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Episode 42 ~ Honouring Sydney Miller with Sandi Loytomaki


Episode 42 ~ Honouring Sydney Miller with Sandi Loytomaki

“When we pass over to the other side, we become everything, we become one with all. All the traditions, this connects back to the phrase ‘I and I’, . . .I (the individual self) am a part of divinity connected to the Larger Self, all traditions speak about this, I am physical and I am spiritual. . ..I AM, I AM.” -SL 

After a long hiatus, due to personal and professional circumstances in Robert’s life, Episode 42 of QuestHands returns with the highest dose of Spirit & Love. This long awaited episode for the first time in Questhands history varies away from the structure to pay tribute to Sydney Jo Miller (July 4th 1994 - September 13th 2017). Beloved daughter, sister, friend, dancer, model, artist, teacher, mentor and even QuestHands co-host of Episode 26. Whichever role she played in your life, she was bound to illuminate it with her colourful personality. While dancing on Royal Caribbean’s Quantum of the Seas in 2016, Robert had the honour to meet, dance and explore Asia with Sydney. They were like Tigger and Pooh. Her yang to his yin. Robert being Canadian, with a lifestyle of yoga, meditation and veganism. While Sydney from North Carolina, USA, over a decade younger, a louder, fearless, rockstar beauty. They connected through their love of animals, efficiency, ice cream, avocados and well, life. With Sydney’s passing coinciding with September’s Suicide Awareness Month and October’s Mental Health Awareness Month, Robert decided to include these key topics in the spotlight to help shed stigmas. 

“I don’t want to be remembered for me as an individual, ‘she did this’ or ‘she was that’. What I want to leave behind are the teachings, alive and living in others. So they can carried forward.” -SL

Joining Robert in this powerful conversation is Sandi Loytomaki. Who Robert couldn’t think of a  more suitable person to dialogue and offer their light on. Robert and Sandi are celebrating 1 decade of friendship after meeting through their 3HO Kundalini Yoga Teachers Training. Besides being a fellow yogi, Sandi is one of Robert’s greatest inspirations for all matters human and Spirit. It was from a very young age that she always wanted to help not only people and all living beings. She is a teacher and someone who is dedicated to carrying on the ways of her ancestors, and accessing indigenous medicine way lineage.  She is very clear to have it be known that her wisdom shared is not about her, but simply Universal principals that she is a vehicle to offer to us as a whole.

“I have something new to learn everyday, and the day that I don’t learn something new, is the day that it is my time to return home.” -SL

Together Robert and Sandi listen to some of Sydney’s thoughts, then reflect further on what resonates with them. This conversation builds into rich offerings for all, especially regarding mental health, the essence of life and death, Spirit and our true nature. 

“Where did this voice come from in me, why is that voice there? Do I want to choose to keep that part of me present? Or is it time that this part of me dies and returns to Source? So I can birth something new out of myself?” -SL

It is an amazing ‘Law of Attraction’ how Sydney got to explore her ancestry in Korea, while she celebrated her passion. This was quite symbolic for Sandi to hear as she has constantly been exploring her ancestry and identity. Where theres a will, theres a way. Be it of medicine or athleticism. She had the opportunity to study and work in Finland which was a profound experience.

“Because we are physical and spiritual beings we can go anywhere at anytime, we can meet anyone at anytime. So I can go into an altered state of consciousness and I can communicate with my ancestors, I can communicate with my family that is present in the physical world at this time, I can communicate with other elders in different places of the world. And it’s just the way we are wired. I like to say, ‘It’s just the way we are hardwired and softwired’. I don’t need a cellphone to do that, I don’t need internet to do that.” -SL

Sandi speaks clearly and slowly for us all to grasp some understanding on the various topics. Truly a humble Guru here to serve and friend to all. A wonderful concept she explained is ‘Hardwire’ & ‘Softwire’. Hardwired is the way our neurology (neurones, cells, nerves) is set up in the body. While Softwired is of vibrations, intuition development and Soul knowing. Some valuable self development tools were shared, such as free flow speaking, journalling or a creative art project. Sandi encouraged us to develop our ‘witnessing ability’. To remember to go back, to read and listen where these aspects of ourselves are coming from. To live with intent, to feel and experience yourself to move things. 

“Our internal cleansing waters, the tears that happen when we grieve, that many cultures and traditions want to restrain or withhold or must happen within a certain timeframe. In the west there is all these conditions with whether you should cry or shouldn’t cry and when you should cry or shouldn’t cry, and if you cry too much you are weak or if you cry at all you are weak, depending on what gender you are or where you are. We never hear how beautiful and wonderful crying is and how cleansing it is and how positive it is. And how the tears of sadness are just as wonderful as the tears of joy.” -SL

Sydney speaks on her cleansing shower ritual which Sandi clarified and affirmed how she was not just cleansing her physical being, but all aspects of her being to lay the intent of returning to original essence. Sandi also shared great knowledge around humans being composed of up to 74% water and the importance of our internal and external plumbing systems. For our blood to move properly within for nutrients to be absorbed and for our toxins and wastes to get out.  How when you cleanse you are making space for something nourishing, and to be mindful of that. If not then the harmonic resonance of what was dominantly there before will return.

