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Today’s guest is a person that I’ve known for over a decade. She is a mother, artist, activist, life coach, women’s advocate, writer, and more importantly, a friend to those who are her friends. Although we fell out of touch for a couple of years, it was good to reconnect and talk about old times.
Anyone who knows Miss Stephanie Delmanto have witnessed her ambition in helping humanity reach their highest potential. As a spiritual warrior, Miss Delmanto has been able to create schools of learning out of weathering life’s challenges. I am sure that you will enjoying seeing all of this for yourself, along with her beautiful spirit and smile.
Warlock Asylum: I am so happy that we finally got a chance to talk after all this time. You have been a source of inspiration for so many people. This is especially true in my experience. However, for our readers who may not be so familiar with your persona, how would you best describe yourself? In terms of practicality, just who is Stephanie Delmanto?
Stephanie Delmanto: It has been a long time and I’m so grateful we have stayed connected this long! I am very humbled that you feel that I am a source of inspiration in your life. I would say that I am simply a traveler like everyone else. I have always felt a strong urge to go against the grain, and spiritual work helps me stay strong and firm in my conviction that there is more to life than the typical mainstream distractions. Honestly, I am still searching for what is most important. Why did I choose to come here? What are my most important lessons?
Warlock Asylum: Many things come to mind when people hear your name, motherhood, spirituality, yoga, and diet, just to name a few. Can you please share with us how your journey into health and wellness began?
Stephanie Delmanto: Well, I would say that my mother is the one who set me on the health and wellness path. She was always exercising and eating well. I would come out when I was a little girl in my leotard and tights and leg warmers and do the Jane Fonda Workout Program with her early in the morning. Then when I was in high school, I found an old book entitled, Richard Hittleman’s 28 Day Exercise Program, which was a book on yoga that my mom had used before I was born. I became immediately enamored of the practice and felt inspired to become a vegetarian.
At that time, the health food world was starting to slowly expand into the mainstream market, making it easier to eat vegetarian, than vegan, than organic, and gluten-free. My understanding of food has grown along with the market. I also started going to nutritionists, beginning in my early 20’s, because I was having health concerns and didn’t realize that eating like a junk food vegetarian, consuming sugar and processed foods, drinking alcohol and coffee, and smoking cigarettes, were so detrimental to my health! Working with several nutritionists over the course of maybe 5 years put me on a stronger nutritional path.
I also went for my yoga teacher training shortly after graduating college, and that has been the greatest gift (beyond having my little girl!) in my life. I am continually growing and transforming through the practices and teachings of yoga.
Warlock Asylum: You have been involved in the philosophy and sciences of Yoga for quite some time. What are some of the things that inspired you to pursue a path in yoga? What obstacles did you have to overcome?
Stephanie Delmanto: I have to say that choosing to become a yoga teacher was the first decision I ever made for myself! I was 22 at the time, and had really sold out to what my parents and society had told me was the way to live and be in the world. By the time I reached that point, I was miserable. One day, I started reading the book, Power Yoga by Beryl Bender Birch. and I was blown away by the idea that someone could be a yoga teacher for a living. I had only done yoga on my own up to that point. There were no yoga studios around and I didn’t know anyone else that was doing yoga. This was just before Christy Turlington came out on the cover of Time Magazine doing kukkatasana and the yoga scene exploded.
Anyway, I thought that being a yoga teacher would be the most awesome job in the world! When I told my parents that I was going to be a yoga teacher, they said, “Where is the market in that?”. It didn’t matter to me, I was finally choosing what I wanted to do and no one could talk me out of it.
To this day, I have struggled financially to make ends meet. I have been teaching yoga now for 14 years. I have tried on numerous occasions to sell out, but it never works. I am learning how to be smarter when it comes to making money while being true to myself. The yoga scene has become quite deluded and that has been an obstacle I have struggled with. It’s become a market that sells through sexy images, religious fervor, and loose language. I sometimes feel a little lost in the midst of it all. But that is part of my path as well. The more I turn what troubles me into what challenges me to dig deeper, the more expansive my practice and my service becomes.
Warlock Asylum: Today, more and more people are getting involved with yoga simply for its physical benefit. This seems to be a growing trend in the field of traditional arts of physical cultivation, martial arts and the MMA is one example of this. What is your opinion about the growing interest in yoga for its physical benefits? Is this course detrimental for those seeking to preserve the philosophical art spiritual aspects of this ancient art?
