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The Mysterious World of The Guru’s GURU!

April 2nd, 2004

By Christopher Herz
The Health Guru /

Your Guru was stressed out again my friends. The streets of Los Angeles had taken their toll on me. I was looking to bring the underground health issues to you, but I myself was not healthy enough to find them. So what’s a Guru to do when he’s got the blues?

Why, call his Guru, of course.

Erin Dunning, AKA Rukmini, resides in Davis, California, which is no doubt one of the fairy tale wonderlands of the United States. There, the oxygen is plentiful and the green stretches wider than the horizon. Around those parts, the myth is already spreading of the woman who can ease the minds of the weary travelers who bring themselves to her doorstep.

This woman has dedicated her life to bringing unity to the world by hopefully, one by one, showing these creatures that roam the third planet from the sun, that it’s all about unity and peace. The only was to achieve such lofty goals is through self-realization.

Rukmini had just gotten back from a retreat deep in the Yosemite woods, where neither she nor her 20 fellow retreatees were to speak a single word. Before arriving at their destination, they did away with their cell phones, laptops and all other accessories that we have become attached to.

"By then end of it," Rukmini says she was "dreaming about the person I was sharing a tent with. After we came back, I told her about this dream I kept having that she was in Catholic school, you know, with the whole uniform and everything. She told me that she was in Catholic school when she was a kid, and was thinking about that a lot during the silent periods at night. We were reading each other’s thoughts. Lack of communication often times allows for more clarity."

And so she went on, about her life, and how she had become so perfectly centered. How she had stopped drinking, stopped smoking herb, and pretty much gave up the things she once sought solace in.

Now understand that my Guru and I share a long history of speaking about meditation and how to calm down the world that is spinning around you.

When I asked her how she had reached a new level of mellowness, Rukmini laid it down for me.

"It’s all about Yoga."

"Each time, I feel like I’m getting run over and turned into a train wreck, but in a really good way. Rainbow sparkles and all, but still, you’re sick."

Although Yoga is no longer an underground movement, I never fully understood what the pay off is. All I knew now is that life in the city was extremely distracting. I had been reading Paulo Cohelo’s "The Warrior of the Light," which preached the importance of making a decision. However, getting to that point seemed impossible to me, as everything was cluttered and out of focus. How can I make a decision if I can’t even see what I am deciding between? This and much more were some of my ramblings to her.

"Since moving into this world, my decision making-you know, your GUT feeling, is much closer - GET TO THE POINT. Yeah."

Rukmini’s particular form is Bikram Yoga, where they turn up the heat to excess of 100 degrees, and then engage in a 1 and a half hour Yoga throw-downs where your body is put into 26 separate ASANAS. Asanas are the combinations of breaths and movements that, if done in perfect form, can bring about a feeling of serenity, and supposedly near orgasmic experiences.

Well, that’s pretty much why this is my Guru. A Guru is someone who will tell you exactly what you should do to enjoy your life.

"This is the cleansing of toxins. The good stuff." Rukmini teaches Yoga in Davis, California, is an Independent Film Queen (Star of the upcoming Zaron Burnett III film Yona) and is a graduate of Bikram Yoga Academy in Los Angeles.

"The purpose of life is to pass on positive energy to other people. I really enjoy doing that," my Guru tells me in the middle of the week. "However, in order to pass on that energy to other people, I must be centered myself."

So how did this spiritually electrified being take her first steps down the road of Yogadom?

"To be honest, I really started to get in shape. I mean, I was partying a lot, going out, clubbing, all of that good stuff. I was feeling out of whack, flabby and out of balance. I felt gross. That’s really how it started."

"While my mind was expanding with all of my experiences, my body wasn’t in balance. And balance, my friend, is the true key to happiness. Yoga gives me that - much more than drugs did. It’s really not even close"

But before I could get any more from my Guru, she stopped.

