Welcome to The Manifestation Q&A Series.
I am Jennifer Pastiloff and this series is designed to introduce the world to someone I find incredible. Someone who is manifesting their dreams on a daily basis.
Today’s guests are my friends Brock and Krista Cahill, which many of you know because you have taken their classes, seen some of their amazing photos, or the best yet, caught some of the work they have been doing for our planet.
The following interview is a mixture of both husband and wife, as are most of their classes and retreats. I hope you will get a feel for the power behind this couple. The power of flight, the power of love and the power of seva. I am honored to have them with me here today. I also urge you to check out www.kurmalliance.org or to check them out at Yogis Anonymous, in the studio or online. The Cahills and I both teach in Philadelphia at Dhyana Yoga a few times a year, as well.
Jennifer Pastiloff: What are you most proud to have manifested in your life?
Brock Cahill: I am most proud to have manifested a community of incredibly strong and dedicated yogis, that are not afraid to stand up for what they believe in, to show up and put in the hard work in their daily practice, and use our practice as a training platform to activate body, mind, and spirit, resulting in an elevation of consciousness in decision and lifestyle. Awesome work amigos!
Krista Cahill: It always comes down to the love. I really can’t believe the love I have in my life. It’s incredible. I love a lot everyday, and I feel love everyday from the people who are closest to me. In the most overwhelming way, I really believe that love is the most valuable commodity on earth. We all can use more love.
JP: How did you find yoga, or perhaps a better question would be, how did yoga find you?
BC: Great question, I like how you put that. Yoga found me through a series of horrendous shoulder injuries that the docs wanted to cut and sew back together with no real hope of a true recovery. Sounded like horseshit to me. I thought there must be another way. A friend suggested yoga. From day one I was hooked, just as you all were. I felt as if i had finally come home to my Self. As my mat unfolded beneath me day after day, i saw that my true injuries were not living in my shoulders, but in my soul. The shoulders were a symptom of my toxic lifestyle: the heavy partying, the dishonesty and denial, and my own inability to wake up in my own skin and connect to my soul. Perhaps you know what I mean? Shoulder soldiers unite!
KC: Thirteen years ago I really fell in love with Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga. I loved stepping to the side for Standing poses and flowing throughout seated sequences, the many predictable drishti’s (gaze) and sequencing. Now I practice the opposite and yoga is still the love of my life, so I am excited to see what my evolution will be for the next 13 years. Maybe I will study Iyengar more.
JP: What is your favorite yoga pose?
JP: I am moved by your commitment to seva, Kurmalliance. Tell us a little about that and how it was born.
BC: Kurmalliance is our nonprofit org. aimed at oceaniconservation and yogactivism. I am very much in love with the ocean. I believe that she is the soul of our planet, not to mention the life source! Without the ocean, we wouldn’t be here and without the ocean we won’t be here. The ocean is alive, and we must fight to save her.
I believe that yogis have the strength and focus to do so, or at least to ignite the revolution. It’s going to take solidarity, it’s going to take union, it’s going to take yoga. I hope we can band together and make this our fight. In my years as an avid oceanic romantic, I have seen the state of the ocean take a massive nosedive toward unsustainability, with the amount of plastic trash discarded into her guts, massive oil spills leaking all over her pretty face, the rape of humongous commercial fishing practices, and the destruction of her coral reefs that is akin to breaking her back with a sledgehammer. I couldn’t sit by and watch. But I didn’t know what to do.
The problem is huge, and it is with society at large; how we have chosen convenience over consciousness. When you look at it in macro it is tremendously overwhelming. What difference can I make? How can I change the world? A better question is, how can I not? She needs us. She needs you, and all your yogasuperhero friends. She needs me too. On my birthday a few years ago, the sledge that broke the camels back was unleashed. Enter the bp oil spill, the worst ecological disaster of all time. I was up in arms about the millions upon millions of gallons of oil that were being spewed into the Gulf of Mexico, and nobody really doing a damn thing about it. You remember, it was crazy?