Stephanie Delmanto: I love the physical health benefits of yoga, but I do find that the overemphasis on the physical practice has made a lot of people delusional about what it takes to reach a yogic state. Yoga is a way to find out who you are and how you are interconnected with all things. asana practice alone is not going to take you there. The more we get attached to the physical postures, the more we are moving our awareness outward, which is the opposite place we want to look for the ultimate truth.
There are so many practices and teachings that have the power to transform, and we need to get past the purely physical practice if we want to experience truth. It has been a disturbance to me to see how many yoga teachers, who are oblivious to the purpose of the practice, are being pumped out into the scene and perpetuate the myth that enlightenment is going to come from doing more and more impressive postures.
I wouldn’t necessarily say it is detrimental for those seeking to preserve the true art because they are going to do that no matter what. But. it can be a challenge to stay true when your livelihood depends on it.
Warlock Asylum: What advice would you give to those who are newly interested in yoga? How can they go about finding a good instructor and school? Is there any one style of yoga is best suited for beginners?
Stephanie Delmanto: Yoga is a lifelong journey! It doesn’t matter particularly where you begin, just that you begin and know that the purpose is not just to have a strong flexible body, though that is a nice side effect. Yoga is gaining control of the way in which the mind has a tendency to grasp outwardly. So it is a tool to reign it in, to have control over the mind so it doesn’t control you, and so that you can rest in who you truly are. No one can tell you who you are, why you are here, what your purpose is. The answers must come from within. A good teacher is going to point you back toward yourself. If you are not receiving that, then keep searching. You may find a teacher who helps up to a certain point, and with gratitude, you may eventually have to move on as you evolve. But never give up or stop searching! The saddest thought I have is that someone leaves this life without ever discovering why they entered it.
Warlock Asylum: What benefits have you seen in your life since pursuing the way of a healthy diet? In there any possibility that we’ll see some of your recipes published in a cookbook?
Stephanie Delmanto: I think that along with yoga, meditation, and expanding consciousness through the teachings and philosophy of Eastern thought, that eating well has brought me energy and youthful vitality, a clearer mind and brighter eyes. I would eventually like to come out with a cookbook, because I would like people to know that eating a nutrient dense diet doesn’t have to be boring or bland or difficult.
Warlock Asylum: Speaking of books, you are quite a creative being! Solen’s Eden is such a unique work! I was also amazed to hear that you were responsible for the illustrations in the book. The big bonus of course, was hearing your voice and you describing how the book came about. I know, it’s a Libra thing! Smiles. Tell us about this project please and how it came about. It is absolutely amazing!!
Stephanie Delmanto: Thank you! That was quite a labor of love for me. I wrote the story over 10 years ago at this point, not to be a writer, but to break out of an artist’s block. I was using the book entitled,The Artist’s Way, and had an assignment to write a story to help inspire the art to flow. I wrote Solen’s Eden as part of that assignment. It is about a young girl who meets an older woman, Eden, who is wise and connected to spirit and nature. This woman helps Solen move out of confusion and into a greater sense of confidence to stand in her own power. Solen represented me at the time that I wrote the story and Eden represented the woman I wanted to become. For 10 years I waited for someone to come along and illustrate the book. I was so in denial of the artist within me. Then, when I became pregnant with my daughter, Akiana, my creative center reawakened and I started drawing like a mad woman! I came across the story in a hungry search for the next topic to draw, and spent 2 years making all the illustrations, which I finished in the end of 2014. (Solen’s Eden is now available on Amazon.)
Warlock Asylum: How has motherhood changed your life? What are some of the lessons you’ve learned since becoming a mother? What are some of the amazing things that you have learned from your daughter?
Stephanie Delmanto: Motherhood has changed me in so many ways, and continues to change me. It helps me find strength I never knew I had, love and compassion I never experienced before, and a desire to want for my own inner child as much as I want for my own daughter. Having her is pushing me to evolve the undeveloped parts of myself, not just for my own benefit, but for hers as well.
Warlock Asylum: A lot of times when we hear of someone in the “work” entering parenthood, we often think of what adjustments must be made. However, there is also the truth that based on our spiritual work the universe has bestowed parenthood upon us to learn a particular phase of the journey. How has motherhood enriched your understanding of your own spiritual path?
