MEET OUR MUSE : JEREMY FALK
Meet our muse, Jeremy Falk. A San Francisco-based mindset and embodiment teacher with over 15 years of experience in movement arts and positive psychology, Jeremy shines his light on the power of a mind-body-spirit connection.
With extensive training ranging from functional fitness, immersive yoga studies in India, and a passion for men's empowerment, Jeremy's mission is to inspire others to feel grounded, resilient, fully alive, and in service to one another.
Q: What is your history with movement? Why were you drawn to yoga?
As a child, I was diagnosed with asthma, and luckily, the doctor encouraged my parents to put me on sports teams to beat it instead of shying away from athleticism. So the movement was always a gift and something I pushed through at challenging times. I grew up playing soccer and ran cross country in high school, often with my inhaler tucked in my shorts. In college, a roommate kept inviting me to hot yoga, and I kept declining because I much preferred to run and lift weights. I finally accepted his invitation one day and was utterly humbled. There I was, a lean muscular 19 year old, trembling, shaking, sweating my face off, and damn near falling over. All around me, I saw people of all ages and body shapes who were composed and regulated. I immediately realized there was more to health than how I was approaching it and was hooked ever since.
Q: What mantra do you live by? Any new mantras of the moment?
I unconsciously carried the mantra "we'll figure it out later" for a long time and prided myself on being easygoing. As I get older, I find it's quite valuable to turn that into "Let's make a plan," which is hard for me as I am so damn comfortable living in the moment. I think another mantra that works for me often is "I'm OK." This is really a self-worth mantra, as it's something I come to when I find myself getting pulled into other people's drama or when others play out their insecurities by trying to power over people. Of course, it's healthy to set your boundaries and not get pushed over. Still, at the same time, when I can see that someone is exercising their authority needlessly, or my pride feels threatened for a moment yet I know I'm not actually threatened, I'm able to sit back, take a breath and realize the integrity of who I am isn't contingent on other people, and know that I'm ok.
Q: How do you align your mind, body, and spirit?
Yoga! There's nothing like it. Yet after practicing for about 18 years, I've also realized I was missing the medicine of other hobbies as well. Lately, I've picked up archery, and I love it. It's a total meditation of aim, focus, breath, and letting go.
Q: How does exercise influence your daily life?
I definitely notice a huge difference in how switched on my brain is when I exercise and when I don't. So I always try to make some time for movement in the morning. Lately, if I don't have time for a practice on the mat, I've been doing 100 jumping jacks. Quick, easy, and just a spark of cardio to really connect body and brain.
Q: What is your greatest life lesson? Any lessons learned from the past year?
Despite learning the value in making a plan, as I mentioned earlier, the last year definitely also crushed that to pieces and reminded us all that sometimes your plans will get demolished, and you better be able to think on your feet quickly. So I've learned the lesson of adapt or die. Thankfully, not only have I been supported by an amazing community teaching virtual classes the last year, we've been able to raise money for several charities and give back to those in need. I am so grateful for the technology that allowed us to do that. I know we're all burned out on Zoom but seriously, we got to give them a lot of love for holding us together. It makes me realize even more how much we all need each other. The amount of society that went online, beyond meetings to art, entertainment, fitness, and social endeavors, shows how deeply connected we all wish to stay. My heart also goes out to anyone with a brick and mortar, whose profession wasn't adaptable online, or anyone whose life was turned upside down this last year. It was so hard to see so many whose dreams were crushed by the pandemic. I truly hope for everyone to feel hope and remember our collective strength as we emerge from this hardship.
Q: If you had one piece of advice for stepping into your authentic path, what would it be?
I've been inspired reading The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks. He talks about how we all have different zones we operate in; incompetence, competence, excellence, and genius. Basically, stuff we're not good at, stuff we can manage, stuff we're good at easily, and stuff no one can do quite as we do. It had me reflect on how much time I was spending in my zone of excellence. I've been passionately teaching yoga, and it's authentic to who I am, yet I also realized it wasn't tapping into the full potentiality of who I am. So my first bit of advice is to recognize that authenticity alone doesn't mean you're giving the world the full benefit of who you are. There are dimensions to authenticity, like Hendrick's competent, excellent, and genius. Recently, I've accepted a new job as Director of Yoga with Tempo, an AI-powered smart home gym, and I'm really excited for the opportunity to share yoga with a new audience who might not know its benefits. It's an entirely new landscape for me, and there are many new challenges to solve to keep yoga authentic while benefiting the most amount of lives possible. So my advice for stepping into your authentic path is to ask, are you spending more time where you're good and comfortable, or where it's challenging you to grow new skills and make bigger positive waves?
Q: What is your favorite piece from Spiritual Gangster that helps you move?