Interview with Joe Longo; yogi photographer

Joe Longo & Brian Macrae Davis

After spending a few hours with Joe and 11 other yoga teachers, taking pictures in Columcille Megalith Park, he came back to my house. We sat outside and talked, so you may hear the occasional sound of nature doing its thing. This podcast is a few minutes longer than usual because talking with Joe is easy and fun, and I believe that you will agree with me after you hear the interview.

Joe picked up his first camera on a school field trip at the Pennsylvania state capitol in 5th grade. While the camera never took a decent picture, it connected to something within Joe. He did not touch a camera again until college. Even though he skipped most of the photography classes that semester, it did awaken the passion for taking pictures. After moving towards photography and away and then back again, he eventually found a way to combine his passion for photography and a yogic lifestyle by taking pictures of yogis and other fitness professionals.

We talk about growing up born-again Christian and about his newest project called Paw Prints Pro; which is creating art with pets and meeting the desires of the pet owner. Joe explains how he transitioned from a 9-5 job to making money through yoga and at the same time gives a great example of how not to do it, then tells how to make the transition the correct way. He talks about his baby, the Tattooed Yoga Project. And we also hit on the pleasure of working for yourself even when you are poorer than ever and still be happier than ever.

JoeLongoPhotography.com

PawPrintsPro.com

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Big Announcement: On Veteran’s Day, November 11th, 2017, there will be a special event: All over the country, teachers will be running a class that is dedicated to the veterans of the U.S. military to honor their efforts and to bring awareness to the 22 veterans who commit suicide every day. All proceeds from the class will go to a scholarship fund that will send veterans to a yoga teacher training run by VEToga. VEToga was created by veterans, for veterans. You can learn more on the Facebook page for Boundless Service. We are currently looking for teachers that would like to participate. You can sign up as a teacher or participant on the Boundless Service website. #HelpingVetsHelpVets

A few of the media that Joe mentioned in our conversation:

Gary Vaynerchuck’s book, Crush It! Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion

Sada Sat Kaur, one of the teachers leading Joe’s teacher training is a renowned kirtan artist. You can check out some of her recordings, below.

Thank you, Matt Worley for the introduction to this podcast. Matt is a yoga, SUP yoga and AcroYoga Teacher based in Newcastle in Australia.

And a big THANK YOU to 13 Hands for allowing us to use their song, Big Love as the intro and outro. You can learn more about 13 hands on their website and bandcamp.

Interview with Tracey Alysson who tells of her pilgrimage in Tibet.

Tracey Alysson, Ph.D.

Pilgrim

A Kora is a type of meditative practice and a type of pilgrimage. A Kora is performed by someone making a clockwise circumambulation around a sacred site or object, typically as part of a pilgrimage, ceremony, celebration or ritual.

In 2006, Tracey Alysson conducted a Kora around Mount Kailash; a sacred mountain in the wilderness of Tibet. The path is 34 miles long and Tracey made the journey by prostration; she would lay down, prone on the ground and then stand up where her hands had been and do it again, all the way around the mountain.

She kept a journal during her preparation and during the pilgrimage itself. When she returned home to the United States, she wrote a book about her experience.

The book tells of the physical challenges, the emotional strain and the spiritual growth of the pilgrimage. In the interview, we talk about her experience and how it has impacted her life.

Sadly, the last 2.5 minutes of the conversation was lost because the batteries in our recording equipment died and we were not aware that it had happened. The most important part of the lost conversation is that you can purchase the story in ebook, paperback and hardcover formats by clicking the link, here. You can learn more about Tracey Alysson on her website, http://www.traceyalyssonphd.com/.

Interview with Amy Impellizzeri; festival organizer and van dweller

Amy Impellizzeri

Festival Director and Nomad

Amy Impellizzeri and I holding up Brittany Ann Pires wearing shirts of my design

Amy lives in a van with her husband. They have been travelling the U.S., teaching as they go for almost 2 years. In our conversation, she talks about some of the joys and challenges of this lifestyle. Her experience in and after college, managing dance performances prepared her to run festivals and she has been running the Divine Play AcroYoga Festival for the last four years. She has also just released a new exercise modality with Jason Nemer. As you would expect from someone with such a varied life experience, the conversation we have is enjoyable and insightful. I hope that you enjoy the fourth episode of the podcast, Chats from the Mat, yoga inspired conversations with me, Brian Macrae Davis.

If you are interested in getting more information about Amy Impellizzeri, contact her directly or find her on Facebook. She is available to train AcroFit Trainers, lead AcroYoga Immersions and Consult on festival management.

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Email: amyiacro@gmail.com

The two big festivals this year are:

  • Divine Play; Jamaica – April 18-23
  • Divine Play; Portland – October 6-8

I want to thank one of my personal yoga teacher sponsors, prAna clothing company. They produce Yoga, Travel & Adventure clothes with a conscience. Prana is one of the few companies that provide support for brand new yoga teachers. It is not the successful yoga teachers that need help and support, it is the ones that are starting their teaching career and struggling to make a living. Prana does just that.

Thank you, Eddie Salguero for the introduction. Eddie is Amy’s Husband and co-habitant of the van that she lives and travels in.

Interview with a middle eastern yogi/refugee

Bassam Kubba

Yoga Teacher, Spiritual Seeker and Refugee

Bassam grew up in Iraq. When the situation there became too dangerous, he and his family moved out of the country. He moved around the middle east, living in various countries illegally for about 7 years, doing various jobs. During that time, he was seeking legal, immigrant status but he was a low priority. At one point he learned that he would have an easier time finding asylum if he acknowledges his homosexuality, because of the threats of violence and potential death in that part of the world. Soon after, he was living in New York City.

When he was introduced to yoga, it looked like a religion to him, which conflicted with his religion of birth. Over time, he decided that the stories of India can be inspirational and they guided his inner search.

Bassam has lived through a lot of personal, internal conflicts with his sexuality, his religion and his profession. Of course, internal conflicts never end, but hopefully the intensity will subside. Now he teaches yoga, aerial yoga and acroyoga.

I hope that you enjoy the third episode of the podcast, Chats from the Mat, yoga inspired conversations with me, Brian Macrae Davis.

How to find Bassam Kubba

You can find him around New York City and at either of the Om Factory locations.

You can follow him on Instagram, @theacroflyer, and on Facebook.

I want to thank one of my personal yoga teacher sponsors, Xero Shoes; the best sandals for running, hiking, barefoot, walking. Xero Shoes make minimalist sandals that stand the tests of time and terrain and they have just released their first minimalist closed shoe. I like them because they pack easily, take up little room and are quite versatile. When I was in Hawaii, they were the only footwear I used; In town, in the rainforest or on the beach, they were perfect.

Thank you, Matt Worley for the introduction to this podcast. Matt is a yoga, SUP yoga and AcroYoga Teacher based in Newcastle in Australia.