Need a little LOL in your life? We were honored and privileged to have our third eye awakened by the one and only Ultra Spiritual JP Sears, a YouTube sensation with 100 million+ hits, author of the upcoming book How to Be Ultra Spiritual (March 2017), and the YJ LIVE! San Francisco keynote presenter. In the following interview, Sears explains what it means to be Ultra Spiritual, just how tight your yoga pants should be, and why 14 hours of meditation a day isn't enough. Want to see his laugh-in-your-leggings wisdom in person? Get your ticket to his YJ LIVE! event now.
Q&A with the Ultra Spiritual JP Sears
Yoga Journal: Do you prefer to be called Ultra Spiritual Guru or His Enlightenedness or just JP Sears?
JP Sears: His Enlightenedness Ultra Spiritual JP Sears is fine.
YJ: Tell us what it means to be “Ultra Spiritual”? Can anyone be Ultra Spiritual?
His Enlightenedness Ultra Spiritual JP Sears: Ultra Spiritual has nothing to do with being spiritual, and it has everything to do with looking spiritual. And looking spiritual is exactly what makes you more spiritual.
YJ: So how does one look more spiritual? Is it what you wear?
HEUSJPS: What you wear has something to do with it, as long as you're wearing purple or yoga pants that reduce your circulation to dangerous levels due to their tightness.
YJ: Speaking of what you wear, we've noticed that you always wear a headband with a flower in it. What is the significance of the headband?
HEUSJPS: The significance of that is me being significant. Out of my giving heart, I like to let people know how high-vibe I am, and the headband and the flower take the guesswork out for them.
YJ: Have you been spiritually awakened?
HEUSJPS: I was awakened before I was born, and what it had to do with is when I discovered an umbilical cord inside my mother's womb, through the cord she was trying to feed me meat, and obviously that is not compatible with my Ultra Spirituality. As a little fetal vegan I started to refuse meat because I'm just too good for that.
YJ: Do you believe in other lifetimes?
HEUSJPS: I was awakened in all of those, too. My intuition tells me I will be awakened in my future lifetimes as well. I do believe in past and future ... I also don’t because I'm too spiritual to believe in time.
YJ: What are your new year’s resolutions?
HEUSJPS: I don’t believe in years either, they just play into the concept of calendar time. Eckhart Tolle would be mad at me if I started believing in calendar time, and you don't want to make him angry. But my resolution—not new year's—is I want to meditate more. I've only been doing 14 hours a day, and I'd like to increase to a more healthy dose of mediation.
YJ: What about your yoga practice?
HEUSJPS: I don’t practice yoga, I execute yoga. You know how they say 'practice makes perfect'? Well, I have the perfect yoga execution—I don’t need to practice, I just do it. Typically, my yoga practice means I wear tight pants, go to a coffee shop and look socially inappropriate for a few hours, then I go to a yoga class after that.
A Look Inside JP Spears's Ultra Spiritual Life
OK, you get the idea... The Ultra Spiritual JP Sears is a parody of the yoga lifestyle created by the real JP Sears, a 35-year-old emotional healing coach, through hilarious, viral YouTube videos like How to Take Yoga Photos for Instagram (watch above), How to Become Gluten Intolerant, and How to Be Ultra Spiritual. Below, we interviewed the REAL JP Sears about how his Ultra Spiritual character came to be, what he hopes to teach yogis, and his upcoming book.
Q&A with the Real JP Sears
YJ: Did you get into yoga first, or comedy?
JPS: The yoga and healing lifestyle came first. For the past 15 years, I've had an emotional healing client coaching practice; that’s how I've earned my living. Comedy came along about two years ago as another way for me to express my perspective.
YJ: Do you teach yoga or meditation?
JPS: I never taught yoga. Meditation techniques were typically a part of the programs I would teach—a lot of it was vulnerability-based emotional healing exercises that I would facilitate for people.
YJ: How did you get into emotional healing coaching?
JPS: I was motivated to teach it because I needed it the most in my personal life. I had a lot of pain and challenges that I carried inside my heart and pretended they weren’t there. In my very early 20s, I was very passionate about facilitating emotional healing work for people, and once I got into my studies, I realized I need it more than anyone else.
