Into The Heart With Saul David Raye
After taking Saul David Raye's class at Shakti Fest this year, I wanted to know more and I wanted to dig deeper. I was curious to see what Saul had to share outside of the yoga room! He is a humble teacher who emanates love, it seems as if he lives and breathes his practices in all aspects of his life. This was not my first class with Saul - and it never fails - that every time I leave one of his classes, I feel so much love and nourishment. He truly is in service to the great heart of all beings.
Saul David Raye is an internationally acclaimed teacher, healer and spiritual activist known for his empowering and transformational approach to yoga, healing and spirituality. Saul’s teaching draws on the depth of the Yoga tradition, Bhakti, Tantra and all forms of universal light, love and wisdom.
EvG: How long have you been teaching?
SDR: It happened unconventionally in an ashram about 28 years ago. I took a break but I have been teaching consistently for 21 years.
EvG: How do you see the increase of yoga impacting humanity?
SDR: I see it as a gift to the world. The Rishis had no idea what they would be contributing to the world. Yoga is in every country and yoga has a special place for everyone. We are at the forefront of a global transformation of consciousness. It transcends religion and it's true to the core.
EvG: How much time does your teaching require you to travel?
SDR: It's hard to say. It's always about finding a rhythm. How do I balance family with what I'm doing in the world? Right now I am traveling about three quarters of the year, but life is always changing. It's an eternal dance.
EvG: Why do you choose Shakti Fest as one of the festivals to teach at?
SDR: I believe in the message of Shakti Fest. Shakti is about honoring the divine feminine which is integral to finding balance and peace on our planet. Shakti Fest holds a special place for me because it stays true to the Vedic and yogic ways. It's all vegetarian (not that I feel you have to adhere to those rules), no alcohol and it's focus is on the Bhakti. It's unique in that it sticks to the culture. It's the closest thing to India I have found.
EvG: I know you are a father of three kids, ranging from 5-15 years old. How do you think your children would describe their yogi dad and yogi world?
SDR: Good question! I believe we are all incarnated in a certain situation to work out our karma. I've never forced yoga on them because I respect their souls. They see it around them, so they will have their own understanding around it. My hope is that they know it's a good thing for the world and I hope that they appreciate certain aspects of it. I just plants seeds so that I can support them on their journey and maybe they don't have to do as much searching as I have done. I do think it's hard for them when I'm on the road. They are definitely my biggest teachers and biggest blessings.
EvG: Outside of Kirtan, what music are you currently enjoying?
SDR: I like Sufi music, classical. My kids listen to Michael Franti and Trevor Hall A LOT, so I'm also enjoying listening to them. My father was a jazz musician and I was around the music industry from about 14-22 years old. The music industry seemed unhealthy, so when I heard devotional music, it touched my heart. I have a lot of musical influences but the main reason I love music is because it is a way to express creativity and to connect to God. In 2013, I finally decided to make my own record but it's not straight Kirtan. Click here to view on iTunes.
EvG: Where are your 3 favorite places on earth?
SDR: India, Hawaii, Costa Rica & anywhere there is Love. Aum.
Saul is a true Bhakta, one who lives with devotion in his heart. He's humble and embodies a healthy balance of both masculine and feminine and the world is blessed to have his teachings.