“I no longer have a bucket list, my bucket list is to live truly, madly, deeply, fully, completely, every moment of every day that I am alive. So every morning I wake up, that’s my quest.” -SL

Sandi speaks holistically on death and of personal choices to leave Earth. These are taboo topics for us, especially in societies where religious, cultural and medical ideologies are enforced but not questioned. There is lots of talk around prolonging life and staying away from death. However by putting all this aside, if we just look at death as another aspect of life; individually coming in as a vibration form, a soul journey that no one knows but that soul itself. Then really, who are we to judge what that soul chooses? For it is all about the experience, the evolution, learning and growth.

“If you don’t have a foundation, it is very difficult to build a house, particularly in certain areas of the world. The same thing happens with our consciousness. We can’t build a higher consciousness without a foundation”. -SL

No ‘Weekly Quest’ was needed as Sandi offered multiple invitations for our conscious growth. Sandi challenges us to take at least 1 thing from what we have heard and take it out into action in your life. To plant seeds with ourselves to look at these topics with a different perspective. When Robert asked her, ‘How can we connect and communicate with loved ones who have passed over?’ Sandi, wants us to focus first into connecting with yourself. To call out to them and allow yourself to feel their presence.

“I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to share, and these teachings are not my teachings, these teachings come from the elders, these teachings come from the Universe, these teachings are humanities teachings, I just happen to be a vehicle that has worked hard to remember them and has the desire to carry them forward.” -SL

*Music featured throughout this QuestHands podcast is by Dj Shiva




Episode 38 ~ Rakesh Sukesh

Episode 38 ~ Rakesh Sukesh

“I think that success comes when you really know who you are. If you don’t know how to control your mind or know how to control your mind, your thoughts, or what this body means, this spirit means; then you are not successful.” -RK  

This episode is only the 2nd one to be recorded in Canada. It occurred in a very unique creative building, The Dovercourt House. A symbolic place for host Robert having obtained his Kundalini Yoga Certification and rehearsals with the Canadian renown Kajea d’Dance Company. Rakesh Sukesh is featured in this episode. He was born in Kerala, a tropical lush southern part of India and is currently based in Switzerland. 

“I don’t like cities. I am more a nature guy. I like both water and mountains. Where there is nature, where there is lush, there is life, where there is growth. Where I can feel the energy of the core of this planet. Not a concrete surface.” -RS

He started out predominately as a Bollywood dancer in entertainment and media then later trained in Bangalore with more contemporary styles, yoga and martial arts. It was here that he was introduced to Kalaripayattu, an ancient traditional martial art form that rigorously trains the body and mind. Rakesh later started to travel to Europe as a performer but had passport challenges being hired. 

“Kalari means ‘space’ and Payatt means ‘activity’, so it is the activity that happens in s space. I call the technique Payatt Intransit, ‘the activity in transit, always going somewhere.” -RS

Rakesh predominately teaches now across the world a fusion genre which he calls Payatt Intransit; a contemporary movement method using Kalaripayattu—a martial art from South India—combining contemporary movement techniques, yoga and energy works. His teaching emphasizes the intricacy of movement to get to the core of the mind/body connection, and enable a more fluid expression. A school in Montreal brought him to Canada and this is how he had the opportunity to come to Toronto.

“i always say in my class for example, I cannot know myself without seeing another person. Imagine if you are in a room that is completely empty and you grew up there your whole life. You would not even know you are a human being until you see another human being. So I think all the things we see around is a point of reference for us to know what I am. That I why I say that every one brings a mirror for you.” -RS

Rakesh comes from a family where they follow ancient spiritual knowledge. He feels he carries this rich depth in his DNA as well as inserts it into his creative work. Rakesh is a wise man with a youthful playful charm. He feels truly alive when he is teaching, like a vessel transmitting what he perceives from life to others. 

“I am talking about more the root of yoga, trying to find the union with things inside and around you. Or try to recognize the union that is actually happening from things inside and around you. I am very much interested in this and I come from a family where we discuss this. This would be our coffee conversation where we discuss this. We don’t consider these things ‘deep’, we should be thinking about these things everyday. You’re breathing, you’re alive and if you are not thinking about that what else would you think about is my question.” -RS

Rakesh is one of those humble beings that you feel comfortable being around within a few minutes. There is a compassionate, non-judgemental energy he carries. It is truly timeless. He states that his strength is in his desire to know more, not for selfish knowledgable accumulations but in regards to whatever will help him dive deeper and know this life more. He shared so many great reminders with us from letting go and the continual journey towards happiness.

