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 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.


Capitalism is Good for Yoga (Rebuttal: “Sex, Lies and Yoga”)

Here’s Ramesh’s original post: Sex, Lies & Yoga. Here’s Waylon Lewis’ Walk the Talk Show interview with Judith Hanson Lasater, who’s letter to the editor in Yoga Journal inspired a great deal of contemplation in the worldwide yoga community.

Good God, Ramesh. Next thing you know you’ll be accusing Yoga Journal of starving small children in Africa.

Capitalism might actually be good for Yoga:

1) Yoga Journal wouldn’t even exist at anywhere near its current circulation without owners who were willing to put money into it when it was in trouble. So without the profit motive and all the corporate advertisers that make it work, it would be a moot point. We wouldn’t be having any discussion about Yoga Journal because it either wouldn’t exist (like the very fine Ascent, which no longer exists) or it would be a quality but relatively sleepy publication like Yoga International.

2) Most traditional Yoga institutions, like Himalayan Institute, Kripalu, and various retreats and ashrams around the country and world, rely on exposure in Yoga Journal for much of their business. I don’t have the data, but along with all the ads for ToeSox and the like (in the latest issue there were a grand total of four ads that anyone could consider overly revealing or suggestive, and even that’s a stretch), are ads for, well, let me just flip through this latest issue and make a list for you:

Breath of the Himalayan Tradition (Swami Veda Bharati) 
White Lotus Yoga Training & Retreats
Omega Yoga Weekend Conference Retreat
International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre
Mount Madonna Center and Mount Madonna Institute College of Ayurveda
Snatam Kaur Sacred Chant Tour
Sivananda Ashram
3HO Kundalini Yoga Foundation
Satchidananda Ashram
Self-realization Fellowship (Yogananda)
Integrative Restoration Institute
The Ayurvedic Institute
Himalayan Institute

It’s expensive to advertise in Yoga Journal, but all of these traditional organizations think it’s worth it, and don’t feel ashamed to be associated with Yoga Journal. Obviously they like the readership they can reach there.

3) Advertiser or not, ask almost any Yoga institution, large or small, and they will tell you that they depend on the exposure to Yoga fostered by Yoga Journal to build their base of participants. The profit-driven Yoga Journal is a giant feeder system for all the more traditional Yoga institutions, from Kripalu to your local Yoga studio. And it could never be that if it were not profit driven.

4) Everything I just said also applies to any exposure Yoga gets in the popular press and media, like the recent spurt of articles on Yoga in the NYT, for instance. It’s questionable whether any of this would have ever occurred without the commercial success of Yoga Journal.

5) Many, although not all, of the early Indian Swami’s who brought Yoga to America in the first place, came here because this is where the market and the money was. This is also true of later teachers like Bikram. Just read through The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America to see how true this is. Capitalism was a major driving force for Yoga in America from the beginning.

6) Finally, look at the impact and potential impact of our beloved Elephant Journal. If Waylon figures out how to make money and grow, like a good responsible capitalist, and Elephant makes a bigger and bigger contribution to Yoga, and you get to keep writing about traditional Yoga for your large devoted following here. Waylon doesn’t figure it out and Elephant either stagnates or eventually disappears.

Capitalism is good for Yoga. Without it, Yoga in America might be about the size of, say, Tai Chi in America. Most of us would not be involved in Yoga at all because we never would have been exposed to it. Even the most traditional Yoga institutions, like the Himalayan Institute, have richly benefited from the capitalistic efforts of Yoga Journal owners to grow circulation, attract advertising, and make Yoga Journal into a healthy on-going business.


Steve Jobs Sought Enlightenment in India After Dropping Out of College

Steve Jobs

Fascinating excerpt from all about Steve Jobs:

It was at Reed that Steve started experimenting with Eastern mysticism. He delved into weird books and came to believe that if he ate only fruits, for example, he would eliminate all mucus and nten yearsa decade later, when he was a multi-millionaire). He tried LSDs, and became part of the whole hippie movement, although it already belonged to the past back then (he was a decade late). One of his best friends at Reed was Dan Kottke, who shared his interests in such philosophies.

The following year, in 1974, Steve desperately needed some money and he got himself a job at Atari. Atari was arguably the first video game company: it was created by Nolan Bushnell in 1972, and one of its first employees was Al Acorn, the inventor of Pong. Steve was hired although he would often call his co-workers names and smell pretty bad. That’s why he was soon moved to the night shift.

Young Steve Jobs looked up to Atari’s founder Nolan Bushnell. He was impressed by this iconoclastic man who made a lot of money by building pinball machines. He was clearly an inspiration for him to start Apple.


While he was at Atari, Steve convinced Bushnell of paying him a trip to India. Atari did pay his trip up to Germany, where he had to work on fixing some Atari machines. Then Steve was joined by his hippie friend from Reed, Dan Kottke, and they went to India in search for enlightenment. They came up pretty disappointed, especially after they met the guru Kairolie Baba, who, as they quickly found out, was a con man.

“We weren’t going to find a place where we could go for a month to be enlightened. It was one of the first times that I started to realize that maybe Thomas Edison did a lot more to improve the world than Karl Marx and Neem Kairolie Baba put together.”
(quoted in Michael Moritz’s The Little Kingdom“)

When Steve came back, he resumed his job at Atari, and would spend some of his days in primal scream therapy sessions or at the Los Altos Zen Center, where he befriended Governor Jerry Brown and his guru Kobun Chino. He also spent several weeks with his girlfriend Chris-Ann and Dan Kottke in a hippie commune in Oregon, the All-One Farm. Here they would cultivate apples and for some time, Steve would eat only that — when he wasn’t fasting, that is.



Yoga Spoofed in Newest Landmark Credit Union Ad

Landmark Credit Union Yoga A

How I managed to scoop Yogadork on this one, I’ll never know:

Bob Weisenberg