"You know, you need to go try it. Meditation really doesn’t do it. You need to be active. Go down to Bikram himself. He’s down by you."

Now, like most of you out there, between hustling for a dollar and looking around the corner for the shadow that reminds you of your dreams, there is no time to go and chill out in a yoga session. Saturday was the only time when there was a break from work to do anything about it. She told me to watch my breathing and to live right now.

Dandayamana Dhanurasana Padangustasana
Ustrasana Paschimottanasana

Then she hung up.

And so, I went through the week. As I did, I began noticing things I normally wouldn’t. Not letting my thoughts drift as much. I kid you not people, I saw four monks in three days on public transportation in Los Angeles the week leading up to my Yoga class.

Saturday the day broke at 9:00 A.M. I didn’t eat a thing (this is advised if you are about to embark on yoga expedition) and went to the bus stop in the blazing Los Angeles sunshine. The bus was running late and I was about to turn home. There was no way I would make it on time. Then, no joke, ’cause your Guru never lies to you, a guy steps up and says "Why don’t you catch the short one coming up behind it. It’ll get you there quicker."

I looked behind the approaching bus, and sure enough, there was a tiny bus known as THE DASH, an express bus that runs independent form the major bus lines.

Figuring he was put on my spiritual path for a reason, I jumped on the short DASH bus, and it rocketed down Sunset, flew around LaCienega and dropped me off for a quick switch to the 102, which left me in front of the Bikram Yoga College of India. Running in, I was given the last spot available in the room?


Not really. It was the spot under the blower that had heat blasting at 100 degrees that nobody, except for the new guy, ever goes under. Such is the way on the path to enlightenment.

For the better part of the next two hours, I stretched, bent and fell in ways I never had before. Along with me were over 300 people doing the same, although most have had some prior experience. Leading the class was Yogiraj Bikram Choudhury, the creator of this form of Yoga.

"There is no knee," he said, as he asked everyone to straighten out one leg while keeping the other on the floor, creating a 90 degrees angle. 299 of the 300 people there could do it.

"Perfect Camels! Let me see 300 perfect CAMELS!"

This refers to the Asana where you sit on your knees with the rest of your legs straight behind you, and you bend backwards while clutching your heel. My camel, although less then perfect, was a camel nonetheless.

I went on, drinking a gallon of water (which was hot from being under the blower) and working like crazy. With each move, I felt as if something horrible was happening to my body. I felt sick and smashed up, but then I realized, this was all inside of me. Deep inside, lurking in fat and waste that had yet to be released.

Later that day, I didn’t want to drink or do anything else. I had worked my body in so many new ways, I felt like a new being. There was neither good nor bad, just new. I later realized that the feeling was clarity. Much of the stress and confusion inside my mind had been let out.

In the days following my Yoga class, when things started to get crazy, I was able to find the center easier and act quickly.

When I talked with Rukmini about my pain, she explained that it was not pain, but a shedding of the ego.

"This is not suffering, this is transcendence. We must identify with the ego so we can get beyond it. Don’t get me wrong. I’m totally not New Age. I’m old school. This has been around for thousands of years."

"This is one of the steps to the final destination of enlightenment. It’s so easy to get caught up in everyone’s negative energy. If you create balance within, there is a chance the world will achieve that balance."

"I am working more on a grass roots level, just trying to spread the good word of yoga thru my teaching here and in Sacramento. I want to get people, The Peeps, to practice Yoga everyday. Have a regular practice, live yoga, be yoga, do yoga, make it available and not so elitist or esoteric. Yoga is after all Union. Union of the individual with the divine, the infinite, the is about belonging and balance, being One with all- finding Real Peace, Love, ultimate a full enlightenment, self/god realization. It’s a huge subject, really. Yoga doesn’t happen over night or by taking a class, it is Life work, practice."

So there you are people. Here is a road map to enlightenment.

All you have to do is unroll it.



The Health Guru - Christopher Herz

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