In a town where wellness is the word, new Angelino and chef Lynnette Astaire navigates the weird world of working out in LA and shares what she eats to fuel her journey. Here, she takes a look at the Wildfire Initiative.
When the biggest, most fulfilling breath that most people take is to inhale a cigarette, The Wildfire Initiative is a welcome addition to the even wilder world of LA wellness.
With that being said I’m ready for motherhood.
Or so my breath is telling me at least. After an intense hour of their signature pranayama-style breathwork sessions, I felt what I imagined labor to be like; the focus, the breathing, the pushing….
For the sake of my male readers you could also perhaps compare this to sex.
Speaking of men, the group was started by four men from all over the states, now all living in L.A. in the name of wellness of some sort. I’m acquainted with them all differently; Netic, (Opti-mystic Prime), who I’ve known for 15 years, Crosby (Commander in Chef), about 5 weeks plus Abe (the Glueru) and Bryan (The Provider of Prescription Meditation) who I’ve known sometime in between.
With that being said here is the deal, more than any other class in this series do (and likely will) the instructors really matter – in fact let’s not even call them that since they’re all about losing the labels.
Lets call them guides if anything. Guy guides if you must.
Here’s the other thing, more than any other class in this series will fitness be an afterthought. Although the instructors clearly work on their fitness (seemingly more than 99.9% of the population), The Wildfire Initiative is all about the mentality to get you there in the first place — and that starts with the mind.
So all fitness levels are welcome.
Physically, The Big Thing here is breathwork, lots and lots of breathwork. Think “The Breath of Fire” which is a rhythmic breath with equal emphasis on the inhale and exhale, no deeper than sniffing. It’s done by pumping the naval point towards the spine on the exhale and releasing the naval out on the inhale. It’s practiced through the nostrils with mouth and eyes closes. When done correctly, you should feel you can go indefinitely.
It helps to purify your blood with much needed oxygen. In doing so, you strengthen your nervous system, aura, and stimulate the solar plexus. It even helps with digestion!
This Thing (or at least a version of it) happens weekly at Runyon Canyon in LA where the four “bros” gather with a diverse group for a breathing session, a gratitude session, plus a hike dubbed by Netic as a “Walk and Talk.”
Conversations range from cryotherapy to unrequited love and usually ends up with a lunch/grocery run of sorts where the conversation continues over a superfood smorgasbord from Erewhon Market, (who if you didn’t know is what Whole Foods pretends to be.)
Today, however is a bit different as about 30 of us are at Alo Yoga in LA for a special pop-up session focused on meditation and breathwork.
After a brief warm up with Abe, we got on our backs and went through a series of breathing exercises with Bryan who is a certified yoga instructor and breathwork expert (he can hold his for several minutes). They also invited Torkomji, a DJ specializing in sound frequencies who made a meditation of tones and ocean-like sounds that were soothing and calm, at first…
…then came the storm.
Although the class was pretty diverse fitness-wise, I could safely assume that the majority of the class hadn’t ever experienced a serious surf wipe out, where they for one second (or 10) had to hold their breath while being tossed through the ocean like a rag doll.
As the DJ’s sounds got more intense, this is what my experience felt and sounded like.
Unbeknownst to Bryan I was living my own private hell of drowning which I was gently reminded throughout the class to breathe through my discomfort, as that was a part of the process. Soon it was over and despite the discomfort I was thankful for the experience…
Regular breathwork truly creates an awareness throughout the day to breathe more, and better. I’ve definitely seen the effects personally as I become more conscious of something that happens unconsciously.
This class is apart of a bigger picture as the recently formed group begins to take on more workshops like these as well as retreats and anything to help the mind that they can put their minds too. For this and more they’ve been called a “wellness cult” — to me I consider it cool.
If it couldn’t get any cooler, the class ended with cookies. Yes cookies. (See below).
About The Wildfire Initiative
The Wildfire Initiative is a playground for transformation. It’s an open experiment in individual + collective consciousness, where we have the opportunity to learn time-tested tools and techniques for dramatically improving our quality of life. This is where we play, where we meet. This is where we learn to ignite the fire within— burning up all that limits us— and destroying who we are to discover what we could be. Learn more about them here.
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Who it’s not for: Anyone with a hangover, cold or flu
What I ate: Crosby Taylor is quickly becoming known for his specially formulated for fat burning treats and I finally found out why. Even for someone like me who spends a considerable amount of time in the kitchen, I was thoroughly impressed with the sugar free, yes sugar free treats. Learn more about Crosby here.
About Lynnette Astaire:
Lynnette Astaire is a chef with 15 years of plant-based cooking experience and 10 years of fasting experience who healed her chronic disease through diet. She is the founder of Superfood School, a plant-based meal prep program that helps everyday eaters to get more plants on their plates, easily and deliciously.
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