O.P. Tiwari (*1933 in North India) is one of the great living Pranayama masters of India. He is a direct disciple of Swami Kuvalayananda, the founder of Kaivalyadhama Lonavla Institute and Ashram. For many years he was the leader of this world-renowned institute, which links Yoga tradition and science. With great integrity, he has been teaching now for more than 50 years, following the classical approach by Patanjali. We are honoured to share his insights on the practice of Pranayama.
This is the first published article of a series of our interviews with Yoga masters in India.
I started practising Yoga about 3 years ago, and after exploring for a few months, I found Traditional Hatha Yoga at Atmavikasa in Mysore, India. My initial reaction to attending my first course was:
“The first few weeks were a complete mental battle. Everything I thought I knew about Yoga or myself was shattered leaving my mind in a broken mess of emotions (frustration, confusion, pain and self-doubt). I moved through the days being exhausted, with a body ache while also mentally preparing for the next class. We lined up outside the shala in silence and when we were inside, we waited for the next posture of pain that Acharya Venkatesh would make us hold for an eternity. “Enjoy the breath. It takes time”, he would say. Everything inside of me was screaming and my mind was running, if there was an asana for frowning, I would have mastered that.” Read more
According to the holy book, The Bhagavad Gita, Yoga is defined as ‘’the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” Most Yogis who have been practicing Yoga will realise that the experience lies in the journey of Yoga, although there is the ultimate destination – Samadhi. This journey keeps evolving over time and our practice and our needs change to adapt our own growth through Yoga. This was one of the pointers founder and director of AyurYoga Eco-Ashram, Sri Krishna Chaitanya highlights in an enlightening chat.Read more
The first feedback I received from Acharya Venkatesh was, “Your body will change, your face will change, your mind will change. The secret lies in the eyes, within”. And here I am! Three years later. Three years full of practice, study, and self-inquiry. Three life-enhancing winters with my teachers, every year leading me to find a deeper understanding and connection to myself. Uprooting and discharging the deep-rooted patterns, wounds and blind spots that kept me from peace, strength, and health.Read more
With ample choices of teacher training courses branded ‘Ashtanga TTC 200hrs’, it can be difficult for new practitioners to differentiate and navigate the world of yoga qualifications.
The home of Ashtanga Vinyasa is Mysore, India. The practice is often referred to as ‘Mysore style’ because of the way it is taught – as a self-practice (silent, yet guided by a teacher through adjustments and minimal verbal cues), or, with led ‘counted’ classes once a week, for the student to learn the vinyasa count, correct breathing and keep track of the pace. ‘Open level’ or ‘led classes’, which we find in most studios, gyms, and wellness centers around the world are a far cry from the authentic practice of Ashtanga yoga. However, they follow the same sequence and guidelines and make the practice accessible (and often easier) for beginners to follow.Read more
Every year Yogi’s from around the world flock to the Yoga capital of the world Rishikesh to celebrate one of the most popular and loved Yoga festivals in the world – The International Yoga Festival. This year is definitely a special year as it is the 30th Anniversary edition of this festival. Organized by Parmarth Niketan Ashram in association with the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, the festival will be held between 1st – 7th March 2019.Read more
People come to yoga with various intentions: some wish to improve health and wellbeing, some want to de-stress and find peace and harmony in life, and others have spiritual aspirations. Many people begin their connection with yoga by practising asana, perhaps also with some pranayama, relaxation and meditation techniques.