Surfer Yogi from Baja, Mexico
Like most of our ISIY Ambassadors David "Squid" connected with us through Instagram. We quickly learned that David lives and breathes surfing and yoga. We think if he could grow gills he would gladly give up land for life under the sea. He has articles published on the Inertia, elephant journal and Gaiam TV. We look forward to seeing where this Surfini's path flows.
The Quick Guide to David F. aka “squid”
Where are you from originally? Metepec, México.
Where do you live currently? La Paz, Baja California Sur
Favorite style of yoga? Yin Yoga (although I don't practice it very often, it actually is my favorite kind of yoga)
Favorite type of wave? My favorite wave so far has been Punta 3 at Scorpion Bay, It’s a long peeling right that stands up to a good wall when the swell is just right; Sometimes it connects to the next point !!
Favorite quote or mantra? “You are not a drop in the ocean, you are the entire ocean in a drop” - Rumi
What he said:
What helps you get in the flow?
I knew the power of music from early on, however, it was amplified when I went to a Siddha Yoga Shaktipat Intensive with Kirtan. Later on, I discovered binaural beats, hindu music, mantras and meditation tapes, which are just vibrations that you can use to fine tune your perception and shift the awareness into the here and now. I actually started building a yoga specific music library, and I design my playlists to specifically follow a sequencing wave of rhythm that fits a particular practice. You can check out my yoga playlists here.
Another thing is nature, whether it’s the rainforest, a high mountain peak or the underwater realm, when you are not surrounded by wifi signals, car emissions and ambiance static, it is so much easier to find stillness and become a part of nature. When I go diving, the weightless sensation of floating and the sounds of the water element make you leave every worrying thought in the surface, and so a 40 minute dive can feel like hours if you dwell in the present moment.
Finally, the most important thing is staying with the breath, such as when I’m meditating, biking, paddling for a wave, diving or writing, by coming back to the breath I find a little extra dose of prana and the muscles in the body, the voice of the mind and the fire of the spirit are joined together like pearls in a string of clarity.
Favorite books and why?
I am really grateful to my dad, because since I was young he encouraged me to read books. At first it was Narnia and Harry Potter, but they set a foundation on which to start piling titles, both in Spanish and English.
“The Tao of Physics” came to me when I had to choose between a scientific career and a spiritual life, this book helped me bridge the gap and let me know that it wouldn’t really matter, as long as I realised that the same conclusions that quantum physicists arrived to when studying the nature of matter was already a well known fact by the mystic eastern philosophy. They even used a more poetic language that enabled their culture to pass on the message along for at least 5000 years.
Another book which was a delight to read was “Kook” by Peter Heller, who tells his own story on how he went from kook to a full grown surfer and the serendipitous encounters, lessons we learn when we let go of expectations and are open to receive whatever life throws at us. After reading this book I felt like I could become a real surfer who could manage a surfing lifestyle without the need for approval from others.
Finally, Oceanic Mind by Tom von Deck was a light in the end of the tunnel for me, because It made meditation so much more friendly and less mystical or cultish, as many people believe it is. Furthermore, it is full of ocean analogies and references to the different kinds of meditation and the masters whose lineages have made it to us here in the west. It’s a perfect book for anyone looking to develop their own style of meditation practice.
What was your initiation into wave riding?
My initiation was not even an initiation at all, but it definitely was a seed that was planted and took a few years to sprout, now it keeps growing stronger, but here’s the story: I went on vacation with my dad and my brother to Hawaii, and we did it all, the volcanoes, waterfalls, rainforest, pearl harbour museums etc. However, he didn’t want me to take a surfing lesson on a gentle wave, with a qualified instructor at Waikiki beach, because the waves were too big for his judgement. Nevertheless, all the surfshops, surf vibes and surf dudes out there impacted me in such a profound way, that I passively aligned my life to become a full grown surfer, so when I eventually go back to Hawaii, I will charge those waves, I owe it to the 8 year old me.
What does ‘flow’ mean to you?
Some people ask me if my Instagram username is Surf-Low-Yoga or SurF-Flow-Yoga. one or two F’s … And the reason I decided to connect both words goes in hand of my definition of flow. Life will always keep flowing whether you are aware of it or not, and the best disciplines that we can devote ourselves to are those which get you into the flow, or as other professional athletes call it “the zone” So I guess that “flow” doesn’t really mean anything tangible or objective. Flow must be different for each of us, but that’s the most important aspect of it. You don’t have to surf or to practice yoga to find it. It’s like being a little fish in the open ocean searching for water, and he is always wasting his energy in searching, he only has to realize that water is all around him, all the time.
My grandma flowed when she practiced Tai Chi, a scientist is in the flow while handling expensive equipment and even more important the samples they are processing. What about a little kid playing in the sand building a castle, or a devotee wrapped up in sincere prayer, a musician executing a masterpiece to perfection, words pouring on the screen to write a love letter, a dolphin skipping and swaying gently under the bow of a vessel.
Now, for my personal take on what “flow” means; What do I get when I submit a search query into my mind using this word? Water.
Is there a sweeter sound than the sound of water flowing gently across a stream, a gigantic wave crashing like a thunder into a reef, a waterfall in the forest or in this ocasion, the sipping of a cup of warm tea. This is the only way to make sense out of it., a planet of water, beings made of water, returning to the water, being water.
“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless - like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” ~ Bruce Lee
Most impressive display of nature you have ever seen?
I’ve been diving for almost 10 years now, and am very grateful for all the opportunities my family had to travel to different locations and just eat, sleep and dive. So I’ve always been used to see sharks, dolphins, whales, all sorts of fish and also invertebrates, microorganisms and get a sense of how it all works. This eventually led me to pursue a degree in Marine Biology and capturing some of the action with GoPro equipment.
Destinations in the caribbean, Baja, and all down the Pacific Coast of America have offered me amazing gifts of witnessing and observing such diverse, interesting and intricate ecosystems that are vulnerable to our most innocent of activities. The flick of a fin or a little bit of sunscreen can heavily damage the dynamic balance of the oceans.