally want less and practice more kindness. As stewards of the Earth, we each are called to learn to live in harmony with ourselves, each other and our planet. We all breathe the same air and live on the same living organism, our planet. Varied in race and creed, we are all one family, children of the same mother, the planet Earth.

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THE OPPORTUNITY FOR GRACE

In each moment, there is infinite grace. By becoming more conscious as we practice yoga on the mat, at work, at play or in the nightclub, we let go of the unnecessary and develop greater internal spaciousness which blooms throughout our lives. In this space new life and possibilities arise.

As we rest our awareness on the simple purity and grace of the breath, we realize - we are alive! We let go of wanting things from the future and the past and open to what is here and now. We feel as vast as the sky and rooted in the richness of this moment.

When we “breathe to be”, we understand our interconnection. We see that we are not the doers but a part of the whole, the same energy that is in the flowers and in the stars. We know that our essence is divine - from which we have come, to which we return.

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PARVATI'S NEW SINGLE - MARCH 2016
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I AM LIGHT

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SHARE YOUR YOGA
I am light!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gone, gone beyond. Oh what awakening!
Gone, gone beyond. Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
Gate gate paragate parasamgate bodhi swaha
I am the light, liquid gold light
I am in delight! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!
I am light, in delight!
I am light, dancing through the night!

I am the light (gate gate), liquid gold light (paragate)
I am in delight (gate gate) transforming the night (paragate)

Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Oh what awakening! (paragate) (I am)
Gone, gone beyond (gate gate)! Swaha!

I am light, dancing in delight
I am light, dancing through the night
I am light, in delight
I am light, dancing through the night

I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (gate gate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light (paragate)
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light
I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light, I am light

I am light!

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