Yogi, mystic, and practitioner of Ayurveda, Mas has become one of the most influential yoga and Ayurveda teachers in the world and offers unique certification training programs throughout the USA, Asia, and India. Mas enjoys teaching integral yoga classes, offering health and wellness lectures and giving workshops that embrace core Ayurvedic principles. His work is primarily influenced by the lineage-based traditions of India, with prominence to the teachings of Yogananda and Sivananda. In 2014 he appeared in the triumphant film “Awake, The Life Of Yogananda” and as an Ayurvedic practitioner, he maintains an active international counseling practice that includes yoga and Vedic astrology. He is the founder/director of Dancing Shiva Yoga Ayurveda, an international non-profit educational organization and center based in Southern California.
Under Mas Vidal’s direction DSYA has been recognized internationally for developing a strong balance between the mind-body relationship and the spiritual principles emphasized in both yoga and ayurveda. Mas Vidal strongly encourages education in a practical sense and as a way of life in his dynamic yoga classes (see schedule). The center is aligned with various notable institutions of health and wellness, spirituality and higher learning throughout the United States, Europe and India and maintains interaction in the areas of consulting, research and providing educational materials.
~ Nama (National Ayurvedic Medical Association)
~ AAPNA (Association of Ayurvedic Professionals of North America)
~ YA (Yoga Alliance)
~ IAYT (International Association of Yoga Therapists)
~ Millenium Natural Health Products Board of directors
As an Ayurvedic Practitioner Mas maintains an active clinical consulting practice in southern California and internationally. Over the years he has seen all types of patients-clients for various reasons ranging from acute intestinal disorders to many common diseases of our time such as weight loss, diabetes, respiratory disorders, digestive issues, skin problems, anxiety and nervousness, poor sleep, emotional issues and general lifestyle counseling. His consultations place a strong emphasis on identifying the emotional causes of imbalance to the doshas and developing practical lifestyle guidelines to enable the individual to restore balance and perfect health. In each consultation recommendations will include simple lifestyle suggestions related to diet, herbs, vedic astrology, exercise and therapies or other modalities that may be beneficial to your specific issues.
East Meets … East!
MODERN “HERO” REUNITES ANCIENT HEALING PRACTICES
YOGA AND AYURVEDA
“Hero’s Journey” Results in One-of-a-Kind Yoga & Healing
LOS ANGELES -- His name is Mas Vidal and he is a modern hero. In the Joseph Campbell mythological sense of the word. He’s been on “the hero’s journey” for much of his adult life, and is now sharing with Angelenos the unique result of his adventure. Vidal is celebrating the 14th anniversary of his Dancing Shiva Yoga & Ayurveda (DSYA) center on Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood (Location changed in 2012). But what this potent combination of healing modalities actually offers, and Mas’s personal journey, are the real stories …. With yoga practice so popular these days, what could Mas possibly deliver at Dancing Shiva to distinguish his services? Vidal makes the point that the end goal of Western health is longevity. The end goal of Eastern health, however, is spiritual realization.
According to Mas, Dancing Shiva is the original center dedicated to the practice, education and lifestyle of the great Vedic sciences of Yoga and Ayurveda. In this tradition, Veda is knowledge and Yoga is practice. “The root of every healing system known to man is Ayurveda,” Vidal points out. “It’s all about energy, our fundamental nature as energy. And Yoga is an eternal tradition, based on universal laws and truth.”
At Dancing Shiva, they teach an integral approach to Patanjali’s classical two-thousand year old Yoga system, integrated with Ayurveda’s health science of Tri-dosha. “This is the unique and powerful difference we offer. We are not just another yoga center. I’m not selling exercise or fitness. I’m endorsing a program and teaching, a lifestyle that heals, revitalizes, and awakens us spiritually.”
Dancing Shiva’s Yoga and Ayurveda is a system of internal balance, integration and development of a higher awareness born out of an eternal tradition. According to Vidal, “the aim of Tri-dosha, on a therapeutic level, is to bring into balance within the individual the elemental forces of air, fire and water and, with its spiritual counterpart, to cultivate a higher level of consciousness. “ The result of this work is “enhanced health and well-being, a deeper, more pervasive inner peace, and an expanding connection with our essential spiritual nature.”
What exactly does all this involve? “Our yoga and ayurveda practices all contain the five main components essential to achieving a perfect balance. These are asanas (the traditional yoga postures), pranayamas (breathing exercises), mantras (sounds), dharana (concentration techniques), and dhyana (meditation). The center offers a great variety of programs, from simple hour-long healing practices, to day-long healing sessions, classes, and even a certificated practitioner training program. “Ayurveda is finally catching up with Yoga in the U.S.,” says Vidal. “Over the next ten years it will explode in popularity as Americans continue to look for proven successful alternatives to Western allopathic medicine and diets that don't work.
