Remembering Trevor Tice

On Tuesday, shockwaves traveled through the yoga world as news of Trevor Tice’s death arrived on our Facebook walls and in our Twitter feeds.  Those of you who practice at  CorePower Yoga are likely very familiar with Trevor as he founded the chain of studios that began in Denver and quickly opened in cities big and small around the United States.  Currently CorePower Yoga has more than 160 locations. It would be impossible to overstate the number of people who found yoga because of Trevor’s vision of bringing yoga to the masses in a new and modern way.  There are countless people more »

Holiday Shopping for the Hard-To-Buy-For Yogi

  Thanksgiving is over and the holiday season has officially begun leaving yogis and their friends and family seemingly with two choices.  One: dive head-first into a cesspool of commercialization or Two: boycott every calendar month that starts with the letter “D”   I  propose a third option—mindful giving.  Mindless giving is rooted in stress filled obligation and usually involves ugly socks or a Diamonique broach from Zales.  Mindful giving on the other hand leaves the giver,  the receiver and by extension the whole world feeling a little bit healthier and a lot more compassionate.     Below are ten gift ideas for more »

Witness the Change

By Darren Main Back in January I turned forty-four— a fact that seemed much harder to embrace than turning twenty-four or thirty-four.   In many ways, I don’t feel much different.  In fact, I feel more alive, more grounded and more content then ever.  And yet, each time I go for a haircut, I notice decidedly more grey hair.    Each time I wash my face, I am acutely aware that fine lines are now framing my eyes, and the other day my son asked me why my belly stuck out more than his. There is an interesting paradox to more »

My Time at Yoga Tree

Tim and Tara Dale came into my life at the perfect moment. I had just found out I was HIV+, a business relationship was ending, and I had just been evicted from my home. I felt rudderless, alone and unsure of my future. Tara and Tim not only offered me a job at this new studio called Yoga Tree, they also offered me their friendship. They helped me transform one of the most hopeless times in my life into one of the most exciting and growth filled times. They stood by me when I adopted my son, recovered from an more »

Spiritual Capitalism

By Darren Main “The Church needs to do a reality check.” according to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Ireland.  This following  the landslide vote legalizing marriage equality in  his country.  And while I share his view about the need for a “reality check”, we arrive at that conclusion from very different places. His view has more to do with messaging.  That the church simply needs to work harder to get their message out—in this case, the message being,  “homosexuality is sinful”.  My view, however has to do with something I call spiritual capitalism.       Just as one can choose to shop at Safeway, Walmart or Whole Foods for their more »

The Reality Check

By Darren Main “The Church needs to do a reality check.” according to Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Ireland.  This following  the landslide vote legalizing marriage equality in  his country.  And while I share his view about the need for a “reality check,” we arrive at that conclusion from very different places.   His view has more to do with messaging.  That the church simply needs to work harder to get their message out—in this case, the message being,  “homosexuality is sinful.”  My view, however has to do with something I call spiritual capitalism.       Just as one can choose to shop at Safeway, Walmart, or Whole Foods more »

HIV=AIDS?: A Civil Discussion

HIV/AIDS denialists, sometimes called  AIDS Dissidents or AIDS Re-Thinkers, are a very small but vocal group of scientists, researchers, activists, and journalists who question the causal link between HIV and AIDS. Because I have been featured in several documentaries about HIV that have a decidedly ‘Dissident’ editorial slant. I get a lot of emails about my own views on the so called AIDS Dissident Movement. My personal view is that a variety of factors or cofactors affect the health of an HIV+ individual, but HIV is the primary cause of AIDS and there is over thirty years of research to back this up. more »

In Lieu of Flowers. . . .

Having written about the Westboro Baptist Church in my book, Hearts & Minds and having  debated Shirley Phelps,  I find  myself struggling with the passing of her father, The Rev. Fred Phelps.  As the founder of the infamous  church ‘meets Jesus’, the rest of us are left with a quandary about how to mark his passing. Little nice can be said about his life, his deeds or his words.  He and his followers picked at Matthew Shepard’s funeral, the funerals of countless fallen soldiers and the funerals of children gunned down while at school.  They proudly called women sluts and whores, hosted more »

Farewell to Karl Erb

One of San Francisco’s finest yoga teachers, Karl Erb passed away earlier today after living with cancer for a number of years.  Karl was a fellow yoga teacher at Yoga Tree,  a part of the teacher training program and a friend.   The way he lived with—and smiled at, his cancer demonstrated just what an amazing yogi he was. About a year ago, Karl called me to tell me his cancer had returned and that the prognosis was not good.  I asked him how I could support him and his answer was simple, clear and without hesitation. “Let me keep more »

Modern Yoga Gurus

The following gurus and masters are largely responsible for bringing yoga in its various forms to the west.  These sometimes controversial spiritual leaders, have written a virtual library of books.  This is but a sampling of their more popular writings.   Mata Amritanandamayi (AKA Amma or ‘Mother’) 1953-Present- • About Love Is the Answer Volume 1 by Mata Amritanandamayi Love is the Answer Volume 2 by Mata Amritanandamayi   Amrit Desai 1932-Present • About Amrit Yoga: Explore, Expand, Experience the Spritual Depth of Yoga by Yogi Amrit Desai Kripalu Yoga: Meditation-in-Motion, Book 1 by Yogi Amrit Desai Kripalu Yoga: Meditation-In-Motion – Focusing Inward, Book 2 by Yogi more »

The Miracle: A Reflection On My Life Since Testing HIV+

By Darren Main I waited on hold nervously—my index finger still a bit tender from where I had pricked it a few days earlier I had used “mail-in HIV tests” in the past without incident. The process was rather simple: prick your finger, rub a blood sample on a card and mail it to the lab.  A few days later, a robotic voice  on the other end of the phone would ask for the unique serial number associated with my test kit, and then, after confirming the digits several times, the metallic voice would inform me that I was HIV more »

I Just Tested Positive, Now What?

