I studied under Yogacharya Bharath Shetty, two time winner of the Himalaya Yoga Olympiad (Indian National Yoga Championship). Yoga India International Teaching Center in Mysore, India is recognized by yoga.info as one of the top 20 yoga teacher training centers in the world. Below, I am receiving instruction from my Yogacharya. I studied for one year at the center.
There were three people in my teacher training class, but I was the only one who graduated. My Yogacharya demanded the best, and he was strict. This is how he showed his love to students. Yoga prepares us for challenges. Who knows what you will face in the future? It is better to be strong.
The relationship between a dedicated teacher and dedicated student is beautiful and pure. It is unlike any other relationship I have ever known.
Bharath Shetty today. Courtesy of http://indeayoga.com.
This is my certificate. I was the fifth graduate from the center. Initially, we practiced in a small, moldy tenement. Yogacharya slept on the floor and had a small cooker to make his food. I remember early mornings seeing him on his hands and knees sweeping up the paint and plaster that was constantly flaking off the walls and ceiling. Since then, his school and his reputation have expanded. The center currently has graduates from over 60 countries.
Yogacharya stressed being pure in what you do. Don’t be concerned with the beauty of your yogashala (studio) or number of students, but instead focus on quality of practice. “One good student,” he would say, “is better than having a hundred that are not dedicated.”
I was interviewed by Business Today (an Indian magazine) in 2005. That’s me next to my Yogacharya. It took me years to understand the depth of yoga practice. I am still learning.
There are many yoga training centers in Mysore, and I met students of all stripes. Some had just ended a bad relationship and wanted a fresh start. Others were trying to break bad habits or free themselves from the painful trammels of the past. A few wanted to explore higher states of consciousness. The path of yoga attracts sadhaka (seekers) from all over the world, some of whom, like me, couldn’t honestly articulate what had spurred them to delve into the practice.
I teach Classical Hatha yoga. This style of yoga involves robust postures and attention to every detail of an asana, coupled with deep breathing. A rigorous, regular practice helps still the mind and allows prana (life force) to flow unimpeded through the system.
My style also includes Mysore Self-study which constitutes a routine tailored for each student. Not only does this style establish concrete goals for the student, it also encourages a home practice. It is in home practice where the greatest discoveries will be made. Above is an example of a tailored practice for one of my students.
Progress is steady but incremental and safe. Many of my students had never studied yoga until they came to my class. I’m honored to introduce new people to Classical Hatha yoga.