Then on June 22, 2011 the news broke that bp was sanctioning the corralling of crude oil on the surface of the gulf, and lighting it on fire to try to quell the accumulation of so much of an eyesore. In doing so, they also happened to be trapping the extremely endangered juvenile Kemps Ridley sea turtles that were mired in the surface slicks, and burning them alive. Oh fuck, I have always had a very special and fond affinity for sea turtles. From my first days in the ocean, they have accompanied me on nearly every journey, and awakened me to the divinity of the sea. Every time I have a chance to look into the eyes of a sea turtle, I see myself a little more clearly.
I found a spiritual bond there, and one that cannot be explained, but can be felt very deeply. These are the kind of bonds that ignite us; that motivate us; that activate us. on that day, I felt like i got kicked square in the balls, and I knew God was saying directly to me, “You just gonna stand around and watch this shit go down?” absolutely not. The kurmalliance was born.
Kurma is the Sanskrit name for the second avatar of the god, Vishnu. In an ancient Hindu parable, Vishnu came down to earth in the form of a turtle and was able to churn the elixir of life out of the ocean in order to save the world. It was our turn to pay the turtles back!
The yoga community rallied, and in just a few short weeks we had raised about $35,000 to spearhead a mission to the gulf in conjunction with our buddies at the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and get to work saving turtles, collecting data, and being an honest witness to the shitspray that bp was attempting to sweep under the rug. I’m happy to say that the evidence that we were able to bring to court in the case against bp did help the people, the turtles, the sharks, and the coastline of the gulf gain some retribution from the crimes committed against them. I’m bummed to say that it wasn’t nearly enough. Many were lost, and the way of life in the gulf will never be the same. The alliance is strong, and we will never give up; not until mother ocean is safe from harm. Join us: www.kurmalliance.org
JP: What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a yoga teacher?
BC: Using integration, tapping into strength to cultivate balance.
JP: From being a yoga teacher who travels so much?
BC: To stay grounded and focused, no matter what the world throws at you, and no matter what continent you are on, you are home in your body and with your soul.
JP: From being married?
BC: That you can’t do it all alone. It is real nice to have a teammate, especially one that rocks as hard as Krista!
JP: From saving turtles?
BC: That even if you are not ready, the time is now, and it is not going to wait for you. Activate!
JP: From your beloved handstand?
BC: To stand up for what you believe in. If you pour your entire self, your focus, your dedication, your devocean into something, there is no stopping you. There will be obstacles. There will be hurdles. Get over them! This is from someone that could not lift his arms over his head when he began practicing, let alone even think about a handstand…
Brock and The Yogitoes Prism. Click to connect with Yogitoes.
JP: Krista, what about you?
KC: Brock is a very good teacher. The harder he is on you, the more he believes you can do better. He is teaching me about my greatest potential. He is extracting the best from within me. It has been a powerful journey. As a yoga teacher the greatest lesson to learn is how to be yourself. People love a teacher because they offer something different, something unique and original.
It’s not always easy to be creative, but a daily practice is the only inspiration you need! If your getting your inspiration from YouTube videos, then there’s is a problem. My personal practice is my best friend, I have enjoyed every breath, new pose, ideals and friendships. Most of all, it is where I met Brock, so i know it brings you what you need.
JP: How has being married changed your life?
Krista Cahill: Being married to Brock has been a massive life change. I am now yoked to this man for the rest of my life. Everything I do I have to consider his feelings and preferences too. For someone as impulsive as me that has been my biggest shift thus far.
JP: Gratitude is the greatest force In my life. Most of my classes are set to this theme. If you could say thank you right now, who would it be to?
KC: I would thank Brock, he has shown me that I am a tough cookie.
JP: How has Kurmalliance changed your life?
BC: It has given me purpose. It has allowed me to recognize my dharma.
JP: When was the last time you laughed at yourself?
BC: I’ve been doing that a lot lately, thankfully! I was taking everything too seriously, with the state of the oceans and much of the globes apathy to her condition…
So I grew this frickin hilarious mustache. It was comedy. Just about every time I would look at myself in the mirror I would launch almond milk out of my nose, cracking up so hard!
