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

Hi Lasse, how do you think about risk?
I am extremely risk-averse, yet I am drawn to risky pursuits, whether physical or metaphysical. Risk and the challenges they present define our experience of life. The trick is in choosing those that meet our capacities, the ones that we are capable of overcoming. Therein lies the importance of preparation and practice. I do not think of myself as particularly brave, so the riskier the challenge, the greater the need to practice and prepare. The alternative is failure, and in some cases, injury, death, or financial diminution, although the latter I hardly consider as serious as the former two.

Taking risks in life has led to periods in my life of what I saw as a great success, but it also has led to failures. I can try to blame fate for the outcome, but inevitably it came down to how much I prepared for it. Ultimately, life itself is not risky. It is guaranteed to end. What is at risk is your experience of life and how much you made of it.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I have been many things, from professional scuba diver to investment banker, at some point heading a university while establishing the electricity market in the Philippines. Over a decade ago I took stock of my life and what was important to me, and chose a different path. From competitive downhill skateboarding, to piloting light aircraft and paragliders, I have tried to experience as much in life as I could, and still do.

Hatha yoga is the basis of my practice, and Yogic philosophy the framework for my life choices. I seek to understand the truth, and to explore the full potential of my being. I seek to cultivate the human and tame the beast.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Mostly I would spend time with them at the retreat, especially if they were good friends. I would send them to see the sights if I secretly did not like them much.

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?
Dr. Ray Long, Author of the Bandha Yoga Codex www.bandhayoga.com Joan Hyman, Yoga Teacher
Annie Carpenter, Yoga Teacher
Dr. Francoise Freedman, Healer, Shaman, Professor
and many, many other humans who have shown me kindness and generosity in this life

Website: www.maruia.co.nz

Instagram: @maruiariverretreat

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.