It’s difficult to pinpoint where my true yoga journey began, but to choose an arbitrary place to begin describing my yoga experiences; I am a 44 year old Canadian who has been practicing asana based yoga for 21 years and teaching for 20 years.

My present yoga teaching mirrors my practice of the traditional Ashtanga method. I teach the Mysore style method, because my own experience is that this is what really works. Long term Mysore style practice is the only way to truly experience the unfolding of this method in the body, mind and nervous system in a sustainable and fully integrated way. I do also enjoy verbally teaching the subtleties of the practice in guided classes and workshops and I do offer these types of classes and courses which are intended to supplement a long term Mysore style practice.

My approach is one that emphasizes alignment, meditative focus and self-exploration via the Ashtanga sequences. Because the Ashtanga system is so powerful, I tend to move students through it slowly and in a stable way. I teach a very grounded practice which can be fully integrated into one’s being and life in a sustainable way. For me, yoga is about using the body and breath as a tool to access and transform deeper layers of the self. This can only be done when one truly engages deeply and fully with each posture and movement.

I am also a long-term meditator in the Vipassana technique. I have sat over 20 meditation retreats and annually sit a longer retreat of 30-60 days. Although I don’t give formal meditation instruction in my yoga courses, the deeper process of penetration into the nature of reality via self-observation encompasses everything I do in life, including the practice and teaching of yoga asana and breathing. For me, yoga is just another tool in this process. Yoga is about truly and honestly encountering oneself with the intention of self-understanding and self-evolution.

About Ashtanga Yoga as I Practice and Teach It

The Sanskrit term Ashtanga means eight (ashto) limbs (anga) and is claimed to have been codified by the ancient sage Patanjali around 2,500 years ago in the classic text, The Yoga Sutras. Here, Patanjali outlined the eight limbs of yogic practice: Yama (ethical principles), Niyama (spiritual attitudes), Asana (postures), Pranayama (breath expansion and harnessing), Pratyahara (inward gazing), Dharana (concentration), Dhyana (meditation) and Samadhi (meditative absorption). Each of these practices, when used as tools to encounter and develop relationship with one’s own accumulated patterns of reactive habits, can be a great aid on the path to inner freedom.

Ashtanga Yoga, as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India for 70 years, is an asana-based practice that coordinates deep breathing with flowing movements into and out of bodily postures in a particular sequence. When body, breath and mind are all aligned correctly in these movements, bandha (a dynamic balance of opposing forces) and meditative focus are experienced, and a very deep internal transformation occurs. There are six sequences or series in the Ashtanga system which gradually take one on a progressive journey of restructuring of the body, nervous system and mind.

With long term practice, strength and flexibility are developed and internal blockages, which contribute to chronic physical and mental tensions, are gradually removed. One becomes more centered, aligned and balanced at all levels of being and one’s relationship with oneself and the world becomes much deeper, authentic and functional.

I teach the sequences of Ashtanga in accordance with the standard being taught by Sharath Jois in Mysore, India. I am dedicated to the traditional system, but also careful to place the well being of the individual above the physical dogma and ideology of the system. I have years of experience in working with practitioners who have various types of injuries, health conditions, or start the practice later in life and I make this practice accessible to people of all ages and states of health.

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