Only Love: Mind, Body, and Music
On November 12, 2015, Kelowna proudly played host to the Only Love Tour at the historic Laurel Packing House. The achieved intention brought together mind and body, music, and poetry to promote personal fulfillment and global awareness.
Beginning the evening, headliners MC Yogi and DJ Drez worked together, combining their passion for yoga and beats, leading guests on a guided practice deep into consciousness. Then, Amanda Giacomini took the stage for a half-hour dharma discussion before rounding out the evening with more music and entertainment.
It truly is remarkable, a beautiful thing, to gather in a space that is rich with light and energy, one that is pure of heart, and that’s the basis for the Only Love Tour.
All One Era’s Tara Pilling had a chance to sit down with Robindra Mohar, founder of It’s Time to Bloom and supporter of the Only Love Tour…
Tara: On behalf of Stephen Cipes and the All One Era magazine we’d like to welcome you, Robindra and the Only Love Tour, to Kelowna. I just want to ask you around the vision…?
Robindra: I’m the founder of a company called It’s Time to Bloom and our mission is really to bring people together beyond what type of yoga practice you do or beyond what studio you practise at and there’s real power in numbers. And when you can bring a group together like the yogis across multiple cities, across an entire country, we believe there’s power in numbers and we believe that we’re here to inspire each other and we’re born to love. And, MC Yogi recently came out with an album called Only Love is Real and that’s what it’s really about, underneath it all really. It’s about how much more can we love, how much more love can we bring to the table? Can we love with conviction?
Tara: That’s so beautiful! So, I understand you’re doing a four-week training program with the Aquarian Humanology course. Can you share around that?
Robindra: Yeah, sure. So, my wife is actually a Kundalini yoga teacher and we have a really good collaborator and friend by the name of Taylor EyeWalker in California, and together we’ve created a curriculum called The Aquarian Humanology Training and it’s basically about Life 101 in this new Aquarian Age. We went from the Piscean Age to the Aquarian Age and it’s really, really simple tools. Yoga, yogic tools to move you in this new era of the Aquarian. It begins in April. In Edmonton.
Tara: Ok, and so how do people get ahold of you if they want to get involved?
Robindra: Yeah, we’re planning things across the country on an ongoing basis. You can get ahold of us through itstimetobloom.com.
After getting an over-view of the Only Love Tour from Robindra Mohar, Pilling, along with MC Yogi, DJ Drez, and Amanda Giacomini discussed the tour, their music, poetry, beliefs, wisdom, and convictions. The beauty of the event resonates through their words and the following interview goes a long way to prove the power of connectivity.
Tara: MC Yogi, your recent album is called Only Love is Real so why Only Love?
MC Yogi: George Harrison famously said, “All things must pass” and in agreement with that, I believe that all this is temporary but love will last. And actually, that’s been my experience. All the friends that I’ve known that have passed away—I still feel their love and their presence. I mean, that’s just the most important teaching I could share from my own experience is that love is the most powerful force in the Universe and when we align with it great miracles can happen. Things that we never thought were possible start to unfold because it’s happening to an energy greater than ourselves. Or maybe that is ourselves?
Tara: So, how did you all come together on this project?
Amanda: Well, we’ve been travelling and touring together for seven or eight years now, and it’s just been a great alignment. Drez brings the beats, Yogi brings the beautiful words and poetry. And, I’m not sure my role…
Tara: The stories… the stories… Your stories are beautiful.
Amanda: Stories and my love of yoga. I’m just lucky to be here with these very talented people.
Tara: What teachers and teachings most inspire you?
DJ Drez: As a musician, silence is a great teacher. It kind of shows you the possibilities and I have experienced a good handful of great yoga teachers and each other, you know? We all have our moments where we are the teacher or we are the student and we bounce off of each other. I suppose that’s with everyone in life, not just us three. But, you know, my wife, my son… My son, he’s a good example of a guru. I think, I know a teacher can be so many things, being here this cold is a teacher of what I may want or I may not want in my life. Just so many random things. Randomness is a teacher. I know I’m being super like… You know —
MC Yogi: Random?
DJ Drez: Random! Yeah, not specific, but that’s been my situation. Many teachers have some teachings but they’re not a ‘teacher.’ It’s quite a role to take on. One of my main teachers, yoga teachers, after I did a teacher-training, she said, “You’re not a yoga teacher. You teach yoga. That’s a big responsibility to say you’re a teacher.” So, I think everybody and everything is a teacher at some point, or can be. So, that’s why it’s such a vague, but maybe a specific-vague answer.
