Featured Teacher: Mahendra
A sports lover by nature, Mahendra also fell in love with yoga - so much so that he pursued teaching in hopes of sharing all that he's learned with others. He has certainly come a long way from his days as an office executive, now a teacher of seven years who strives to achieve the essence of Karma yoga.
Where are you originally from?
I am from New Delhi.
How long have you been teaching?
I have been teaching for the last seven years.
Who was your first yoga teacher and what was he/she like?
Master Ravat my first yoga teacher but it was Master Rajneesh who unveiled the inner beauty of yoga. I sincerely respect all my masters.
How long have you been practising?
In some form or other I have been practising for the past eight years.
Originally, what attracted you to yoga?
Since my school days, I was a sport loving person but after graduation I somehow landed into the corporate world and realised after a few years that this is not the place I should be in. Fortunately in those days, one of my colleagues who was a yogi introduced me to yoga. First I took it as a practice and then I liked it so much, I decide to become a yoga teacher. I haven't looked back since.
What motivates you to practise today?
Desire to improve my personal practice and become more compassionate, caring and content - all this inspires me to practise.
How would you describe your personal practice?
Besides asana, pranayama and meditation, I try to practise Karma yoga which is: what you think is what you speak and what you speak is what you do. It would be great if that action becomes of service to others, but it's an ideal stage that is not easy to achieve.
Before you became a yoga teacher, what did you do?
I was an office executive
What do you love about teaching?
To pass on the learning that I have been receiving from my masters to other aspirants. What I learn from my own practice, observing them, to learn and grow with them gives me real happiness.
What do you find challenging about teaching?
Teaching some kind of advanced or power class does not challenge me, but teaching a very fresh person and being able to make him/her fall in love with yoga is a real challenge.
Describe your ideal class (as a teacher).
When I feel that I have passed on something to my fellow aspirants that helps them grow in their personal practice and make them happy…this is the ideal class for me.
Describe a class that you would find challenging or difficult (as a teacher)
I was shaking when I started teaching Gentle Flow because I never taught this kind of class before, but then I took that as a challenge and learned from it; now it's become the most enjoyable class for me to teach.
Which teacher has had the biggest impact on your practice?
In the beginning when I started learning yoga, it was Acharya Rajneesh (not Osho) who taught me the asanas and yoga philosophy without making them complicated. The other master is Geshe Michel Roach, whose simple but effective teaching of Karma yoga and Patanjali yoga sutra inspires me a lot.
What was your most embarrassing moment in the studio as a teacher or student?
So far I don't have any.
Where is the strangest place you have practised yoga?
Shavasana in a swimming pool (I am not a good swimmer at all)
Besides yoga, what other hobbies or interests do you have (if any)?
I enjoy hiking in the mountains, jungle safaris and photography.
Describe your most profound yoga experience?
Being in the presence of Geshe Michael Roach who moved my life by his teaching of Karma yoga and Patanjali yoga sutra, which helped me to go deeper into my yoga practice.
If you weren't a yoga teacher, what would you be?
I would be some kind of athlete.