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DJ SOL RISING
DJ . MEDITATOR . ACCOUNTANT . YOGI

Name:  BRANDON AU aka SOL RISING Hometown:  VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLOMBIA, CANADA Current town:  LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA Yoga practice style:  YOGA DJ Website:  solrising.com                                                                                                                                                                                                               Instagram:  @solrising What’s your story?  My mother got me into Transcendental Meditation when I was 4 years old and I ended up moving to Fairfield Iowa when I was 7 to attend a school for Transcendental Meditation.  When I was 16 I got into DJing and learned the art of turntablism or scratching - using turntables as musical instruments. I love it and soon began competing in some of the most prestigious competitions in America, placing in several DMC national finals competitions and winning Scribble Jam.  Soon after, I studied accounting - yup!- and then realized it sucked and went to India several times where I lived in an ashram. Through my time there, I realized music was my passion and decided to pursue it full time, DJing and producing music. What did you want to be growing up?  An NBA basketball player.  

Name:  BRANDON AU aka SOL RISING
Hometown:  VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLOMBIA, CANADA
Current town:  LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA

Yoga practice style:  YOGA DJ
Website:  solrising.com                                                                                                                                                                                                              
Instagram:  @solrising

What’s your story?  My mother got me into Transcendental Meditation when I was 4 years old and I ended up moving to Fairfield Iowa when I was 7 to attend a school for Transcendental Meditation. 

When I was 16 I got into DJing and learned the art of turntablism or scratching - using turntables as musical instruments. I love it and soon began competing in some of the most prestigious competitions in America, placing in several DMC national finals competitions and winning Scribble Jam. 

Soon after, I studied accounting - yup!- and then realized it sucked and went to India several times where I lived in an ashram. Through my time there, I realized music was my passion and decided to pursue it full time, DJing and producing music.

What did you want to be growing up?  An NBA basketball player.

 


How would you describe yourself?  Introverted, down to earth, focused and wanting to make a difference in the world.

How would others describe you?  Loyal, deep and nerdy.

How would your mother describe you?  Entitled! Just kidding… sort of. I think she's proud of me for following my dreams and being on a path.

What do you most value in others? Why?  Loyalty and authenticity. I just value good people that I can connect with on a deeper level.
 


When did you last cry? What was it over?  Hmmm. 

Is there anything you preach but don’t practice?  Yeah, meditation. I get bored and start checking my phone.

We’ve all done a few things we aren’t too proud of, care to share one?  Pooping my pants in high school. My mom gave me some herbal laxative the night before and I didn't realize how potent it was. I had to take the hall pass and dispose of my underwear… oh man, that sucked!

Favourite drink?  Kombucha. Tastes so good! I don't drink alcohol so I guess it's my equivalent.

Favourite book?  I like spiritual books - or stuff that inspires me to do awesome stuff!  Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda is a good one. Love to hear about saints and yogis with super powers! They're like real-life superheroes! 
 


Ok, let’s talk about yoga, how’d you get into it?  I started when I moved to LA a couple of years ago. All of my friends seemed to be into it so I decided to give it a try. Then I started DJing for Yoga because I wanted to get some free classes - hahaha! One day, MC Yogi hit me up because he needed a DJ for some events. From then on, I just did it more and more. At that point, I realized that I should practice yoga more so I knew what was going on from the students perspective, and the more I practiced, the more it became a part of my life for many other reasons.

What was the biggest challenge when you first started practicing?  Getting to class. I always feel good when I do it but its just showing up I still sometimes have trouble with. 

Why do you keep coming back?  I like the physicality of it, coming from a meditation background. Yoga for me is about integrating mind, body and spirit. 
 


What would make you skip practice?  (e.g. a girl, a big game...)  Well it's usually the girl trying to get me to go to Yoga, right!? If I skip practice, you'll probably find me working on music and feeling guilty that I'm not getting anything done!

Do you teach?  I don't teach, no, but DJ-ing is my yoga in that sense. I mean, when you're DJ-ing, you're reading and working with peoples' energy just like teaching yoga, I guess. And it's that same coming together of peoples' minds and bodies.

Other than yoga, what keeps you busy?  Making music full-time, DJing events, eating and sleeping.
 


What advice would you give to someone stepping onto the mat for the first time?  Just do it!

Tell us about a time your yoga practice came into play off the mat?  When I DJ, I sometimes have these moments where I'm not sure what to play next and there are 100s or even thousands of people I don't want to embarrass myself in front of. That's when I bring my focus to the breath and try to relax. All about that breath!

What challenges or issues have you experienced being a guy who teaches/practices yoga?  Being surrounded by women. Kidding! I'm not very flexible and can barely touch my toes, so I feel a bit useless when I see people doing the splits and the fancy advanced stuff. I guess its all about the breath and being with our own practice though, right?!
 


What does the BOYS OF YOGA project mean to you?  Just a great place to connect with like- minded brothers.

What’s your favourite pose?  I like just a basic Surya Namaskar A (Sun Salutation A). It helps warm up the body and gets my day started right. 

What pose do you fucking hate?  My least favorite is that frog pose MJ had us do in class when we were hanging out in Bulgaria!

Yoga is…  good for you. Do it! 

Your quote or mantra:  Om Namah Shivaya or So Ham.


Interviewed: November 25th, 2015

 

Photos by @michaeljameswong and property of BOYS OF YOGA LLC

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