Reflections of a Spiritual Gangster: Yogi Bobby
What does being a Spiritual Gangster mean to you?
A spiritual gangster is one who is committed to spirituality in this ever-decreasing spiritual world. They are consistently working to serve, spread awareness and bring the community together.
When did you start practicing yoga, and what led you to become a teacher?
I began practicing yoga about 10 years ago. I knew almost immediately that I was destined to become a yoga teacher. I did practice for about 5 years before teaching to honor and show respect towards the ancient tradition and culture of yoga. Yoga has been the most interesting, challenging, fun, and spiritually-fulfilling study that I have ever been a part of.
What's one important lesson you try to share as a yoga teacher?
The practice of yoga is truly the practice of virtues, such as: compassion, humility, forgiveness, tolerance and patience. The exercise part of yoga is helping to purify one's body and mind enough so they are more able to study these principles and implement them into their life off the mat.
What are some of your favorite mantras?
The Maha mantra: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare (Please Lord engage me in your service) is my all-time favorite mantra. The purification mantra, Om, Sita Ram, Radhe Radhe, and Do you have avocado? are all regular mantras in my yoga practice.
If you could only do one pose a day, what would it be & why?
Hmmm...Shavasana or Handstand? Handstand it is. Handstands require complete presence, attention and a combination of flexibility, strength and balance. It is a complete body inversion that stimulates the nervous, endocrine, lymphatic and all other bodily systems. Handstand truly challenges one's patience, resolve and determination. When I am practicing handstand, I feel like a kid again!
What do you still struggle most with on the mat?
I tend to be a perfectionist. This really shows on my mat. I really have trouble with just letting go and not worrying about the quality of my asanas or movements. I have always been very critical of myself but, hey, it's a practice that I am working on day by day!
If you could give one piece of advice to newer yogis, what would it be?
In the beginning, practicing yoga is very difficult, frustrating and even painful. The ancient majesty of yoga which has been practiced by billions of people across time does not expose its great true nature at first glance. The key to progress and success in yoga is to simply show up at class day-by-day. Practicing yoga regularly will slowly but surely change your understanding of what yoga is and what yoga does. Yoga will not only become easier, it will become very fun. You will eventually see how yoga is designed to make you better at everything you do on and off your mat. Namaste - OM
Follow Robert's journey on Instagram @yogibobby