Tuesday, November 2, 2010

4) Inspiration from Senior Ashtanga Yoga Teachers

Most people get attracted to Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga due to the intensity of its practice and the wonderful benefits it gives to its practitioners . While that may be true , I got motivated to try Ashtanga after reading about the lives of many senior Ashtanga teachers  .One thing that I noticed in the lives of these senior Ashtanga Teachers was that they had a very deep commitment to their own daily practice before they started teaching and some even spent nearly 10 years of dedicated practice before they started to teach professionally outside .More that that they still continue to maintain a high degree of their own personal practice in spite of their hectic teaching schedule .Many of them have made 7-8 trips to Mysore and stayed in Mysore for 2-3 months during each trip  to practice under the  guidance of Sri.K.Pattabhi Jois and his grandson Sharath and they did this inspite of the fact that they were well established as Yoga teachers in their respective countries . It is not that these people were super rich or were earning a lot .They saved money to visit Mysore and went back again to earn to come back again next year . This definitely involved investing lot of time ,money and energy and sacrificing lot of personal comforts . Also one of the other important trait that I found in these senior Ashtanga teachers was that they get up early  in morning  around 3 a.m and finish their intensive Ashtanga practice for 2 hrs or so before they start giving their first Yoga class at 5.30 or 6 a.m . This really demonstrates a high degree of commitment to the Ashtanga Vinayasa Yoga system and this is what made me admire these Ashtanga teachers as well as the Ashtanga Vinayasa  Yoga system .Some of the senior Ashtanga Teachers who impressed me most were Sharath , David Williams , Nancy Gilgoff , Louise Ellis ,Danny Paradise , Hamish Hendry ,Govinda Kai and many more can be found in the book Guruji : A Portrait of Sri K.Pattabhi Jois through the eyes of his students by Guy Donahaye , Eddie Stern. I read this book only later but even before that I came to know of some of the senior Ashtanga Teachers through internet and was amazed by their personal commitment to the Ashtanga Vinayasa Yoga system and the book Guruji only amplified the same through many more examples of senior students who are currently keeping the flame of Ashtanga Vinayasa Yoga tradition alive . Except for Louise Ellis ( who was my first Ashtanga Yoga Teacher ) I have never met any of these other Ashtanga Teachers in real life and I do not know how they are in real life and  do not know how  far they carry on the principles of Yoga beyond the Yoga Mat /Yoga Class . Whatever  that may be I admire them for their dedication to their personal practice and for living the message of Sri K Pattabhi Joise that Yoga is 99% practice and 1% theory .  This is what impressed me most in them and this is what inspired me to take up Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga seriously and I hope that I too will live by  the same standards as set by these senior Ashtanga teachers .

5 comments:

  1. Yes I also found the book fascinating. Those episodes in yoga you videotaped, are the available anywhere?

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  2. Claudia

    I did not see any vidoes . All my information about senior Ashtanga Teachers was from the internet and rest from the book "Guruji" which is an excellent account of many teachers and I consider that book as a must reading for any serious Ashtanga practitioner .

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  3. Krishna, i actually meant something else, I read, I think in your about page, that you recorded yourself 72 episodes or tv shows in India about yoga, i was curious about those...

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  4. Hi Claudia

    Thanks for ur clarification .I misunderstood the whole thing . Well I made a 72 episode TV Program for a local TV Channel in India in 2001 as part of their morning breakfast TV show and at that time the channel was called Vijay TV but now called Star Vijay as it was merged with Star TV .The program was based on the Sivananda System of Yoga and they have the copy rights of the same and I cant use it for my own commercial purpose .However I made a copies of few episodes but they are in my Native Tamil language .

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