Stephen Beitler is the founder of FreeYogaTV and 500hr certified yoga instructor. He focuses his practice on teaching other teachers, healing practitioners, and leaders how to teach themselves and others through contemplative practices, mindful movement, and recovery from trauma. Over the years, his specialty has become more and more refined working directly with individuals on their unique nervous systems, in Los Angeles. He has worked with MDs, PTs, Massage Therapists, Psychotherapists, Chiropractors, Scientists, PHDs, MFAs, PTSD, trauma victims, post-surgery, directors, producers, high stress, low energy, depressed, happy but confused, and the list goes on, of wonderful people.
Stephen teaches from his personal life experience, so instead of just a resume, here is a little bit about him.
“Stephen started walking at six months old, took three steps at church and everyone clapped, loved the attention; so was walking by himself at nine months. Burned the bottoms of his feet on a radiator vent a month later, and carries the scars to this day. (He learned young; you can’t always push yourself to grow quickly without consequences.) He taught himself how to whistle, at one or two years old, by sucking air in and out repeatedly. Came to his mother at three and told her “I can spell ‘mom’.” When she didn’t believe him, he spelled out very clearly M-O-M… so she started home schooling him. Later that year he told her “Our bones make our skin stay on, and if we didn’t have bones we would be flat because our bones hold us up.”
“Where did you learn that?!!” was her incredulous reply.” (from notes in the old family photo album)
This same autodidact mentality served him well while studying a myriad of physical disciplines through to adulthood. He practiced martial arts for over a decade with a year in Japan, was a nationally competing gymnast, a dancer, and a performance artist. He was determined he would be able to master all of these disciplines, through tenacity alone if nothing else, but could never seem to find the strength or flexibility. By pushing his physical and mental body so completely beyond their breaking points, his health began to deteriorate. He collapsed at nationals from a highbar dismount, after years of physical issues, and was taken to the hospital. He was diagnosed with a severe case of Osgood-Schlatter disease, where the knees stop developing in young athletes. He spent six months unable to be on his feet, and was shown mindful movement as a form of recovery through physical therapy. Around this time he was introduced to his first yoga class, on video, and his curiosity was peeked. Thinking he had found the physical cure-all and could continue his fast pace of pushing his body toward what he wanted, he started a regular practice. This was the beginning of a long journey of coming face to face with the limitations of his physical body. He pushed himself for years through dance, gymnastics, and physical yoga asana and ended up with a torn hamstring, two aggravated nerves, tendinitis, chronic sprains, and many more injuries. Finally at twenty four, he couldn’t even touch his toes with straight legs because of the pain of the cumulative misappropriation of his body. So, he gave it all up, and went deep into his practice of mindful movement and recovery not just of the physical body, but also to find a calm mind to accept his life situation.
Having journeyed so thoroughly into the limitations of his physical body, he decided to explore more deeply into the nuances of the mind body connection. Whether it was Western Psychology, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Islam, Quantum Theory, Quantum Physics, Conservative or Liberal, Ancient or Modern, East or West; all seemed to be saying the same thing, just with different languages. To learn the mind, we would have to learn the language that connects all theories, ideas, and beliefs with the visceral experience of reality. The search for these harmonies that exist between us all, began. In looking for the universal language, Stephen has learned to fall in love with all languages, and to guide others toward their own personal ways of expression, discipline, and practice. As we discover who we are, we discover healing and oneness along the way. Our precision and awareness allow for the realization of balance in all things.
Surprisingly for Stephen, this mind body study lead him back into finding peace with his physical body. And, to his utmost surprise, a physical body with more facility than he ever had before. At twenty five, after five years of being unable to do so, he touched his toes again. At twenty six, for the first time in his life, he came into full splits. At twenty seven he felt someone tapping the back of his head, and turned around to see who needed his attention, and was startled by his foot almost touching his nose! He has since become a critically acclaimed movement, dance, and circus performer; made his way through two Yoga certifications, and refined his skills with thousands of hours of practice.
He has dedicated his time in this life to helping others to understand their aspirations toward their pursuit of happiness and the root of happiness, and their desire for freedom from suffering and the root of suffering. Our joy and happiness lie in our abiding in the understanding of the interconnections of all things, the ending of the illusion of a separate self. He holds space for this disciplined understanding with his work at FreeYogaTV. The mountain of suffering caused by ignorance is recognizable as a small stone when placed in the light of our mindful awareness. He reminds others of this root cause of suffering during sessions together. If we take the time to honestly and completely recognize where we are, so that the intense suffering the illusion our mind creates can be set aside; then the basic goodness that is inherent in every moment rises effortlessly to the surface. The body and the mind both heal themselves when we focus our effort on allowing them to do so. When we are able to sift through all the forgiveness, healing, mercy, compassion, and understanding inside of us; we recognize that we are inherently all of these things already, and we need not seek them anywhere except in the miracle of our interconnectedness. When our ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ gets out of the way, we will find we dissolve into balance.