Featured Teacher: Arun
Our Singapore teacher Arun talks about how yoga has taken him beyond the practice of asanas.
Where are you originally from?
I am from New Delhi, India.
How long have you been teaching?
I've been teaching for 2 years in India, and over a year overseas.
Who was your first yoga teacher and what was he/she like?
My first real yoga teacher was Swami Mahadevananda from Kerala Shivananda Ashram. I found him deeply inspirational and surprisingly humourous.
How long have you been practising?
I've been practising for almost half a decade.
Originally, what attracted you to yoga?
I originally picked up yoga for fitness purposes. I was an active sportsman before, with the physical bulk of an athlete, and wanted to streamline my physique. After months of regular practice, I discovered a spiritual dimension in yoga that is calming, so unlike the competitive aggression of sports that I was used to.
What motivates you to practise today?
To me, continual practice is essential for my personal development and sense of fulfilment. I derive great satisfaction from being able to push my limits a little further each time. The insight I gain from my personal practice helps me to be a better teacher.
How would you describe your personal practice?
I try to include in my personal practice the 8 limbs of yoga, in particular Asanas, Pranayama & Dhyana (meditation). The teachings of my yoga teachers provide the foundation on which I further build and develop techniques suitable for myself as my practice evolves over time.
Before you became a yoga teacher, what did you do?
I was a student athlete and cricketer.
What do you love about teaching?
Teaching gives me the opportunity to connect with people from all walks of life, and perhaps help them enrich their lives through yoga.
What do you find challenging about teaching?
Regularly devising new and interesting challenges for the students; finding ways to communicate with students of varied background.
Describe your ideal class (as a teacher).
A class filled with happy vibes.
Describe a class that you would find challenging or difficult (as a teacher).
So far, I gladly have not come across any real difficulty in my classes.
Which teacher has had the biggest impact on your practice?
B.K.S. Iyengar - I found his teaching techniques very effective for a student to self-realise physical, mental & spiritual harmony.
What was your most embarrassing moment in the studio as a teacher or student?
None so far, I hope!
Where is the strangest place you have practised yoga?
At a New Delhi army camp - the ground was muddy and uneven.
Aside from yoga, what other hobbies or interests do you have (if any)?
Whenever I have the chance, I watch or play cricket, exercise in the gym and listen to music.
Describe your most profound yoga experience?
As a teacher, I was awed by my experience teaching 250 soldiers in the open and without a microphone.
As a student in Kerala - practising yoga with 200 others, all sharing energy and moving or chanting in sweet unison was moving.
If you weren't a yoga teacher, what would you be?
A successful businessman.