Amanda: One of our first teachers was named Larry Schultz and he’s no longer in his body but that is who our primary first yoga teacher was and that’s how we met. And he had a couple of great teachings that have sustained me over the years. One was he would always tell us you’re stronger than you think you are. And, that is just a great mantra to come back to over and over again when you find yourself feeling doubtful, feeling like maybe I can’t do this, maybe I should just stay in bed. And so, I think that’s always been a profound teaching. The other one that he would often share was, yoga will never let you down. And, I think that is something I definitely experience the more I practise, the deeper I’ve gone into my studies. Yoga has become a never-ending well of knowledge, of joy, of enlightened thinking that continues to sustain me day-in and day-out. So, that teaching is also very powerful to remember. And, I think it’s really given us a purpose of going out in the world and sharing yoga.
MC Yogi: I think for me, all the teachings can be found… I actually want to echo what Drez said. Initially Drez said ‘silence’ and I think the greatest teachings come just sitting and breathing and listening and by tuning in because the teacher is everywhere. Every square inch of the Universe is chalked full of light and wisdom and energy and bliss and however we can access it, whether it’s through meditation or music or poetry. But, for me it’s just listening and feeling and getting into that mood and that space that I receive so much inspiration and the breath has been one of the best ways I found. It’s just so direct.
Tara: So, as a group working with this Only Love tour are there any specific causes that you’re really passionate about that you’d like to share?
MC Yogi: Yeah, human suffering, that’s the big one and there’s a lot of ways to bring relief to the world. One of the things that’s near and dear to our heart is really dedicating our lives to animals, like rescue animals. Our dog was a rescue dog and there’s a lot of animals out there that need homes so we really feel strongly in being more vegetarian. There’s so many causes but I think when you look at what is the over-arching theme it’s like suffering. And, what’s the best way to remedy that suffering? First, according to the Buddhists who acknowledge that it exists, to not, numb ourselves with all the modern conveniences and drugs and distractions because everything that we’re doing is to kind of medicate ourselves from the suffering. Because we’re all dealing with it, we’re all these limited, bound bodies. So, once we acknowledge that exists then we can actually start to, be with it and start to work with it so it starts to subside in our own minds and our own lives. Then, in turn, we are generating less suffering for everyone around us, so we can support others really through our presence, being a good friend, listening, offering advice. And we’ve done lots of benefits over the years. I think the main thing is just teaching yoga and offering meditation and music. That, in itself, is providing a huge relief so we’ve really dedicated our lives to that and we continue to do that as much as possible.
Tara: So when people leave your events, in what way do you—
MC Yogi: We don’t ever want people to ever leave our events… Especially before savasana. Just stay because I guarantee, it’s like tea, you let it steep. It takes a moment for it to kick in. So, just stay with it. You’re gonna hear a lot of bad jokes. You’re gonna do some yoga, meditate, hear some music, dance, celebrate, hear some stories. But, just stay with it because a couple hours in you’ll be like, “Woah, this is a lot weirder and more awesome than I thought it would be!”
DJ Drez: It’s like a Marvel movie, like after the credits go up there’s gonna be something else.
MC Yogi: We’re talking about the end that you just gotta hold on for, that will be the little thing that will lead to the next episode.
Tara: Looking forward to tonight! Yeah, so I was just going to say, though, when it does end, and they leave, finally, after all the awesomeness, what would you hope they take with them, and how would you hope they share that with the rest of the world?
MC Yogi: Hopefully they don’t take as much with them as they leave behind because the idea is that if you come heavy, you leave light. It’s like going to the car wash. We call it the Karma-wash: you go with this thin layer of film or dust and you leave with that shine. That’s really the purpose why we make music, why we teach yoga so that you can leave feeling a little lighter, carrying a little less.
Amanda: And, that will naturally have a ripple effect, you know, it doesn’t need to be so specific. If you are able to shift your energy through good music and being with good people, that nourishment, and you go back home, your presence will shift everybody you encounter the next day, the day after, the day after. Like, it has an ongoing wave —
Tara: And, to leave with the knowing that it’s accessible, that the feeling they have in a moment—a moment of bliss, or just a moment of simple happiness. Or, giving less attention to worry, to know that you can access that.
Amanda: Because just like everyone is suffering, everyone has access to joy and happiness. You know, often we just need a reminder to choose it and when we choose it collectively, it’s very powerful.
MC Yogi: And, the good news is that it doesn’t any cost money to move into that state or that feeling. So when you come to these festivals and you have these peak moments when you get it, and the more times we have those experiences the easier it becomes a part of your natural, every day, sort of rhythm and pattern-type. To go into you space on your own, whether it’s through your meditation or making food for your kids, or whatever it is, the more that you have those moments the more you start to grow that feeling in the rest of your life. Does that make sense?
Tara: Yeah, beautiful! So, one thing I would like to say ‘cause I started researching you guys a lot and, of course, sharing the love and all your videos and spending some time with you now in the last couple days… DJ Drez, one thing I find is that you’re super down to earth. You’re just like a really cool person just to talk to, so thank you!