Born in Chicago and raised in Miami, as a child of the 70s, Mas remembers watching a lot of television, seeing all the “golden” images of California on commercials and programs. He had visions -- “I’ve been there before,” he would say to himself, “and something powerful was drawing me back.” He has also spent considerable time in nature.
Throughout high school, Mas was interested in the arts, theatre, and music. He and his brother, Paul, created a number of bands, original music, and performance opportunities, but eventually acting won his heart. Vidal graduated from the University of Florida in 1990 with a liberal arts degree. But as soon as he got out of school, he headed for Los Angeles, “with a couple hundred dollars in my pocket,” and the “golden dream” he had envisioned so many times. Soon, though, while pursuing his acting ambitions, he discovered that Los Angeles was not just the entertainment capital of the world, also the yoga capital of the world. “My friend and mentor took me to my first yoga class, introduced me to Hatha Yoga and Ayurveda, which also then led me to my first spiritual teacher/Guru, Paramahansa Yogananda.” Vidal was one of the many millions who have been deeply influenced by Yogananda’s classic book, Autobiography of a Yogi. “In fact,” says Vidal, “Dancing Shiva is strongly influenced by Yogananda. I realized it was my ego that was interested in acting, but at the same time... I was also powerfully being drawn towards a mystical life. “
Then, Mas was a teenage bodybuilder and extreme athlete. He carried 200 pounds on his sleight five-foot, [eight] frame, so there were massive muscles. Once he discovered yoga, however, he pursued it with passion, taking all the energy he had expended on bodybuilding and extreme sports and channeling it, instead, into yoga and metaphysical/spiritual study.
He explored all the world’s great spiritual traditions, supporting himself by becoming a personal trainer and a kids swim teacher. In a matter of six months, in the early 90s, Mas had loads of clients, including lots of mothers and families. He taught children to swim, he got people out of gyms, into the outdoors, guiding hikes … all while going out on auditions, pursuing his acting career.
Eventually, Mas’s growing spiritual awareness led him to see how ego-driven his acting ambition was. This soured him on theatrical pursuits … and the classical hero’s journey began taking shape! Where to go? What to do? Who to be? “Yoga had taken me over,” he recalls. “But I had no idea what to pursue as a career.”
He explored a number of fields, eventually settling on real estate, and spent only two years at a top brokerage firm in Beverly Hills. “It was Business 101,” he says now. “Mortgages, leases, money…. I got thoroughly mentored in business, and that was extremely valuable.” But real estate was not for Mas. “I worked hard but it was a dead end for me. All my friends kept saying, ‘you have all this spiritual energy, knowledge and interest! Why don’t you do something with it?
Vidal wrote up concepts for spas, yoga studios, and healing centers. He even tried to open one, but it didn’t happen – “it just wasn’t the right time.” He did some consulting work, struggling mightily with the hero’s search for his right path.
As destiny would have it, however, in 1998, Mas’s mentor, Pandit David Frawley, published a book, Yoga and Ayurveda. Vidal read it and realized, “This is it!” The book explained in detail a new way to understand the connection between the two ancient Indian practices, Yoga and Ayurveda. Mas knew that Frawley had revealed the intellectual component and that he, Mas, had the wherewithal to implement Frawley’s understanding in a practical, physical worldly enterprise.
At the end of his rope with real estate and the business world, Mas sold a little stock and bought a plane ticket to India. After retreating at Yogananda’s ashram, he headed back to Los Angeles, revitalized, redirected, and committed to following and fulfilling his dharma – his way, path, and purpose– by finally opening a center to share and teach his true passions: Yoga and Ayurveda.
Vidal saw a little place for rent on Beverly Boulevard, said “I’ll take it!” and headed for Home Depot to buy materials. In 12 days, he and a group of dedicated students remodeled the place and opened it for business. Twenty-one people attended Mas’s first class and donated via a basket on the floor.
That was twelve years ago, and the center is now thriving. “It’s the love of it, and the love of learning, that’s kept it all going,” says Vidal. In addition to the variety of programs and healing treatments available to the public, Dancing Shiva offers several educational opportunities to people who would like to work in the Yoga and Ayurvedic field: the Ayurveda Practitioner and Wellness Programs and the centers signature program, the Yoga and Ayurveda Lifestyle Enhancement Program.
(I take people through a tremendous mental/physical experience that transcends into a spiritual one). “We’ve taken the brilliance of vedic wisdom and turned it into a practical, functional reality, offering services that define a way of life leading to health, robust energy, and spiritual unfoldment. It’s the best of the ancient practices of the East made accessible, enjoyable and affordable for 21st Century Americans. These practices are doorways for people into a new, healthy lifestyle. Yoga has been that doorway for millions, and now we’re adding the Ayurvedic component to make it deeper, richer … complete.”
This is the nature of the hero’s journey: starts, stops, regrouping, demons to slay, but remaining true to the calling, the victorious end is achieved. Mas Vidal has lived – and is living – that journey. And the benefits are accruing to all those who come in contact with him and his very special Dancing Shiva Yoga & Ayurveda Center.