Some of Larson’s best memories growing up revolved around nature.
“I used to love times in the summer taking extended trips by car all over with my growing-up family—my mother and father and my brother,” said Larson. “I loved exploring together, and being outside in nature, having fun.”
His parents’ thoughtful, encouraging parenting style also influenced Larson greatly. He was brought up to find a healthy balance between being independent and being part of a community.
“I learned from each [parent] the importance of observing and studying the world, including the social world,” said Larson. “And, importantly, my role in it—and to use this as a guide for seeking fulfillment.”
These two major themes – nature and mindfulness – would play key roles as he started to raise his own family. He would make it a point to spend time with his family in the great outdoors, hiking the trails in Massachusetts, exploring the coast of Maine, or enjoying the beauty of nature in Acadia National Park. Likewise, his parenting style mirrors that of his parents, creating a thoughtful, encouraging environment for his children.
“I seek to model an approach to self-understanding that I first started to learn from my parents, to my children, along with others I work with or come in contact with,” says Larson.
Larson’s upbringing was one of exploration and observation. However, growing up, Larson did not identify with any type of spirituality. In fact, he actually opposed what he considered weak or escapist about religion and spirituality. That would change, however, as he would 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 with the organization and tapping into his Higher Self has impacted his life greatly. Higher Self Yoga has played a role in many facets of his life, from how he interacts with the world to how he cares for himself.
In some ways, Higher Self Yoga is even the reason he met his wife.
When a fellow HSY member left for California, Larson joked with her to find him someone to marry. He made the joke since the fellow member was like a sister to Larson, someone who knew him well psychologically. It was a challenge his “sister” would take to heart, recommending one of her students to email Larson. Larson and this woman would spend months on the phone before Larson boarded a plane to meet her.
“Due to the challenges of arrive to a date by plane, our first date lasted a week!” said Larson.
The rest, as they say, is history. Larson would eventually marry the lady from California, and they now raise a family with two beautiful children. He still meditates together with his wife on most days, and both are under the tutelage of founder Nanette 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. For him, HSY was 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 to marriage, work and family. In intellectual areas it complements perfectly my deep and abiding interests in physics and philosophy, respectfully, offering a cosmic perspective that is at once individual and personal.”
Tapping into his Higher Self also helps him 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 so 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.”
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.
“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.
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.
Larson understands how misunderstood yoga can be, especially outside the realm of a physical practice. He would want those who 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.
“HSY is oriented first and foremost on the heart, as the organ of growth and self-transformation,” says Larson. “Whether it be to overcome obstacles in work or relationships; or to deepen insights into one’s psychological patterns or potential for growth; or perhaps to explore a deeper 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.”
By: Abby Rosmarin
To read more inspirational stories, please check out the other articles in the HSY Member Spotlight Series.