_MG_0148 Photographer: Jerris Madison @jerrismogul

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to interview RL Bond. He is someone I greatly admire not only for his accomplishments as an international male model, but also as a serious yogi, martial artist, and meditator.

RL’s discipline and commitment to his practice are quite impressive. He has trained with yoga and martial arts masters around the world. Despite his busy schedule as a model, he still finds the time to meditate daily.

RL has an amazing spiritual energy that radiates through him. I was so inspired by his journey and hope this interview also inspires you on your journey to enlightenment. 

Special thanks to Q Management in New York for arranging this interview!

I know you are a very spiritual person and you practice yoga and meditation. How did yoga come into your life?  

Hello, my friend. It is such a pleasure to be in your presence. First of all, I want to thank you for taking your time and collaborating with Q Models and I, for this article.

The pleasure is all mine! It is such an honor to be able to interview you. Thanks to you and Q Management for the opportunity!

Show compassion to others, be kind, respect yourself and others will respect you. You cannot light someone’s candle if your candle is not lit.

Yoga and meditation came into my life as I was living in New York. There came a time that I felt very empty. I was booking modeling jobs, traveling, money was descent and the ladies were there lol. I knew that I had to look inside as I also suffered lower back pain due to herniated disc (L4) in my lumbar spine. I received the injury in high school from free squatting too much weight. I continued to get muscle spasms and was in a lot of pain.

Yoga came into my life 10 years later after my injury. My first yoga class was Bikram Yoga Bronx. During the class, it was very painful. For the first time I experienced blood circulation throughout my whole entire body and every internal organ. After class, I ate a big meal and went to sleep for almost 24 hours. I knew I had experienced what just changed my life. I continued to practice to help my herniated disc and also to feel more existence with the spiritual.

What about meditation?

Meditation came into my life after a few months from staying disciplined to 1 to 2 Bikram yoga classes a week. Yoga classes did not include meditation, so after about 6 months I began to teach myself just sitting still with candles. I was impatient at times with living in New York and the population. I knew meditation would help and it did with daily practice.

It is very challenging to sit still in easy pose (Sukhasana) when you have very tight hips. Just like anything else in life, the more you practice the better you get. I include meditation every morning and I am done by 8:00am.

FullSizeRenderPhotographer: Cameron Lee @Candidcam.ohio

How have you developed yourself as a yogi and meditator? Have there been any teachers or experiences that have been important in your journey? What pearls of wisdom have they taught you?

I learned that life is pain and pain is life. Everyday is your birthday and Christmas. Your life is not guaranteed, so you must enjoy every day because it is precious.

I continued to develop being a yogi and meditator by training harder after 2 years of brutal commitment to Bikram Yoga.

I soon enrolled in USA Shaolin Temple to challenge myself even more. Shifu Shi Yan Ming (34th generation warrior monk from Shaolin Temple in China) was just the master I was in search of. Martial arts and yoga are combined and it is one. Shifu Shi Yan Ming would always say, “Without confidence you cannot do anything in life.” I thought yoga was a lot of pain until I trained at the temple haha.

Being a disciple of the temple I learned self-defense and the way of life, through knowledge of Buddhist philosophy. Being spiritual, I keep an open mind to all religions and apply to my life what I feel holds true value.

Siddhi Yoga 200hr yoga certification course in Goa, India was an amazing journey for me also. I am a certified yoga instructor. I learned so many things about the human anatomy, but of course about thy inner-self. I had many amazing teachers in this course all from India. I will see them again very soon back in India.

FullSizeRender (2)Image: Siddhi Yoga 

I know you meditate every day. Can you tell me about your meditation practice?

I have been meditating for about 6 years now. I love to meditate during sunrise and sunsets. Meditation comes in many different forms. So what is meditation? Meditation is something that brings you peace of mind. For example, me answering these questions for this article is a form of meditation for me because it brings me peace lol.

Is there a specific type of meditation you practice? Any other meditation tips?

I practice Qi Gong and Tai Chi, which is moving meditation. Stillness meditation is used when we overthink and our physical body is just not getting enough balance. During meditation it is ok to let all of your thoughts come and eventually they will leave. When in meditation, I mostly think of the universe and this amazing energy that we all have in our unique bodies. After 5 minutes I have no thoughts.

I believe it is always good to stretch first before meditation. Everyone is different and you must find what works best for you, dear.

web_RL_4606Photographer: Gregory Prescott @gregoryprescott

Now shifting gears a bit, you are in amazing shape! Is that all from yoga? What other types of training and athletic activities do you like to do?

As I continue to get older, but still feel young, I like to hike, do martial arts, push-ups, yoga, and meditate to make sure the blood circulates to the body part in which I feel imbalance.

My body physique is mostly from yoga and Qi Gong. When you can stretch and you have control of your blood circulation from you breathing, this is an art form that takes practice and commitment.

Staying in good shape, you must also listen to your body when it needs rest. When I think of exercise, I look at it as therapy to be more in tune with the spiritual.

RL_4711Photographer: Gregory Prescott @gregoryprescott

And what about diet? What are some of the foods you use to fuel your body and mind?

My diet consists of mostly fruits, vegetables, grains, pasta, rice, kale, vegan protein shakes, and super foods. When you are looking at your diet, you know you are on the right path when it is colorful.

Pay attention. My stomach is mostly empty [rather] than that feeling of being full. Over the years I have learned to eat less, eat light, and to channel this energy into creativity.

_MG_0361BWPhotographer: Jerris Madison @jerrismogul

Finally, how do you manage to stay balanced in the fast-paced world of Los Angeles?

Staying balanced anywhere in the world is not a problem. Pay attention to birds. We still can learn a lot from our friends. We have forgotten how to stay in tune with the earth.

First, we must get plenty of rest, eat healthy and eat less meat, drink less alcohol, keep positive people around your life, continue to work on your creativity, exercise (looking at it as therapy not competition), learn how to say no, everyday find inspiration maybe through positive quotes, etc. And laugh as much as possible because tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Namaste.

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Photographer: Jerris Madison @jerrismogul

RL’s Favorite Inspirational Quotes

“Meditation is to connect with the source. What source? The source of spiritual energy, the source of life energy. You don’t even have to name the source. It is that, it is omnipresent. The energy from this source is with you. Were it not you would not exist—nor would your mind or your body. This is the energy that renews the body. It is the energy that heals the body and the emotions. It is the energy that keeps bodies youthful and healthy. It is the energy that keeps the brain functioning and the hormones balanced. The purpose of meditation is to empty yourself of all thoughts, words, emotions and actions so nothing blocks or diminishes the full amount of energy you need, require and desire.”

“Keep your heart free from hate, mind from worry. Live simply, expect little, give much. Fill your life with love. Scatter sunshine. Live life to the fullest, start taking more risks and doing things you fear. Get good at being uncomfortable and stop walking the path of least resistance. Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

“Body is steady-mind calm & quiet. Breath slowed down, there is no thinking-no vibrations just feeling self awareness.”

“Life begins outside of your comfort zone. You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you TRY SOMETHING NEW.”

 “Discipline is based on pride, on meticulous attention to details, and on mutual respect and confidence. Discipline must be a habit so ingrained that it is stronger than the excitement of the goal or the fear of failure.” – Gary Ryan Blair

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Great interview! This is RL. I’m proud to call him my friend. He has grown so much and inspired me to continue seeking a healthy and physical mindset at all cost.

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