Larson Rodgers is lucky to have been brought up by thoughtful and encouraging parents who influenced him to find a healthy balance between being an independent thinker and being a part of a community. As a child, he loved taking extended car trips with his family and was encouraged to be outside, explore, and just generally have fun in nature.
“I learned the importance of observing and studying the world, including the social world,” he says. “And, more importantly, my role in it. I’ve used this as my guide for seeking fulfillment.”
These two major themes — nature and mindfulness — would play key roles as Larson started his own family. He’s made it a point to share his love of the great outdoors with his children, hiking the trails of Massachusetts, exploring the coast of Maine, and enjoying the beauty of Acadia National Park.
“I seek to model an approach to self-understanding that I first started to learn from my parents for my children, along with others I work with or come in contact with,” says Larson.
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Though his upbringing was full of exploration and observation, Larson did not identify with any type of spirituality. In fact, he actually opposed it, considering it weak or escapist to participate in a wisdom practice. That all changed, however, when he started to pursue a degree in physics and began reading books on spirituality.
“Physics for me was a good preparation for spiritual study since I felt qualified at that point to say what was or wasn’t possible from the perspective of science,” said Larson. “It wasn’t long before I became serious about spiritual practice, and not long from then that I discovered Higher Self Yoga.”
Larson is now one of the Executive Directors of Higher Self Yoga, and it is safe to say that his time spent with the organization has changed him for the better. Tapping into his Higher Self has positively affected his life in many ways, from how he interacts with the world to how he cares for himself.
Believe it or not, Higher Self Yoga is also how he met his wife!
When a fellow Higher Self Yoga member left for California, Larson made a joke that she should work on finding him a life partner. He felt that she knew him well, like a sister, and she took the challenge to heart, encouraging one of her students to email Larson. Larson and the mystery woman ended up clicking and spent months chatting on the phone before Larson boarded a plane to finally meet her in person.
“Due to the challenges of arriving to a date by plane, our first date lasted a week!” said Larson.
The rest, as they say, is history. Larson would eventually marry her, and they now have two beautiful children. He and his wife still meditate together, and both are under the tutelage of Higher Self Yoga founder Nanette V. Hucknall. Together, they bond over their shared spiritual approach to all facets of family, work, and service.
But Higher Self Yoga wasn’t just an indirect matchmaking service for Larson. It was also about personal discovery and transformation on every level.
“I have long suffered from the symptoms of high-functioning autism,” explained Larson. “Excessive seriousness, numerous difficulties in social interaction and an unyielding focus on intellectual study. It was only through practice of Higher Self Yoga that I’ve found tools to manage these challenges. Living through the heart in the ways recommended by Higher Self Yoga has been my trusted guide equally in marriage, work and family. In intellectual areas it complements my deep and abiding interests in physics and philosophy perfectly, and respectfully offers a cosmic perspective that is at once individual and personal.”
Tapping into his Higher Self has also helped Larson as he cares for his family, assisting in everything from clear communication, active listening, and truly living & sharing from the heart. He utilizes that connection to the heart (and, subsequently, his connection to his Higher Self) to find the appropriate and correct response to every interaction.
As noble as caring for a family is, self-care is also vitally important. As we struggle to find balance in our lives, neglecting ourselves becomes incredibly common, and Larson was no exception.
“For me, the number one issue in self-care is the tendency—by birth and personality—to neglect my physical and emotional health through over-focus on the mind,” said Larson. “Higher Self Yoga makes clear the danger of this imbalance and helps me to return the focus instead to a natural point of balance—the Heart.”
For Larson, running, meditation, and reading provide great moments of release and help him take care of himself as he takes care of those around him.
“Balance is every minute, and the balance of home and ‘outside’ life is one of the bigger areas. I feel fortunate to have the tools of Higher Self Yoga to assist with the ever-present challenge of balance,” said Larson.
As Larson found, life both in and out of the home are equal opportunities for service, as well as a way to connect towards that Higher Self. Likewise, as we connect with our hearts and our Higher Selves, we are better able to find insight and, in many ways, be able to use the struggles and stresses of life as a way forward on the path of self-transformation.
Larson understands how misunderstood yoga can be, especially outside the realm of a physical practice. He encourages those that are new to or reluctant to try Higher Self Yoga to remember that it is simply a means of self-discovery and self-guided growth.
“Higher Self Yoga is oriented first and foremost on the heart as the organ of growth and self-transformation,” says Larson. “Its for overcoming obstacles in work or relationships or deepening one’s insights into psychological patterns or potential for growth — or perhaps even exploring an understanding of the Cosmos and one’s role in it. All of these are given a sure path forward unlike any other in Higher Self Yoga.”
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