We had the good fortune of connecting with Don Batalla and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Don, do you have any habits that you feel contribute to your effectiveness?
First let me bring light on what success means to me. Success in my opinion isn’t some type of material accomplishment or acquiring accolades , it is the capacity to permanently be happy within oneself. Since 2012 , I have been going through this very subtle but profound transfiguration and transformation within. One transformation that will always stands out is my shift in consciousness. Being super aware of my thoughts and actions has led me to cultivate very healthy habits , one being the ability to meditate. Meditation has been and continues to be a technology that I use everyday since 2012. Expanding my consciousness from this body / ego idea has aligned me to certain situations and opportunities that has benefited my external well-being.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Growing up in New York , you develop this sense of individualism from an early age because of how dense and diverse it is living there. You pick up different mannerisms from your friends , different clothing styles and art aesthetics from your peers and elders and you create your own identity from all of that. What sets me apart from others is being from NYC. Perceiving the world through the lenses of a New Yorker allows you to see what is real and what is not real , from the most superficial sense to the most spiritual sense and in Yoga that is very important. Perceiving reality for what is and operating on our true essence rather then the illusion of separation, sensation and impermanence is daily practice that I wish to inspire the World to do. It wasn’t easy getting here because I had to do the work of shattering all the illusions and programs that were instilled in me from birth and walking shamelessly on what I deem to be true. Aside from being a Yogi , I also co-curate the direction and the energy of Solwave Collective. Solwave is a Native New York collective with the intention to inspire human healing of the mind , body and spirit. Paying homage to the ancestral ways and spreading light through the Creation of Art , Meditative Yogic Practices , Dance Music Therapy , and the Shamanic use of Plants as Food and Medicine.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
At the moment I am living bicoastal from New York and Houston. If I had people coming to visit me in NY , I would first bring them to our home base Rise Radio in Brooklyn to do all of the above. Eat Ital Plant based Food and catch a set from one of the talent DJ’s they have spinning there. Then we can move the energy upstate and visit Sivananda Yoga Ranch to provide a peaceful retreat structured around a full immersion into Yogic living. If I had people coming to visit me in Houston , our first stop would either be getting a vegetarian buffet at this beautiful temple called Govindas or a soulful vegan brunch at Mo Better Brew’s. Then we will explore the night scene at this groovy concept bar called The Flat.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
GOD , without the Creator , this piece of creation that I call myself wouldn’t be here. It is he/she that does everything. I am just another person transmitting God love into the planet. On a human level , many enlightenment people inspire me to do this work. One of them is a Guru named Neem Karoli Baba , the Guru of Ram Dass “Author of Be here now”. Also , Psychedelics has played a vital role in my life and without that experience I probably would of been an extremely unconscious and compulsive human being. So thank you Psilocybin for waking me up.

Website: Solwave.co

Instagram: @ganga_dharmaharaj

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