Whats your story/background?
Yoga has been an accident mostly. Friend of mine (laughs) came to the bar I worked in at that time and invited me to his yoga class so I could meet some girls…he was the only guy in that yoga class. This was in about 1995. I had an unexpectedly special spiritual experience. Back then I was quite a spiritual person, but besides some tai chi, I had no real spiritual practice. That was my first guided meditation and opened a lot of doors. Chocolate covered almonds gave me the final push…(Laughing out loud)…I’m actual supposed to do my taxes right now…oh where were we?
How would you describe yourself?
I’m a free spirit. That means I’m comfortable with the unconventional but willing to emerge myself in new things.
How would your friends/students describe you?
(Laughing again) I think each student would describe me very differently because I reveal very different things to different students.
My friends would describe me as a very content, loving and available person.
Any big passion besides yoga?
It’s by now kind of all yoga to me…my writing tends to be yogic, the music I play is pretty yogic and most of the adventures are yogic. And even the things that bring me out of my yogic practice, my difficulties inspire me to look for yogic solutions.
What is your favorite yoga pose?
Siddhasana – crossed legged position as it’s the easiest for me to meditate in. This is the pose I have the most balance in. All the other poses make this pose work. Inversions tho come in at a very close second 🙂
Which one do you keep avoiding?
Parsvakonasana – extended side angle, on the left side. Because it points out a structural deformity in my body.
Words of wisdom?
Eat more kale. Hahaha
Love yourself, forgive yourself, it’s the fastest way to love and forgive other people.
Who was/is your most influential teacher and why?
Gabriel Halpern. He was the first yoga teacher who let me see his human side. And he was the first one that was very honest about his life experiences. Whereas I felt that a lot of other yoga teachers were hiding their flaws. For him again exactly those were his teaching tools and that was a much more functional way of learning from someone for me. He also was the first guy that asked me how he could help me personally, taking himself off this pedestal that a lot of american teachers put themselves on.
Whats your biggest vice you want to get rid of?
The variability of my mind. My mood state still fluctuates after all this years and I love to leave this roller coaster behind.
Whats your biggest vice you want to keep?
I hope I stay addicted to yoga.
Whats your speciality in yoga?
Diversity. I have a lot of specific knowledge in some specific fields. I feel very confident about anatomy and structural work but also have a strong background in philosophy and asana and like to combine these fields.
Whats your favorite place in this world?
Right now I’m in a pretty damn good place. (laughs) But generally the meditative state is my favorite place…I have yet not found good airline that takes me there.
When it comes to a no bullshit approach towards yoga, what has been your biggest learning?
Be honest with here you are at and with yourself in any given moment. Emotionally, mentally, physically.
What is your favorite song?
Right now…a mashup of “Almost heaven” and “Purple rain”.
What would you want to give people starting with yoga on their way?
Do what is manageable. Start with something you know you can do every day. 5 minutes every day is much better than 1 hour once a month. One class a week is better than no classes.