YJ: Where did you study?
JPS: A program run by an organization called Journeys of Wisdom; I've done their certification. It's a very alternative-style training that spoke to my heart.
YJ: Do you practice yoga?
JPS: I do practice yoga (mostly Ashtanga) as much as I can get myself to do it. It's something I like to have as a regular part of my self-care routine. Meditation is a near and dear part of my life as well.
YJ: Is humor a key part of emotional healing, in your opinion?
JPS: For me, it’s a very powerful dimension of emotional healing. There are two types of people in this world: those who carry pain, and those who are in denial of carrying pain. Where humor comes in—I look at humor as an alchemist—it has the ability to help transform energy, so when we carry experiences that are painful, when we begin to look at them through the lens of humor, how they feel and how we react to them and how we interpret them can change. I think humor works for some people some of the time; in my one-on-one client practice, I'm typically not using humor—pure vulnerability is the best tool. In a bigger audience, humor can be a very effective tool.
YJ: Are you still coaching?
JPS: I'm still doing my coaching practice. It used to be full-time 5–6 times a week, now I'm very blessed to have a lot of exciting opportunities and projects come my way. I'm in my client coaching space two days a week.
YJ: Your book, How to Be Ultra Spiritual, comes out in March. Why did you decide to write this book? What’s something readers will get from the book that they haven’t already heard from you?
JPS: I was very creatively inspired to take on the book project. Once some publishers approached me and said they were interested, the idea lit me up inside—my heart was saying yes to it. It was also important to me to write the book in a way where I presented very fresh material—I did not want to rehash material I'd already done in videos. What people will get is hopefully a lot of entertainment and laughs to start with (the entire book is written in character), and liberation from old beliefs of theirs that don’t serve them anymore. In the book, I really shine the light on a lot of dogmas in the New Age spiritual world that I've carried.
YJ: Tell us more about these New Age dogmas.
JPS: I like people to consider what has become dogma for you—what is working well for one person might be working against another person. What works well can stop working for us, even work against us. We all deserve to analyze and reconsider, 'What am I doing, what am I believing, is it still serving me now?' Even if served me for five years.
YJ: The key message of your comedy seems to be, don't take yourself too seriously.
JPS: To me, don't take yourself too seriously is the same thing as Buddha recommending non-attachment. When we’re in a posture of seriousness, we’re very attached to the belief, the practice that we’re taking seriously. Learning to replace seriousness with some playfulness is a great practice of non-attachment. Ultimately that encourages us toward allowing us to have our beliefs, but not believe our beliefs as intensely. Our ego naturally wants to become egotistical—so we cannot become a slave to our ego. It's worth acknowledging, 'Yeah I have an ego, and my ego will look for ways to gratify myself with a sense of superiority.'
YJ: What made you decide that it was time that someone poked fun at the yoga lifestyle?
JPS: I needed to shine light on the shadow that I had developed through my spiritual practice, and take my egotistical hiding spots away from myself ... I started to put them on video. The videos became and still are a therapy for myself. I was taking myself and my spiritual life way too seriously; it had become an egotistical endeavor rather than a spiritual endeavor. I was very blessed for the videos to go pretty big and viral from the get-go. The first one, How to Be Ultra Spiritual, I thought it was just going to be a one-time video. A couple of weeks after posting it I thought, 'Wow, I should make more of those.' That was about two years ago and it took off from that.
YJ: You are the keynote speaker at YJ LIVE! San Francisco this January 13–16. What should we expect?
JPS: Part one is in character delivering comedy to people—if people have a medical condition where they're not able to be playful, the shouldn’t come. The second part of my talk will be about how to live an authentic life, or how to live "fiercely authentically." I will be speaking from my heart on how we can discover our authenticity. Our quality of life is proportional to how authentic we are able to be in any given moment.
Want to see His Enlightenedness in person and achieve higher states of spiritual superiority like never before? Get your ticket to his YJ LIVE! event now.