KC: I laugh everyday, mostly when i am teaching I laugh at myself because I am ridiculous. I try to be tough because it’s what I like as a student, but sometimes I just can’t keep a straight face.
JP: Who/what inspires you most?
BC: The ocean.
JP: Who has been your greatest teacher?
BC: My wife, Krista.
JP: What is your favorite part about teaching with your wife?
BC: That we approach the middle ground from completely opposite sides of the spectrum, and as we meet at the meridian line, our teaching is so much more effective, informed, intelligent, and precise than it ever could have been on its own.
JP: If you could impart one message to the readers of this, what would it be? Your message to the world.
KC: Practice yoga everyday! Find a way to quiet the mind, for some of us that gets easier in an upside-down position…
JP: Some words you live by?
BC: Elevate, activate, uplift! Get conscious, and never give up. Ever.
KC: Don’t give up, if you want something you have to try and try again.
JP: If you weren’t teaching yoga what would you be doing?
BC: I’d be dead.
KC: I would be a professional yoga student. I would get the most B.S. job ever and I would take two or three classes everyday! I would wake up for Ashtanga, then take a mid-day Iyengar class and then end the day with a hot’n sweaty flow.
Brock Cahill: We are in process of launching five very important projects into the water, including the adoption of a Leatherback sea turtle in Costa Rica, a turtle tagging mission to the Cocos Islands, development of a turtle hatchery and nursery in french Polynesia, and in our very own backyard the Santa Monica bay, we are trying to Pluckfastic on a grand scale, by organizing beach cleanups, standup paddle excursions to collect plastic refuse along our coast, and bio-boat missions out to the rim of the Channel Islands to document and collect the unfathomable amount of plastic refuse choking our own local ecosystem.
Folks can help us with fundraising, if that is an avenue that they feel moved to explore. Perhaps they would like to make a donation, which is always very much appreciated, or have an idea of how to become an instigator in the yogactivism revolution and create a project that will help generate awareness, as well as funding; because all of these projects require a steady influx of cash to help keep mother ocean afloat. Once we have launched our bio-boat this summer we will have active opportunities for members of the Kurmalliance to spearhead a Pluckfastic mission and become a member of the crew, by donating toward fuel costs and then joining us on a cruise to commune with ma ocean!
For more info, please check www.kurmalliance.org
KC: I’m pretty boring actually, I like a super hard yoga class, a warm snuggly bed, a hot man to snuggle with and nine hours of sleep.
JP: What’s up next for the Gravity Cowboys?
BC: A big big summer chock full of festivals and travel. We will be teaching at Wanderlust in Tahoe, and Vermont, Midwest Yoga Conference in Chicago, and our amazing annual retreat. This year we hit Aruba! Scuba in Aruba, anyone? Uh yeah, count me in!
KC: I am manifesting Fun and Flight this year.
Aruba anyone? Click for more info!
Brock was wearing a pair cowboy boots and a bit of a hangover when he accidentally stumbled across the path of yoga. He was out there fumbling around in the dark, trying to find himself, when the light of yoga clicked on and pointed him in the right direction. Through the physical nature of the practice, and his intense dedication to it, Brock has been able to enliven the body and clarify the mind, preparing him for a momentous trek on the winding road leading to the self and the soul. It is a road he loves to share, wanna go for a walk?
Krista fell in love with the practice of yoga in 1999 when she took her first Ashtanga class with Tim Miller. Since that day she has devoted her time and energy into exploring the numerous dimensions, both as a teacher and student. “I look forward each day to the possibility that my practice both on and off the mat can promote a greater awareness in our immediate need for global peace and unification. All is one.”
Krista teaches retreats around the world and regular classes at Yogis Anonymous in Santa Monica, CA. She teaches a vigorous Vinyasa flow class filled with challenging arm balances and inversions. She believes that our obstacles are our greatest blessings.
This post was adapted from ManifestationYoga.com.