DJ Drez: Thank you!
Tara: And, Amanda, you’re just extremely sweet. You’re just really sweet and kind. And, I can tell you just have such a big heart. Thank you!
MC Yogi: And, she’s gluten-free!
Tara: And, MC Yogi, I would’ve never thought you’re so funny. You’re always cracking jokes…
MC Yogi: “Funny!”
Tara: Yeah, funny! You’re actually really funny and you’re extremely kind, as well. You have a very kind heart. I’m so grateful you guys have come!
MC Yogi: And, like, you’re all three of those things because when you picked us up from the airport you had cookies and chai for us!
Amanda: We were in heaven!
Tara: Oh, you’re welcome! There was lots of love in that, too. So the last question I have is just really if there’s anything that each of you would like to share maybe that I didn’t cover, or even talk about or touch on around the tour or around your visions…
Amanda: I think it’s so fascinating to come out of our little hamlet where we live in Northern California and it seems like wherever we go now we discover there’s whole communities of yogis, whole communities of really awesome, kind people who share our values of doing good things in the world and protecting the earth. I just think it’s so encouraging to travel and keep meeting people like yourself and the people here in Kelowna. And, I think it’s wonderful to come together and recognize that it’s a great ground swell of goodness in the world.
MC Yogi: Yeah, I think, in fact, the more we travel and see that, the more I start to feel like we actually could drop-the-ring-in-the-volcano-and-destroy-the-Eye-of-Mordor kind of win. There’s enough of us that we actually could save the earth. If we really, really wanted to.
Amanda: I think this tour is as much about us sharing our years of practice, whatever we learned with our teachers and it’s just as much as us feeling the love and experiencing that it’s everywhere…
MC Yogi: Maybe it’s not so much about us saving the earth but just allowing the earth to save us.
DJ Drez: He and I both came out with new albums this year and we think they’re quite good. And we would love it if people would support the artists that they really enjoy listening to, and not just listen to them on a streaming app.
MC Yogi: Go to the Canadian version of iTunes?
DJ Drez: Right! Right! Because those streaming things don’t really support us well. They’re really not artist-friendly. So, things like iTunes, Amazon, whatever the digital store is, we’re on there! So we’re grateful.
MC Yogi: Another great way to support us is by following us on Instagram!
DJ Drez: Instagram, yep, absolutely. And, coming to the shows. And, this is a beautiful job that isn’t work.
MC Yogi: Are you a legend-in-the-making? I’m a legend in my own mind!
DJ Drez: I’m a borderline genius!
MC Yogi: Drez is the most humble legend ever.
Tara: So, what are the albums, like, can you share the albums?
MC Yogi: Drez just came out with a new album with his wife called “Dreaming In Sanskrit” with Marti Nikko which is available. And, Drez has like —
Amanda: A billion albums.
MC Yogi: Like, 20 albums…
Amanda: You should just get them all.
DJ Drez: I have a lot of albums.
MC Yogi: You could listen to all of them, like I think —
Amanda: Chanting with Tigers, Lotus Memoirs, those are some of my favourites.
DJ Drez: Thank you! So, yeah there’s a lot of stuff. Only Love is Real, the tour that we’re on now is in support of this hiphop, singing —
Tara: Techno —
DJ Drez: Alternative, kind of life —
DJ Drez: Storytelling!
MC Yogi: The image! Kind of polka! Reggae!
DJ Drez: Wiffleball…
MC Yogi: Wiffleball! Rocksteady!
Tara: Star Wars!
MC Yogi: Star Wars, Jedi!
Tara: So, on behalf of Stephen Cipes, who has been so generous to —
MC Yogi: What’s up, Stephen?
DJ Drez: We’re grateful, Stephen!
MC Yogi: Nice job, bro!
DJ Drez: Much love, thank you!
MC Yogi: Big shout out to the Wizard, The Grand Poobah!
DJ Drez: That’s right!
Tara: Who wanted to really support you guys and host you here, and the All One Era magazine, we’re just so grateful that you guys have come that you’re sharing the love, and we hope before you leave, too, we’ll get your signature on our 2020 Declaration to make the Okanagan 100% organic.
DJ Drez: Absolutely!
MC Yogi: Wow!
Tara: I know you’re all very passionate about that as well. So, thanks again, thanks for being here!
Amanda: Thank you, Tara!
MC Yogi: Thank you!
This conversation has been edited for print. To view the full conversation visit alloneera.com/videos For more information on the Only Love Tour or to purchase tickets to an event near you, visit www.itstimetobloom.com.
Tara Pilling is a local Okanagan practitioner, and yoga teacher.