In 2007 I saw a poster of the 908 asanas in the first American-Croatian Yoga School in Zagreb, Croatia. I was so impressed with the many asanas and was left wondering who was that master yogi. Reading about him on the internet, I was surprised by his humility and simplicity, and connected to his words about devotion and service. In 2010, I finally decided to go to New York to continue my yoga education with him. I was especially attracted by the fact that he was always accompanied by the Hare Krishna maha mantra, as I was already practicing bhakti yoga to some extent.
At that time I was going through some changes on my yoga path and when I came to see him for the first time, I just started to cry. After hearing a just few words from Dharma Mittra about direct intention and dedication (devotion) to God, I felt that he is the right yoga teacher for me.
I try to see Dharma Mittra at least once a year. Every year there is something different in his teachings and a new inspiration, but one thing always remains the same: his devotion and knowledge.
Dharma yoga practice nurtures the traditional values of yoga, with a great sense of adaptation to the modern age from Dharma Mittra himself. What distinguishes Dharma yoga from many modern practices is its meaning – yoga and devotion as a way of self-perception of what yoga is and the guru-paramara teacher’s legacy.
I’ve been practicing yoga for almost 20 years now, I can say that much has changed. The modern era took the toll, increased the quantity but reduced the quality.
In my humble opinion, every student of yoga should spend 5-7 years learning and serving with one yoga teacher (if possible) and one yoga system before considering becoming a serious yoga teacher.
Too many students leave their teachers too soon and the result is usually disappointing for both the student and the teacher. It is a real pleasure to see a dedicated student advancing steadily over the years with the same teacher.
In short, the main lessons I’ve learned from studying with Sri Dharma Mittra are:
- Loyalty to your spiritual master always pays off.
- Dedication to a life-long practice is the only motivation that works.
- Training dedicated students is really hard! 🙂
I already shared a yoga studio with another teacher two years prior to meeting Sri Dharma and after choosing his practice, it was only natural for me to continue teaching it in my own studio, which I opened this year. In this way I am able to teach it undisturbed by other ideas and methods.
When I went to the LOAY 500 hour teacher training, I decided to change my yoga practice, which was the Ashtanga and Vinyasa systems at the time. I was aware that starting Dharma Yoga in Croatia would be a long shot, so I’ve put a lot of effort into the promotion of it. In the beginning, I was doing it alone, but the subsequent support of my students was crucial in my efforts. It took about 8 years to create a dedicated and loyal group of Dharma Yoga students. Here in Zagreb where I teach, I have about a dozen students/teachers who actively and with serious dedication practice and promote Dharma Yoga. Generally people in Croatia are immediately attracted to Dharma yoga and Dharma Mittra as a teacher.
This post was written by Sandra P. Pintaric
Dharma Yoga LOAY 500 and 800 hour certified | Croatia