“Somehow I don't associate myself with the space around me, because I move every second or third week to a new space. So I guess I enjoy my company, and me, myself in my body, and so it’s great everywhere.” -RS

“i think we can re-alter our entire being with our imagination, but it probably doesn't happen over night or even in 10 years. Maybe over many civilizations it can transform.” -RS

“When I say ‘teachers’ I don’t mean just the people that taught me in a classroom. I find a conversation can be a teacher, an object could be a teacher, a colour could be a teacher, anything could be a teacher.” -RS

“My work has nothing to do with implying my way of thinking. My work is asking them to look at themselves” -RS

Rakesh shared with us one of his spiritual teachers who provides tools we can all apply to our lives. Sadhguru is a well articulated person from india who is not vague or superficial. He is quite clear and constructive offering confirmations in the choices we make in life as well as good reminders.

Rakesh also encouraged us at minimum to sit quietly for 15 mins a day and to drink water out of a copper glass.

You can check out Rakesh’s Payatt INtransit as well as see where he is teaching next here:

The theme of this ‘Weekly Quest’ is FAMILY. To spend a week with a grandparent or elder and listen to their life experience. They carry wisdom of a whole life they lived. You don’t need to believe in what they say, just listen to it.

*Music featured throughout this QuestHands podcast is by Dj Shiva


Episode 36 ~ Marimba Gold-Watts


Episode 36 ~ Marimba Gold-Watts

“I think that we have the opportunity to move forward and choose people to be in your life who can be your family. Who have the same values that you do. Who also help you create a sense of awareness that kind of constantly allows you to lift up and not feel pessimistic about yourself and about the state of the world. I think that it is very important to almost choose your family and define what you want it to be, so that you can move forward in life. Rather than letting yourself be stuck in relationships with people who do not allow you to move forward.” -MGW

This episode is the first one recorded back on land, as Robert’s time in Asia on the Quantum of the Seas has reached it’s completion. The irony for this Canadian host is that once again this episode (and it’s guest) are from the United States of America. Besides this episode being special as the first one back on land, it is special for the reason that Robert had the chance to reunite and interview a dear friend who is like a sister to him. Marimba Gold-Watts was born and raised in San Francisco, California but has been based in NYC for over 15 years now. Robert and Marimba met many moons ago at the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre. They travelled, taught and performed all around America in the second company, ‘Ailey 2’. 

“Even though we were making such minimal amounts of money, it was amazing to bring art and culture to all these people who really have never had this exposure. So there was no wealth and yet there was a tremendous amount of wealth culturally in what we were doing and we were experiencing as artists.” -MGW

It was quite lethargic being back in NYC and reminiscing with her about these experiences when hope and dreams were fuel to an energetic pace of living. Marimba’s spin on the QuestWheel landed on ‘Wealth’. She shared how during our company days we were making only $230 a week before tax deductions and had to pay for rent and food from that. We were living off beans and rice, cooking in hotel rooms off a hot pot almost burning the place down with smoke alarms going off. We also slept 3 to a room to save money here and there. Yet with all these challenges, the wealth of purpose through art and cultural shared in the various marginalized communities we visited, satisfied the blood, sweat and tears.

“I am someone who wants other people to succeed.”                   -MGW

The day of this recording it was a sensitive strange day post the US elections. An exhausted grey energy and overcast consumed the city. I’ve never seen NYC this way. We met and recorded this episode in midtown manhattan at Marimba’s bodywork studio which she shares with her husband and his martial arts acupuncture practice. Marimba is a Pilates Teacher, Dance Teacher and Bio Dynamic Cranial Sacrum Therapist. Her company is called ‘Articulating Body’. For being in Manhattan, this studio was charged with a harmonious energy and calm. What was really exciting is that one of the most popular podcasts in the world is recorded in this exact same building just 3 more floors up, ‘This American Life’; who's episodes are downloaded by over 2 million listeners at a time. Hopefully their success will rub off on QuestHands.

“I felt a sensation like warm caramel sliding down the back of my spine as I lay down on the floor.” -MGW

Marimba is an optimistic person who does not get bogged down in drama. She has overcome many things including not being able to walk properly for years due to an injury. A healthy life, family and friends are important to her. She is a unique blend of being forever young, yet a wise old grandma. An infectious laugh with dialogue that is spoken with a mindfulness of conscious selected thoughts. Marimba is extremely persistent and a creative artist from dance to healing to cooking. She definitely wins the ‘QuestHands ‘Gold Star’ award (if it existed) for saying the word ‘quest’ the most out of any guest that has ever been on the show. 

“We need to be a lotmore mindful about how we use this earth.” -MGW

“If you don’t have a strong sense of self in relationships, then you can’t be a support for someone else. You also can’t lean on someone else if you don’ know yourself.”                -MGW

To read more about Marimba and to visit and book a session with her in New York City, visit:

On the FaceBook page Marimba shares articles and photographs about health :

The theme of this ‘Weekly Quest’ is FAMILY. To remember that as adults we have the ability tochoose the people to be in our life as family. Those who have the same values that you do who also help you create a sense of awareness that allows you to lift up. Remember this and not victimize yourself to be stuck in relationships with people who do not allow you to move forward.

*Music featured throughout this QuestHands podcast is by Dj Shiva