We are back, this time with one of the first yogis that caught my eye ever! Bendi.Locs went by another name back in the day but she has always been down to record performances, interviews and link up whenever i’m in New York so it was only natural that we slide a questionnaire her way and see what she would like to share with the people!
With all the information on the internet why do you think someone would choose to not know anything they wish to learn about?
I believe the only reasons why people don’t utilize all of the free information on the internet as a way to learn is because of lack of time, lack of desire or simply because they have no interest to do so. In the world we’re living in today, having so much information at your fingertips can be quite overwhelming.
If you had your own act/set in a circus performance how would you take the audience on a contortionist journey?
Well, I’d take the audience through a journey of a rag doll that eventually becomes human 😉 this is an act that a friend of mine and myself are obsessed about and I’d love to recreate at one time in my lifetime. I’d begin inside of a suitcase, someone pulling me out, helping me unfold myself from the suitcase. I’d show the audience how I try to utilize my body parts – legs, arms (bone breaking included). Towards the end of my performance I’ll hit a realization that I truly am human and not a doll and all along I just needed to believe it.
Did contortion lead you to yoga or the other way around?
The other way around, I came interested in contortion first. I became interested in contortion because of the book, The Circus. I was really captivated by the way the author described the contortionists acts in the book. After reading this book i decided I needed to visit the circus, this would be my first time at the circus. I was 24 years old and my girlfriend got us tickets. The only thing that put me in a trance was the contortionists and bone breakers! I knew I had to learn how to train my body to do these captivating tricks that I became instantly obsessed by. I went home and immediately pulled out my macbook. I did hours and days of research. My top priorities were, could I learn these skills as an adult? How could I learn these skills without going broke? And last how could I learn these skills without injuring myself in the process? Yoga was the answer to all of the questions that came to mind. All of my research led to yoga. I had learned that through yoga, I could acquire cost effective flexibility and at my own time and speed.
Your body is super flexible but in comparison to your mind.. Has your thought process acquired the same level of flexibility?
At first, my mind was very rigid. I am a leo, and not to blame all of my bad habits on my zodiac sign but, I can be very one minded. It took years of yoga to get my mind to understand things deeply and not just physically. My minds flexibility is always a work in progress. I often times have moments of self doubt and I have set backs but yoga and contortion have taught me to bounce back reevaluate and question anything that challenges me!
How can it be beneficial for parents to teach their children yoga?
Yoga can be very beneficial for parents to teach to their children. There are many benefits such as, giving kids a different outlet for centering and refocusing. Yoga gives children the opportunity to search within themselves for tools to handle many situations. Yoga can also serve as a guide for parents to build a positive relationship with their child. It can help with anger management, feelings of depression (parent & child), feelings of self doubt, physical pain etc. Yoga is an asset for children especially in terms of how much children look up to false idols like: celebrities, super hero etc. It teaches them that they can be their own hero and that they have the ability to create their own success, their own happiness, and their own identity.
How has becoming a vegan effected your way of thinking about food and what was your thought process leading up to your change in diet?
Growing up I was literally oblivious to what I was eating. I never actually knew that a pollo (chicken) was the animal, chicken. In fact, my parents never really spoke about what we were actually eating. I do remember though, my mom going to the butcher shop to a buy a chicken for a chicken soup that she would be cooking that day. I saw the chicken in the pot and ate everything but what looked like the actual chicken, the feet were the only things that looked like actual chicken, therefore I ate everything but the feet. I also remember her cooking fish and octopus. Seeing the actual “whole” animal being cooked before me, knowing that it was an animal that we would consume, I would refuse to eat it. I didn’t eat fish, after having this realization from watching my mom cook until I was 17 years old. And I didn’t eat octopus or any other sea food until I was 19 years old. Although, those are poor excuses, growing up in a Puerto Rican household meat was served daily.
I didn’t begin to care about my health until I began going to the gym. Once I started caring for what goes into my mouth, I began to cut many meats from my diet along with junk food, fast food and sweets. Eventually as I continued learning more about health and how food can either nurture you or kill you, I made a conscious choice to cut all meat from my diet as well as animal products. I also made choice to follow a vegan diet because it benefitted my goal to practice contortion. I read that the best diet for flexibility is one that excludes animal consumption. And the reason why is because the more meat in the body, the fattier the body. The more fats the less energy it has to bend. Therefore, lean was the way, and I took it.
Have you had any yoga or contortion related dreams or metaphysical experiences during meditation that may be hard to explain?
I often times day dream of performing for the circus and changing a child life. Making a child believe that anything is possible.
What was your first memory?
Is there anything you wish you could have started sooner?
I wish I had access to yoga growing up. I wish yoga was mandatory from as early as elementary school. Yoga could’ve saved me from myself sooner. I feel that a lot of choices I made in life were made because of peer pressure, my environment or because I didn’t know any better. Yoga has saved me later in life. I trust myself so much more now then I’ve ever trusted myself. Yoga has taught me to love me flaws and all. I needed yoga back then but I have no regrets.
Is there anything you would like to share with the readers of infocus247?
I’d like them to know that I struggle daily to make choices that are true to me. Many times I wake up without a desire to practice, think positive, or even smile. However, I’ve grown strong enough to let those moments happen, and pass. I smile because I don’t let them drown me. You are the pilot to your life, create one that is true to you and makes you proud.
Thank you Jahaan for including me in your blog! I appreciate you! You’ll never not be a big part of my contortion story!!!