MY STORY

Hi, my name is Andrew Belinsky...

 

...and my mission is to continuously unleash my most courageous and authentic self and to share that loving man with the world! 

 

My life's work is to help mankind to suffer less and enjoy more through being a living, breathing example of healthy masculinity.  I believe this is the only way for us to co-create a world of healing and harmony.

Drawing on wisdom I have gained from my own personal journey, I share with men the highly efficient and powerful daily practices that have helped heal me and countless other men all over the world.  Getting consistent with our personal daily self-care ritual is the only way that we can create the inner shift necessary to create the ripple effect of healing that planet Earth is crying out for.  

 

I am a men's coach, spiritual guide, expression liberator, musician, father, husband, brother and son.  

 

I weave the yogic tools of self-transformation with my experience as a lifelong music facilitator to awaken men to embody and claim their fullest potential. 

 

A little backstory...

I was introduced to "men's work" by my father at a young age through our monthly "sacred ceremonies."  These simple and playful ceremonies taught me the importance of meditation and prayer.  At a time in human history time when nothing seems sacred anymore, I am eternally grateful to my father for passing on this wisdom to me.

I officially began my journey as a mentor and role model at the age of seven when my first brother was born.  Fast-forward seven more years and I had become the eldest of five siblings.  Seeing that our parents were divorced and working full-time, I played an an increasingly active role in raising my siblings.  I never questioned my role as a caretaker and role model and, to this day, it continues to be an honor and joy to teach and learn from them.

My commitment to social change and activism sparked while studying sociology, music and education at UC Berkeley.  It was in the social scene of fraternities, co-ops and athlete houses that I first witnessed the realities of the abusive and shameful behavior of young men toward themselves, one other and, of course, to women. 

 

I immediately surrounded myself with a network of authentic young men.  A handful of us literally banded together and began organizing interactive and transformational concerts.  We called ourselves Phallus in Chains and we chose popular music from our generation as the vehicle for creating the wholesome connection that the mainstream social scene lacked.  This project culminated in an ecstatic commencement concert in front of thousands at the historic Greek Theater in Berkeley, which launched me onto my dream path as a world-touring, signed musician and music producer.

 

However, what began as a quest for human connection and healing none-too-soon devolved into an isolated and ego-driven enterprise.  After five years of city life, I found myself addicted to drugs and alcohol, completely disconnected from my body and feelings and utterly disprespectful of the healing power of music.  My life had become suffering and I spiraled into a deep depression.   

It was a sad day at age 27 when I packed my music equipment into storage and moved in with my parents.  However, I made the commitment to myself to humbly explore what the emptiness in my soul was all about.  I spent all of my free time opening up my body and expanding my mind with any information and tools I could get my hands on.  From yoga, to talk therapy, to shamanic journey, I dove headlong down the rabbit hole of self-inquiry to discover what root issues were causing me to suffer so deeply. 

It wasn't long until I learned that it wasn't the booze, pot, porn and social media that were the problem

 

The real issue was that a lifetime of unprocessed and suppressed shame, fear, anger and grief was creating anxiety within me.  This heaviness was festering inside of me and the fear and pain of experiencing it was the reason why I was numbing myself out everyday with substances and distractions. 

 

And that's how I became depressed and addicted.

And then one day I found my magic key to undoing the suffering.

I was in a yoga class, as was not uncommon for me, but this one was different than the others.  Rather than the typical flow class, this teacher was guiding a more mindful and meditative class that combined movement with voice.  Something about this combination produced in me an uncontrollable wave of emotion.  Right there in the middle of class, I broke down wept on my mat for what seemed like half of the class.

The power of intentionally moving my body in connection with simple sound totally opened up my body and heart to release a heaviness that was lodged deep in my core.  After the class I felt light, joyful and free in a way I hadn't experienced since the days before my addiction and depression.

After the class the teacher shared with me that the "style" of yoga I had just experienced is called Viniyoga.  This ancient tradition combines movement, breath, voice and meditation to create powerful practices specific to the needs of each practitioner.  

An ancient technique for self-healing using yoga and the voice?!  I felt like I was dreaming; nothing ever resonated so deeply within me.  I didn't waste another minute--I enrolled in the next Viniyoga teacher training taking place that summer.

That first 200-hr Viniyoga teacher training was five years ago and I haven't stopped studying since.  I continued on to receive my 500-hr certification from master teacher Gary Kraftsow and I am now in yoga therapy school at the Soul of Yoga.

 

The deeper I went into the my studies and my personal growth, the more the line between music and healing began to blur.  

I bridged this gap even more as I stepped fully into my mission a music facilitator with certifications in HealthRHYTHMS and Music Medicine.

And I truly began to transform.  It became noticeable after a few months of consistent daily practice when I noticed my posture change, the pain in my back disappeared, my voice changed and my lack of focus and discipline began to give way to a grounded, calm demeanor. 

 

After a year of daily home yoga and sound practice, people barely recognized me.  My energy completely shifted, my compulsions lessened, my chronic state of anxiety settled down, and after six years of isolation, I attracted the woman of my dreams.  My life was changing for the better and I owed it all to the 30-minutes of daily self-care I was committing to.

Once I felt grounded in my own transformation, I began sharing these practices anywhere I could: yoga studios, parks, private homes, hospitals, even at retail shops after hours.  The students that came to my classes and workshops were, and will always be a motley bunch.  The beautiful thing about these practices is any person, regardless of shape, size or experience level, can do them.  In fact, students often come up to me after class and comment on how different "this yoga" is compared to the popular "gymnastic yoga" that prevails in the USA.  What an honor it is to share this powerful ancient lineage!

One thing that I noticed was sorely missing from these groups, however, were the men.  Due to my own need for brotherhood, I searched out men's circles and discovered Mankind Project and Sacred Sons.  This community offered me the authentic relating that my soul yearned for.  I have been facilitating men's work for six years now and I host monthly circles in my home where men get brutally honest and witness and support one another with vulnerability and compassion.

Oh, and what happened with the magical woman I attracted?  I married her in 2017 and brought a baby girl into the world soon after.

Thank you very much for taking a moment to read my story.  I look forward to hearing yours!

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© Andrew Belinsky 2019