If you just tested HIV positive, you are probably freaking out. The weeks and months that follow that news can be very disorienting. There are all new questions to answer for yourself. Questions about dating, whom to tell and what to do to keep yourself healthy are all new. The following are points to consider as you begin this new leg of your journey. In time you will learn to live with HIV and to have a wonderful and productive life. For now, just allow yourself to take things slowly. 1. Take a deep breath and try to relax. You more »

Nutrition & Supplements for HIV

Everyone needs proper nutrition to be healthy including macronutrients (fats, proteins and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).  HIV+ people, however, need to pay special attention to nutrition so as to support the immune system an help detoxify the body.  Generally speaking, one should be able to get ample amounts of nutrition from a diet rich in whole foods, but given the high staks associate with not getting enough of a given nutrient, adding supplements is often a good insurance policy. Below is a list of supplements that may be helpful in supporting your body’s efforts to stay healthy with HIV and to help counter some more »

Living Well with HIV: A Ten-Point Plan

By Darren Main Develop a meditation practice. The first thing I recommend a person do when they test HIV+ is to meditate. If they don’t know how, I teach them or recommend that they learn from someone in their area. The mind can be the greatest enemy or the greatest ally in the quest for health. Learning to quiet the ego mind will help a person make more rational decisions about their health, their diet and their future, while at the same time giving the body the space it needs to find balance and wholeness. Meditation is really the foundation more »

HIV & The Mind-Body Connection

By Darren Main • Fall 2000 For many, the mind and body are two distinctly different and separate forces. For them they co-exist peacefully at best. At worst they are at odds with each other, in strong conflict. In either case, there is a strong tendency to see them as separate with each having little or no effect on the other. In this column, I suggest we take a look at a more holistic view of healing by recognizing connections between the mind and the body. In this model, the mind and body are not seen as separate but rather more »

Learning to Sit: An Introduction to Meditation

By Darren Main Reprinted From Inner Tranquility: A Guide to Seated Meditation The Buddha was once asked which meditation technique was the most effective. The master’s response was both simple and profound. “The one you practice.” Therefore, start your practice with this simple technique and explore others as well. The important thing is that you get started and that you practice consistently. Sit in a comfortable upright position. Some people sit cross-legged, and others prefer to kneel. It is also acceptable to sit in a straight-backed chair. Allow your body to relax and take a few deep full breaths to shift more »

HIV Treatments: An Interview with Jon Kaiser, M.D.

By Darren  Main • Spring 2001 NOTE:  Because this interview was conducted in 2001, standard treatments for HIV  have changed and evolved.  Please consider that as you read this article.  Please consult your physician or contact Dr. Kaiser directly for the most up-to-date treatment options available if you our someone you know is HIV+. Over the past few weeks, my email box has been flooded with questions about HIV treatment in response to the U.S. Government’s new recommendation that people with HIV wait to start Antiretroviral cocktails.  As a result, more and more people are interested in learning ways to keep their more »

Hepatitis B Vaccines: Are They Safe?

by Darren Main • Summer 2001 Darren, I like your articles on gay.com, as I am a strong believer in holistic health. I exercise regularly, including doing yoga, I am trying acupuncture, and I go to a naturopathic doctor (who is not gay). I did go for full medical recently (at an allopathic doctor), and came back with excellent results. However, I tested negative for Hepatitis B and have not been vaccinated, and the doctor recommended that I consider Hepatitis B vaccine (he, like me, is a gay man). My Naturopathic doctor (who is not gay) said he normally would more »

Remembering Swami Kriyananada

In 1920 a boat docked in Boston, MA and a man by the name of Paramahansa Yogananda stepped onto American Soil.   He was only the second swami to come to the United States at that point, and his teaching and writing sparked the imagination of many young spiritual seekers.  Thus began the yoga revolution here in the West. Donald Walters was a direct disciple  of Yogananda and a member of Self Realization Fellowship  (SRF),  an organization founded by his guru. Walters eventually took vows and became known as Swami Kriyananda.   Yet after  a rather public and acrimonious split with more »

The Snuggly Hug

By Darren Main Note:  I wrote this essay for the Family Builders Adoption Agency Newsletter.  It is because of Family Builders that I an now a father! Tears poured down my face.  I guess it shouldn’t have come as such a surprise, but for whatever reason, I didn’t see it coming.  The day was sunny and warm and I was having a Snow White sort of morning—I woke to a “snuggly hug” from my son, I bounced around the house preparing for the big day, enjoyed a beautiful bike ride through the park and half-expected a bluebird to land on more »

Pranic Breathing

Advanced Breathwork for the Modern Yogi By Darren Main Here in the West the primary focus on yoga is physical with most of the styles falling under the umbrella of Hatha yoga.  Hatha yoga is really a blending of two larger styles of yoga, Kundalini, which focuses on the energy body and classical yoga (Ashtanga or Raja Yoga) which is rooted in the Eight limbs outlined in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.   In classical yoga there are eight limbs in total, but the defining quality in a Hatha practice is its use of the third and fourth limbs, asana more »