Amidst the highly health conscious neighborhoods of West Los Angeles, The Life Center Chiropractic has established itself as a favorite locale for holistic healing, and the go-to center for much of the yoga community. After a busy day in the office we linked up with Dr. Brook at his home in Venice Beach to get the inside scoop on his approach to holistic living. In the comfort of this home, Jeremy graciously shared his top Essential Living Tips for Men with us as well as his favorite post-workday superfood smoothie recipe and opened about personal life, love and loss before we headed down to the boardwalk for a sunset slackening session and a chance to see how Dr. Brook walks the talk of Essential Living.
How long have you been preaching a holistic approach to health and how did you get so involved with yoga?
My chiropractic and yoga journey began during a critical junction in my life. I was always highly active and identified with being a very physical person. Aggressive sports like boxing really got me going. I loved hitting, I loved getting hit, and I just enjoyed the roughness of a real full-contact activity. In college I was on a Rugby team, but after injuring my neck and shoulder from playing in college, I found myself unable to train and workout like I had been accustomed to. I could no longer lift weights and play in a physical manner due to the constant pain I was under.
After that, everything froze in its tracks. I felt like I had lost my identity. My physical strength was one of my most cherished personal qualities, and not being able to have that really took a toll on me. I went into a bit of a depression. I was only 20 years old and and already had a debilitating injury that caused a lot of pain. One night, the pain became so severe that I had to crawl on the floor to my parents room screaming for help right before they rushed me to the emergency room.
When my parents took me to a chiropractor, I finally started to feel better after being in agony for years. I thought providing that kind of healing service was the coolest profession. Since then, all I ever wanted to be when I grew up was a chiropractor.
Eventually I was able to go back to the gym. I constantly saw people lined up to go to the yoga classes they offered, so one day I decided to try it. It was this super chill class with classical Indian Bansuri flute music in the background, and I loved how the teacher was so calm, yet so powerful at the same time. The way he led the class with humility and grace had such a positive energy. Having been into running and other sports, I always had a fast, hard, and aggressive style of working out. I was the tightest dude in the class but it didn't phase me. I saw that the goal wasn't to move faster, but slower, and by going slower, I was able to go deeper. I felt amazing! I felt like I was high! I became hooked! At 21 years old, I had been awakened to the philosophy and practice of yoga. One year later I started chiropractic school.
It is a blessing to be immersed in such a dynamic and conscious community. The people of Los Angeles want great health, they want energy, and they want to be active. This community has personally and professionally supported me in so many ways. From food, to yoga, to healing disciplines, to music, all my needs are beyond satisfied. When I think about the role Love plays in my life right now, I feel that everyone wants to be loved and appreciated at the deepest level. Sometimes it takes loss and bottoming out to learn of the depths of the heart. The loss of both of my grandfathers was the first major hit that truly affected me in ways I had never known before. It was painful to lose someone that I loved and was so supportive of me. My Grandfathers were hardworking and authentic men with a high amount of integrity. They were loving, honest, and cherished by my whole family. The legacy they left behind has inspired me to elevate and raise my personal aim to reach the high moral and spiritual standards they had.
Love is everything. Without bathing in the chemistry of love, life becomes tight and negative. But right now life is fun and exciting because my heart is open. Keeping the heart channel open is something I consciously focus on.
Q: You spoke strongly about the importance of meditation on your blog. Was there an eye-opener that showed you how beneficial it is?
Paramahansa Yogananda’s book Autobiography of a Yogi was the first book that opened me up to meditation. I read this book when I was 25 years old, when new ideas of spinal alignment and energy were still being formed. I always had a metaphysical interest in things and was already into yoga, but was attracted to his focus on energy, and tapping into esoteric superpowers by harmonizing the energy in your body. I wanted to create geometry in my body and mind that would allow me to have extraordinary peak experiences. I started to become less concerned about the workout element yoga, and instead got more interesting in moving my body into a shape to eat up the magic of that pose. It wasn't until years later, when I began studying with yoga master Erich Schiffmann, that meditation became a regular part of my practice. In my first class with him, we started with a silent meditation and it felt like I was sitting through five minutes of pure mental agony. However, I kept coming back, so much in fact that I found myself rushing to class saying "get out the way I'm on the way to meditation!" Today I consider meditation to be an essential practice to your lifestyle, especially if you're into the yoga sciences. It made me ask, "Who the hell am I? What's going on in my head?" and gave me a deeper understanding of how important introspection and reflection is. Starting to finally get comfortable being with yourself is an incredibly important yet challenging step to take. You got to be able to see what's broadcasting on the brain station.
You've got to be able to ask yourself "What kind of music is my mind playing?" and give yourself the opportunity to sit down and understand what's really going on up there. It's mental gymnastics.
Aside from yoga, my workouts resembles a "Conscious Caveman Program" that consists of running, dips, pull-ups, and slacklining, which is my new favorite training apparatus. The only fear innate in all humans is the fear of falling, and if you can override that, you've exercised some very strong mental power. Slacklining is the ultimate in achieving balance and core strength. Depending on the angle and height of the slackline, things can get really interesting and intense. It requires 100% focus and precision. Plus, it's fun!
Q: What are your 3 essential tips for living a healthy, happy life?
My first tip would be to create alignment in all areas of your life. Everything runs more efficiently with when things are aligned. This is one of the many reasons I appreciate the restorative components of yoga. When you have good alignment in the spine it sets the tone for the rest of the body. When you're properly aligned, energy will be able move through you and create positive benefits. If it gets distorted, the muscles have to get involved, the rest of the body gets involved, and eventually you have to deal with imbalances. At every moment you constantly have the force of gravity moving through you, and a positive alignment will allow that energy to work for you, not against you. You also have to be mentally aligned and take charge of the thoughts in your head by having something you direct your mind to for a sustained amount of time, otherwise the mind will do what it wants to. Good mental hygiene leads to good mental alignment. This will in turn create alignment in your relationships, with your goals, and personal outlook in life. Second, be aware of how you connect. Pay attention to how you stand, sit, walk, move, and connect to the ground. Be mindful of the way you connect and plug in to different foundations. Pay attention to how you connect with others through your eyes and your heart. Being open to opportunities to connect and smile can make a huge difference.
Lastly, energize yourself! To create maximum energy in your life, cultivate a full-spectrum holistic training program that incorporates an aligning, moving, stretching, strengthening, breathing, clean eating, and rest. Your energy level is a byproduct of what's going on in both the mental and emotional realm of experience. If you change the the vibration of your mind to a higher frequency, you'll find more openness and freedom in your life. It's important that your food is energizing as well. This is one of the reasons why I really love how Essential Living Foods is completely organic, nutritious, and comes from a wholesome quality source without any GMOs or pesticides. Fueling yourself with the right food for maximum energy is essential. Maintenance of your body and mind should always be top priority. Just like everything else, if you don't maintain it, it will break down. It's always easier to attain, than to re-attain. Life is about constantly realigning, reconnecting, and recreating more and more energy. There’s still so much to learn, but I love being a student. I feel like my education is never over. I am completely committed to Chiropractic Mastery and being the best teacher, healer, and guide that I can be.
It is my life purpose to constantly train and expand my mind & body so that I could be of the greatest benefit to those who come to me for health.
Empower Male Evening Smoothie Recipe
- Handful of Kale
- Half an Avocado
- Handful of Blueberries
- Handful of Blackberries
- Small handful of Carrots
- Handful of Pineapple
- Teaspoon of Turmeric
- One Kiwi
- Coconut Water
- 1 Pack Essential Living Foods Empower Male