Stephanie Delmanto: As soon as I had my daughter, my practiced changed. It is a profound experience to know that you can’t practice what you want whenever you want. You can’t even think what you want whenever you want because there is a little person who is so often wanting even your mental space! So everything becomes your practice. And there is so much richness in that. There are many beliefs and patterns that I had developed and didn’t recognize that have come to my attention since becoming a parent. Patterns come out much more fiercely when you are exhausted! And I consider Akiana now in everything I choose, even when, previously, I wouldn’t have even considered myself before making a choice. So yes, I have discovered a whole new way to develop my consciousness as a parent and it’s much like starting all over again and realizing how unskillful and messy it all can be.
Warlock Asylum: I admire your courage and strength, as you have been able to weather some difficult storms. Back in 2013, your brother Matthew transitioned into the next plane. Many blessings to you and to your family. How were you able to get through such a difficult time? What are some of the things that you learned during this time that you feel that you can share with humanity?
Stephanie Delmanto: Thank you. That was a very painful and heartbreaking time. I don’t know if I would have weathered it so well if I didn’t have such a strong connection to the understanding of life as infinite and death as a gateway rather than an ending. My brother was very active in the beginning in maintaining contact, through electricity mostly as well as through dreams. I firmly believe he is just as much alive outside of the physical body that I came to know him as inside of it. I have to also say that it was a profound experience to be there when my brother passed. It really is a profound and magical experience to watch someone release themselves from the physical body.
One book that really helped me overcome the illusion of death is Testimony of Light by Francis Banks. It is written by a woman who passed through the veil of death, having made a strong telepathic connection beforehand with a close friend, only to realize that the telepathic connection remained strong after she passed. So her friend wrote the words that she spoke telepathically to her from the other side, describing her journey and experiences. What she describes actually makes you excited for what’s to come!
Warlock Asylum: A lot of your work is dedicated to helping women reclaim their beauty and connection with nature. What is your view on the status of women in western society? Is it improving?
Stephanie Delmanto: I feel a shift happening right now. Women were given many rights in the past few decades, but we haven’t known what to do with them. We have tried to mimic men to gain power, especially in the marketplace. Women wear suits that are fashioned after men’s business suits and do work that men have created and used to exert their power. We have struggled to find equality but not in the sense that feminine power is equal in value to masculine power.
Women are now recognizing not only their right to power, but are learning how to be empowered in a completely feminine way. This is an important shift, because without a strong feminine presence in our society, we are out of balance. We need to step into a strong feminine empowered way of being present in the world to keep the masculine energies from becoming too out of control. We need to do it for ourselves, our families, our societies, and for the earth. I see this happening with many women, and I feel it rising up within myself.
Warlock Asylum: What can we expect to hear from Stephanie Delmanto in the near future? Are there any specific goals that you have in mind for the upcoming year?
Stephanie Delmanto Yes! I’m excited to be offering a One Year Yoga Immersion Program starting this October here in New Jersey. It is similar to a yoga teacher training, but designed for people who want to have a deeper transformational experience with yoga without being a yoga teacher. It is also great for teachers who had short trainings or trainings that were primarily asana based. It will be focused less on teaching postures to other people and more on developing the whole self through the various practices and teachings. People can read more about it at my website http://www.stephaniedelmanto.com. I’ll be offering a nutritional component, which I have been developing as I study transformational nutrition with Cynthia Pasquella and the Institute for Transformational Nutrition. I also plan to teach Transformational Nutrition in groups and privately, and I’ll be putting my book out into stores beyond the Amazon Marketplace.
Warlock Asylum: I would like to thank you once again for sharing your wisdom with us and humanity at large. What words of encouragement would you like to share with practitioners of the Art of Ninzuwu and our regular subscribers? Any final thoughts?
Stephanie Delmanto: Thank you! I would just encourage everyone to stick to the path, keep questioning, expanding consciousness, looking deep within as well as enjoying the fleeting ephemeral beauty without. Life truly is miraculous, infinite and short at the same time. Do your best not to waste this precious life!
*On behalf of the Art of Ninzuwu blog page and Ninzuwu Culture, I would like to extend a warm thanks for the time and effort Ms. Delmanto spent with us and in making a remarkable contribution to the human family. May your path be filled with success and prosperity! For more information about Stephanie Delmanto and the services she provides, please checkout her website at: http://www.stephaniedelmanto.com/