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yoga blog

world yoga

world yoga

Evolation teacher training includes the opportunity to have a chat with Life Coach, Mike Huber. An unexpected but logical benefit as everyone training to become a yoga teacher is in some kind of life transition. Life yoga.

Myself, perhaps more so, having quit a job and re-evaluating, among other things, a professional trajectory of 30 years. I did not hesitate to take Mike and evolation up on the offer, and I’m very glad I did.

Talking with Mike was my first experience working with a life coach, so I asked Mike to explain to me what it was, what he would be trying to do. The explanation was simple. Everyone has a genius, one can speculate on how that comes to be, but absolutely everyone has something they are really good at, gifted, that they love, and that doing it makes them feel real happiness. We all know what our genius is, though usually that knowledge is buried under a few or many layers of self-deception, fear, a false sense of responsibility and other crud that forms a shell around the glowing light of our genius.

The life coach helps to scratch through the crud until we see the light, the genius that is there. At that point, most of the work is done but there is still figuring out how to put together a concrete life plan built around one’s genius. That part seems difficult but not as difficult as it may appear because we only really succeed when we are doing what we are good at and love. So the genius-based life plan is inevitably the one that will work best and, sometimes, the only one that will work.

logo2It was the study of the eight limbs of yoga described by Patanjali and the entire thought process it stimulated that led me to recognize my own genius: an insatiable love of learning and an unquenchable desire to make the world a better place. is an insatiable love of learning and an unquenchable desire to make the world a better place. I came to yoga teacher training having left a job in the tech world where I was learning a lot and felt that my work had potential to make the world a better place. I came to see that despite several years of patient effort my work would not end up making a positive contribution, mired as it was in an environment of greed, fear, covetousness, ego, and insecurity. I had just decided to help a new, start-up “social enterprise”, iNERDE to get its message out to the world, to build resources, and to make positive change. iNERDE wasn’t, a “real job” though, so I had been continuing my job search for something like I had just quit doing! There were a few disconnects there and Mike helped me to see that.

First disconnect, more of the same will just be more of the same. So why I am looking for more of the same? Second disconnect, iNERDE is about two things: learning and making the world a better place. Why do I think I haven’t found a “real job”? There seems to be one reason for both: money. So I’m the toughest, kick-ass 53 year-old yogi who can stand 6 hours in a day of demanding yoga postures in 110° heat and I’m whimpering with fear because I might have to get a little creative on the money side for a while? Use your genius and it will work out, the money may come, or, it may not but you’ll figure out how to deal with it.hot-yoga-teacher-training-250-300

Yoga means, approximately, to unite. The world is not a united place, deep divisions, hatred and exploitation separate the world. Just as different parts of my body may fight against each other until I use yoga to unite them into a whole that works harmoniously for my good, the world needs yoga, figuratively and literally, to heal its antagonisms. Of all parts of the world, Africa is the least developed in material aspects, we may say that it is the least loved, the least embraced of all the parts of our world body. In my professional field, technology – the entry ticket to material prosperity – Africa almost nearly does not exist.

iNERDE has the boldness to believe that that can be changed and that Africans have the power to change it themselves once they believe they can change it. For iNERDE the key is knowledge, specifically, STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) education, an area which is very deficient in most African countries.

one generation

Our economic system is increasingly based on information, on energy. Perhaps evidence of the real, yogic, energetic nature of our universe. It gives Africa an unprecedented opportunity, it is at least possible, if difficult, to put Africans on an equal footing with the rest of the world in a single generation. A child born in Mali today has the same potential as one born in the United States, Japan, or Germany. If education is available that potential can be realized and developed, anywhere in the world, in an information economy.iNerde

I don’t believe that material prosperity for Africans is the only goal of iNERDE, though it is a goal, and I goal I support. Africans should have the same right to chose chasing wealth, as I did, whether it is really in their best interest or not. There is a level of wealth that is necessary to free the mind from a preoccupation with survival; most Africans do not enjoy that freedom now.

seek knowledge from the cradle to the grave

There are so many wonderful things to learn about our universe, African children have the same right, and responsibility to share in all the knowledge we possess about creation and to make their own contribution to figuring out the “puzzle”. We all need to pass the test. Ultimately, iNERDE is about giving every human being the opportunity to soar to the heavens.

I am thinking of using a yogic approach not just in my own life, but in the work that the organization, a social enterprise, does. If iNERDE operates in peace and mindfulness, with clear and purposeful intention, the seeds it plants will yield fruit with the same characteristics. A better world is possible, must be possible, if we have the right intention as we create it.

I wish that Africans could build their information economy without recreating the same system the same weaknesses as the one I fled. As far as I am from the realities they face, they are human beings with the same attributes, the same strengths and weaknesses. They have a different experience, a different path they will take and it may be that they will arrive with less of a sense of arrogance and superiority than I feel prevails in my own society. To the extent that iNERDE succeeds in its goals, we will be able to have a positive influence.

So that is my path, my plan, my yoga. World yoga. Unify a divided world, help to heal it. Use yoga as part of the operational plan, to keep the intentions pure, to be effective and efficient, body and mind in perfect alignment, or at least aiming for that perpetually distant perfect full expression of perfection.

Michael Leventhal

Michael has been practicing hot yoga for over ten years, coming to it initially to heal a body broken from endurance and extreme sports. While yoga continues to do that he has perhaps benefitted even more from its power to enhance focus, concentration, creativity, and calm, attributing two of his major inventions in the field of computing science to yoga energy. After 30 years of chasing fame and fortune in tech, Michael has recently reshaped his life goals toward expressing his gratitude for his spectacular life through Service, expanding his practice from hatha yoga to yoga in all its expressions.