Combining consciousness, healing, fitness and humor into a seamless blend, Rebel Yogi Satya (aka Swami X) challenges his tribe to step up into their full expression of themselves. With over 20 years in the health and fitness industry, a Master’s Degree in Herbology, a Reiki Master Teacher, certified as a 500-hour E-RYT yoga instructor, Sacred Heart Yoga Teacher, three initiations in Babaji’s Kriya Yoga and a certified Babaji’s Kriya Hatha Yoga Teacher, certified personal trainer, black belt and former amateur national champion with 7-years competing in Chinese full-contact kickboxing and tai chi chuan, Satya shares real-world training and spirituality through personal experience and not cut and paste book knowledge.
-500-hour E-RYT with Yoga Alliance
-500-hour certified yoga instructor through Babaji’s Kriya Hatha Yoga
-200-hour certified yoga instructor through New York Yoga
-Sacred Heart Yoga certified yoga instructor
-Babaji’s Kriya Yoga: Level I, Level II and Level III Initiations
-Initiated as a sannyasin swami at Osho’s Meditation Resort in Pune, India
-Two spiritual pilgrimages to India
-Reiki Master Teacher in the Mikao Usui lineage, initiated by Laurie Grant
-ARCH Master, certified by Laurie Grant
-ARCH Intuition Practitioner, certified by Laurie Grant
-Reconnective Healer, initiated by Dr. Eric Pearl
-Master Herbalist from The School of Natural Healing
-Holistic Iridology Levels I, II and III with Dr. David Pesek
-Certified Personal Trainer through the American Council on Exercise (ACE)
-Nutritional Specialist from Lifestyle Management Associates
-Black belt in the Lion’s Roar system under David Ross
-Former Captain of fight team and National Champion in amateur Chinese Kickboxing
-Tai chi chuan moving and restricted push-hands National Champion
-Shui-Jou silver medalist in national competition
-Creator of Kick Punch Om
-Yoga and Raw Food/Wellness Expos
-Kapsos Deep Muscle Therapist
-Published writer in Penthouse, Natural Living Today, Haitian magazine, newspapers
-Taught yoga and meditation internationally and nationally
-Regular Presenter at New Life’s Yoga & Raw Food Expo in NYC
-Presenter at Raw Spirit Festival in Sedona, Arizona and Washington, D.C.
– Yin Yoga Teacher Training at Sattva Yoga with Karen Mandell
Most who ask a question like this are interested in the cartoon character represented by my nationality, upbringing, religious affiliation, skin color, current employment, sexual orientation and the spiritual cults to which I have donated a kidney (of which I am not allowed to discuss further for the Church of Scientology has threatened to sue me.)
Diving into the question Who Am I? is probably the deepest spiritual inquiry that one can pursue and I much rather you ask it of yourself than of me. Yes, my cartoon has been entertaining to some, irritating to many—but if you discover who you are then you will not only grow out of interest in cartoons, you will also know Who I Am as well. Not that I have grown out of cartoons; the only two shows I watch consistently are South Park and Family Guy—both cartoons! But I have higher hopes for you .
I don’t mean to be a pain in the ass and avoid answering anything directly but “philosophy” and “life” really have little to do with each other. As an arrogant yoga douche of youth, the head of a New York City yoga studio asked me how long I had practiced yoga and I answered, “I don’t practice yoga—I do yoga.” If asked this same question today I might answer, “I don’t practice yoga—I am yoga.” Forever a yoga douche!
In life, as in my yoga, I focus on awareness, not only of my breath and body but also of my unconscious patterns of thought and behavior…while keeping my sense of humor. This is the same yoga I teach.
I wrote jokingly in my blog Enlightening Nonsense that I became an instructor in order to sleep with my students. One person who took one of my classes read this piece and started a campaign to get me fired, including creating the email account: firstname.lastname@example.org. Seemed like a lot of effort when learning to laugh would have been a much more beneficial practice. For the record, I was later fired from that job but not because of sleeping with any of the students—like the manager perfectly modeled more than once.
I teach the yoga of awareness through our bodies, breath and mind. I offer real-world, practical spirituality and not superstition. You may get a workout in your body but you may also feel a subtle shift and release in what you have held onto as your Self.
Most people in the world of yoga will at some time either change their name or add a so-called “spiritual” name that they use when they put on their costumes of flowing robes and mala beads to seem official. Yogananda, “blissful union”; Satyananada, “blissful truth”; Kriyananda, “”blissful action.” Everyone wants to be blissful apparently! While these may be nice attitudes to aspire to and achieve, they tend to seem ridiculous when an angry egocentric calls himself “blissful union.” Or some self-professed celibate swami calls himself “blissful truth,” as hordes of his followers come out of the woodworks saying he slept with them. Or a spiritual leader who calls herself “blissful action” while behind the scenes she clawed her way to the top of her organization by stepping on others.
The “X” is inspired by Malcolm X. After he came back from Mecca, this resolutely rooted racist, said he saw black Muslims and white Muslims and brown Muslims—a rainbow of Muslims—all sharing and loving and unified in their pilgrimage. He came back realizing that while there certainly was racism in our country, the white man was not the devil he had previously declared him to be. The most powerful line I read spoken by him went something like this, “I don’t know what I will believe next month, but I’m willing to drop anything that proves no longer in the service of truth.” Truth over agenda. Put that on a bumper sticker!
While I did go through a couple of initiations that offered me the title of “Swami,” this is just a costume. I would box and store it like a wedding dress but at this point too many people have jumped on the “rebel yogi” bandwagon for me to not have a specialized label that has been tossed around the brothels.
The “X” also is representative of my understanding of enlightenment. Our goal is not to add more false layers, names, labels or letters after our names to cover us with the costumes of spirituality, but to strip away all of the extras that are not us until we are left with nothing but the essence of Who We Are.
Eventually it became time to “X” out the name Swami X. While I did go through an initiation at Osho’s ashram that put that title in front of my name, the association to the title “Swami” is too ridiculous for me to want to have associated with my name. It is like calling yourself “Spiritual Joe.” If you are a swami–be a swami. You don’t have to make everyone address you as such. A tree is a tree; it doesn’t need to be reassured of this fact.
Please don’t! Instead be a REBEL and follow yourself. By that, I don’t mean to suggest you follow the lowest urges you experience through your loins and ego but rather the highest wisdom that comes through your heart and intuition, the Inner Guru.
Join my tribe and the Rebel-ution if my words or presence inspire or amuse you. If not, much better to forget about me and channel your energy towards something that does.
What is a Rebel Yogi?
Rebel [n. reb-uh-l]
- One who values Truth over convention, living his or her purpose and passion over convenience and conformity.
Yogi [n. yoh-gee]
- A person who seeks the understanding and expression of his or her true Self, beyond the ego’s identification with the body, thoughts, emotions, beliefs, gymnastics skills, job, bank account, sex or political parties (I’m guessing sex parties are a lot more fun!)
Rebel Yogi [n. reb-uh-l, yoh-gee]
- One whose quest won’t end until he or she is an expression of Truth, Love and Creative energy.
- One who seeks to destroy personal and social limitations—not store windows.
- A spiritual entertainer known as “Swami X”, who values laughter as much as Truth, and takes the path to living authentically seriously, but not himself.