max strom Q+A: a life worth breathing + do you have enough time?

Hurray! One of my favourite teachers has released his book. Now we can carry his teachings around with us in hard copy–not just in our head.

Max Strom, who has had a huge impact on my teaching with his all-levels style, inspirational music, and total ability to teach students to breathe while they flow, has just released A Life Worth Breathing. In it, you’ll find insights into the mind, emotions, body, conscience, ethics and activism–plus more.

I had the chance to ask Max a few questions for Joy Yoga, and he was gracious enough to share his lovely soul. Enjoy!

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1. Why did you decide to write this book?

I have been a writer for some time and it is an inherent ability I have. Once I began teaching yoga, over time the teacher’s voice inside me became stronger and more articulate, as I listened to teachings from a source deep within me. It became clear that there was an entire book that wanted to come out into the world. I don’t think I decided to write it, it decided to be written by me.

2. What challenges did you come across while writing?

The main challenges were having enough time as I find it difficult to write here and there. I work more effectively when I have uninterrupted stretches of time for the writing to come forth. Another challenge that caused procrastination at times was the issue of perceived unworthiness, but I eventually passed over that hurdle with the realization that if we needed only one Grand-Teacher, there would have been only one and his/her one book that followed through time.But the minds of human beings are highly subjective and so we have created thousands of religions, and numerous branches of yoga. The truth as I see it is this: each one of us has the right to speak our truth, and this right was given to us at birth. No matter how many books with true knowledge are available, people want to hear the teachings from a living teacher whose voice and message they resonate with.

3. You decided not to run your own studio anymore, and travel the world, teaching. Why have you chosen this, rather than running your own studio?

Although Sacred Movement Yoga was a success by almost every measure; it was not ultimately healthy for me. Ultimately, I don’t think managing a studio is my future destiny in this life. I found that managing yoga teachers took far more time and energy than expected and it took too much of my energy from my personal practice, teaching, and writing. At the same time, I was receiving invitations from yoga centers from all over the world to bring my teachings to them in the form of workshops and trainings. I have found that traveling the world teaching has helped ignite my personal growth in so many ways. I travel as a teacher but also a student of the world. It is a great privilege.


4. Can you give some tips for people wondering how to bring yoga in their daily, modern, busy lives?

Yes, first of all we have to be honest with ourselves. Really honest, because so many of us are believing that we don’t have time. We need to look over what we spend out time on each day. For example, in America, it is considered acceptable behavior to watch TV for four hours a day, which equals two months of nonstop TV watching per year. Add up the average hours you spend on the following or similar activities in a week:

1. Reading newspapers

2. Watching the news on the TV or Internet

3. Watching all other TV and movies

4. Time on social Web sites

5. Reading magazines

6. Chatting on the phone about your problems

7. Working out at a gym

8. Watching sports, talking about sports, reading about sports

9. Shopping as a pastime

10. Doing crossword puzzles, playing video, or other games.

Now, if you omitted some of the hours you spent on these activities, you may find you could easily afford five hours a week for yoga. Americans are depressed and stressed out. Which is another way of saying unhappy. What can be deduced from this is that our careers, cars, computers, and even our flat-screen TVs will not ultimately make us happy, healthy, or safe. We need to practice yoga and work on our body, mind, and breath if we want happiness and health, not to mention meaning in our lives.

5.Can you share some of your favorite yoga resources?

Yes, first of all I believe that yoga is an India-specific term that means a personal transformational/spiritual practice. These practices can be found throughout the world. So, my study of yoga is not limited to Vedic based Yoga and is inclusive of other branches of the tree, such as Taoism, esoteric Christianity, Buddhism, and especially Sufism.

With that in mind, here are some book references to help people get started:

The Awakening of the Human Spirit – Hazrat Inayat Khan

World Religions – Houston Smith

A Year to Live – Stephen Levine (also on audio CD)


Gandhi the Man – Eknath Easwaran

Raja Yoga – Swami Vivekananda


Two of my favorite websites:

Seven Pillars House

This was the creation of my friend Pir Zia Inayat Khan, a Sufi teacher I have great love and respect for, and includes teachings and articles by people of many faiths.

TED.com

This one is free video podcast by the world’s great thinkers and inventors and is a window into the future.

P.S. Don’t miss Max! Sign up for his newsletter, and find out where he’s teaching next here.

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Apr 2, 2010 · Comment (2)
 

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These practices can be found throughout the world. So, my study of yoga is not limited to Vedic based Yoga and is inclusive of other branches of the tree. Reply

Hello there, simply tunerd into aware of your blog thru Google, and found that it is really informative. I?m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of other folks will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!

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