I am not a selfie maniac. I don’t take picture each time I am following a workshop with one of my favorite teachers.
I have met a lot of Yoga Teachers and learned from all of them.
My first Yoga Teacher was Gérard Arnaud and since then I have been travelling in different places to attend workshops.
Last year I was in Ubud and David Swenson was in Sweden for one week. I decided to go to Sweden only for him. So when the first day of the workshop he was asking us, why are you here? I told him “I am here just for you, I have read your book, I want to practice with you”. Then I travelled back to Ubud.
Taking the decision to go deeper into your practice is a commitment and also an investment, workshops are not free, teachers are not working for free so you need to do whatever it takes to pursue your goal. I have been blessed enough by being able to live from my passion which is Yoga. If I want to keep my true nature and being able to teach back to students then I need to continue to train myself and to practice wether it is alone or with others teachers that I am following.
If I had to choose between buying a car, a fancy last Iphone or a brand new TV and the opportunity to practice with one of the great Ashtangi then I would rather go for the practice with the Ashtangi.
As Yoga Teacher we need to “feed others as well to be fed”.
You can not give back your knowledge if you are not receiving it from someone. It is good to be inspired all the time, it is not a waste but it is improving you as a human been and enhancing your practice as well.
Gérard Arnaud was my first Yoga teacher with who I really wanted to started a teacher training course. One day we had a discussion about the importance of knowing the Sanskrit names of asanas. He replied “If you want to teach worldwide it will save your teaching, everybody will understand you”. I remembered I went back to my room, opened the book and start writing all asanas names. It took me at least one year to be able teaching a class with all sanskrit names.
Practicing under the guidance of B.N.S. Iyengar was like touching the history of Yoga. His shala is located slightly outskirt of fancy place in Mysore. B.N.S. Iyengar is very humble and still continue to teach. That is when I really start to commit to Ashtanga Yoga that I understood what was the parampara and the lineage of Ashtanga Yoga. B.N.S. is a former student of Sri Krishnamacharya and have studied with B.K.S. Iyengar and Sri Pattabhis Jois.
Ramesh Shetty is the first teacher who taught me to practice without any variation. At first I thought my body will be broken after the first class but finally after a week of practice I passed Parshvakonasana without any variation and adjustment. Ramesh I a great teacher and worked with B.N.S. Iyengar. He is having strong adjustments but he is a highly qualified teacher and practitioner.
I attended a full month practice with John Scott. With him I learned the Vinyasa counting, we were practicing the full vinyasa sequence with all couts. It is from that moment that I understood what was Vinyasa and what the sanskrit counting meant. I then understood as well that before I was not practicing correctly. I did progress a lot during the month but I went too fast with asanas, sometimes I was practicing some of them while my body was not really prepare of it.
My first time at the main shala was with Sarawasthi. As I was living in Mysore I was able to attend her classes for six months. The very first led class was happening in the main shala. I have put my mat right below the picture of Sri Pattabhi Jois. When Sarawasthi opened the class with the opening mantra I could not sing. I was crying, the emotion was really palpable. That was my first practice in the main shala and not the last.
After studying with his mother it was perfectly natural to study with Sharat. I have been accepted only one time, registration system is really hard if you want to attend Sharat Class when he is opening the season. I then practice with him for three months. With Sharat I learned patience as he first stopped my practice at Marichyasana D for a week. Then I was granted to Supta Kurmasana, where I stayed for a total of height months before moving forward into the Primary Series.
I met Iain Grysak while lining up for Sharat Conference in Mysore. I was following his work for the last two years and was really excited when I met him. He was doing an immersion in Ubud and then I applied for it. Happily I found in Iain the teacher I was looking for. Each year I am organising my agenda in order to be able to practice with him in Ubud. With Iain I started applying the Yama and the Niyamas into my practice after being stuck in Supta Kurmasana for a long time.
When I was in Ubud I learned that David Swenson was leading a week intensive in Sweden. I did not really think and took the decision to attend it. I then flew from Indonesia to Europe while the temperature was dropping down. Of course I felt sick and on the top of it I realised that David Swenson won’t be teaching any Mysore Class…. therefore I attended Laruga Glaser and David Frederikson mysore classes before joining the classe with David Swenson.
I registered height months ahead for the special immersion with Mark Robberds. And while in Sweden after being sick with the flu I torn my sitbones ligaments. Therefore I could not really enjoy the full immersion as I was limited in my movements. Could not do any forward fold from standing and sitting. Mark guided me toward natural healing using balls massage and other exercices but my frustration was reaching a cap where I was almost crying after each practice.
One of the advantage of living in Mysore (and probably the only one) was the huge opportunity of practicing with the best Ashtangis from all over the world. I don’t know the full name of “Ken the Rolfer” but he is well-known in the yoga community. When I saw he was organising a three weeks workshops of rolfing and ashtanga I did not think twice. The class was amazing, I learned a lot and I do highly recommend anyone who is crossing his path to learn and practice with Ken.
Steven Hyland was the nicest surprise I ever had. His shala is located in Pattaya, Thailand, a city not well-known for Yoga. However I do not regret my full month with him. He is a very humble practitioner and teacher, his adjustments were amazing and he is willing to share all of his knowledge without a flinch. During one of the Mysore class while doing Kukutasana I felt on my forehead which guided me right to the emergency after opening my eye brow. Instead of slowing down I was fighting with my ego, that was one of the good lesson I learned.
As we were conducting a course in Canggu I noticed that people were practicing Mysore class. I then met the teacher Damien de Bastier and decided to attend his classes for the all month. Damien is very funny and straight forward. I really enjoyed my practices with him. He is located in Canggu at Samadi Bali. He is one great teacher and during the class it happened that my “mat buddy” was Mark Robberds or Deepitha Mehta who were coming for their own practice.
Andréa Drottholm is the Damien de Bastier wife. Having a feminine energy while practicing was very good to me. People complain that Yoga is only for women, however in the Ashtanga yoga world there are a lot of men practicing and mainly teacher are also men. Therefore practicing under her guidance was something new to me. She had given the best adjustment I never had during Marichyasana D in which I felt my spine twisted like never before. Highly recommended!