They say that a sign of a great teacher is someone who doesn’t just give you the answers but they can point the way and allow students to make up their own minds and have their own mistakes and successes. For me that teacher is Dharma Mittra.
I first discovered Dharma’s yoga in 2006. I am not currently living in New York, but when I do come to town, I always stop by to reconnect to the source. I have now participated in Dharma’s 200, 500 & 800 hour teacher training courses. Each of these courses have had a tremendous impact on me as a yoga teacher and as a student of Yoga.
Dharma’s school offers a teacher training called “A Life of a Yogi” Teacher Training. The First training I had with Dharma the expectation of learning more about yoga postures. Now have been through all 800 hours with Dharma I realize what I got was an experience of being a Yogi, hence its moniker. We are to follow in the footsteps of his teachings and it is very enriching and transformational for me.
It has had a tremendous impact on how I navigate this modern and changing world, how I interact as a teacher, as a student and as a human. I have invested time to understand the historical origins of yoga, from the Yogasūtras and the Bhagavad Gītā, and how to best represent authentic and traditional teachings from Haṭha Yoga and the Yogic Philosophies. While at the same time trying to understand the western view behind the science.
Both the traditional view and a western modern view have a valid system each in their own right offering benefits. The “western” benefits can be measured and peer reviewed. The esoteric traditions are subjectively valid. Having a source for both, for me is essential. Dharma Mittra represent that authentic traditional perspective. A true living yogi, and a personal model.
Dharma is quoted to say spending time in the postures reveals their secrets. In The class room experience we get just a taste of Dharma’s teachings. The teacher trainings took yoga to a whole new level.
I struggled in the beginning with being caught up in the idea of wanting the exact answers, my ego wanted to have a “right way” of doing it. Instead we were giving the same guidelines Dharma was given. I tried my best to live under those guidelines to be able to experience the “life of a Yogi”.
Often Dharma begins class by saying “offer up your practice to something beyond yourself, it makes the practice stronger”. I put that practice in action, with each training we took on a personal tapas (austerities), a daily practice fro extended periods of yoga āsana practice and fasting, with self study if the Yamas and Niyamas. Though the whole time reminding myself at time to do it for more than just me, in service with no concern about results. As that experience unfolded, I shed away unwanted pounds, I was also letting go of the stuck version of myself and moving beyond. Things started happening in my personal practice and my teaching feels more genuine and authentic. I probably have made some mistakes along the way, but I have also had many successes that caused a paradigm shift on my view of the world and myself. Dharma certainly pointed the way to which
I am forever grateful and am so happy to be a part of the wider Dharma Yoga community, and am honored to offer Dharma Yoga classes publicly or private online classes. You can contact me directly to book a class.