It was the afternoon – I was in my early 20’s and living in NYC. I was walking at the southwest corner of 6th Avenue and 14th Street when I looked up and saw a glowing neon sign a few floors up that said “Yoga Center.” I went upstairs out of curiosity. A young Dharma opened the door and invited me in. The red carpet was perfect and so clean you could eat off of it. He asked me to take my shoes off, but keep my socks on (to keep the carpet clean). He showed me the center and then invited me to come back for a class later that day. Intro classes were $3 at the time.
Dharma Mittra has always walked the talk since the beginning and in that way he has not changed. He is really one of the only ones out there who is a true expression of yoga, of the utmost compassion and service to the yamas and niyamas.
Sri Dharma has been my only teacher. I believe I carry the kernel of his lineage, but I practice in a very different way from him. It is still the same teaching. I feel it is a little like the meditation master, Nisargadatta Maharaj, whose teacher was a very strict follower of a traditional Advaita lineage, and white Nisargadatta had a very different practice and expression of the teaching, the root of the teaching was the same, and his teacher recognized it.
Sri Dharma is yoga. He practices the real yoga – no fancy name or his own take. His humility is unparalleled. I’ve seen no other yoga teacher with that. He is a servant of yoga – extremely rare. He is an unparalleled expression of “Yoga citta vritti nirodha.” There is no one like him. He is Hanuman, and serves everyone. Almost no other teachers even come close. I haven’t come across any.
Now yoga is massively popular and is associated with exercise. It is a massive commercial enterprise. It’s good in that it exposes many people to it, but it is easy for the deeper parts to get lost.
Dharma Mittra was doing it when very few people were interested, out of the deepest sincerity, honoring his guru and the teaching. He was never in it for the money or the ego. He is unchanged in that way and has stood the test of time.
Dharma is simplicity, generosity, and authenticity – his being himself. He is a yantra for all of these for me. When I think of him, I am reminded of all these important qualities. I am really not interested in any other yoga teachers. Even yogis in India don’t compare.
It was a gift that I was led to Dharma and it has been an honor to be associated with Dharma, Eva, and the Center. May the teaching continue to grow and prosper and may all beings be happy!
This post was written by Jeff “KD” Meyers MD, L.Ac.
Medical Doctor Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation/Licensed Acupuncturist