I remember traveling to New York to the Dharma Yoga center in January 2015 for the New Years immersion. We had a whole crew from Baltimore and Dharma-ji kept helping each of us in the poses. I remember laughing at all of his jokes and writing down everything he said. However, the most important lessons [...]
When we did a forearm stand during our first sun salutation, I knew I wasn’t in Michigan anymore.
At one of our camp retreats, as we were sitting for lunch, Sri Dharma said "Why is everyone sitting around me? You can go to the tables and out in the grass to eat." No one moved. With a twinkle in his eye, he then said: "I know, you're sucking up my energy." We all laughed.
I think I'll tell him my name is Cinderella. That's what I tell a lot of people who forget my name. And my mind continued to wander. All of a sudden Dharma said, "Did you see the movie Cinderella?" He looked right at me.
Dharma Mittra was doing yoga 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 Yoga is is a heart-centered lineage that aims to fully exercise the eight limbs of yoga through every aspect of the practice, and to cultivate a deep reverence towards God, and boundless love and respect for all beings.
Dharma I know does inspire us to be better Yogis through being the most perfect example of a Yogi I’ve ever been so lucky to witness. And yet, Dharma also inspires us as a powerful example of how to be a regular human. I would never have known how important this is had I only seen the endless stream of perfect Yoga quotes and YouTube lectures.
The next day Sri Dharma chanted the Dedication song in his master class. It was the first time I had seen him teach the Dedication song in his asana class. Brittanie told me with surprise that she had never seen him teaching the mantra in a class either. I have been practicing with him for years since then but that was the only time I saw him teach Twameva in his class.
Dharma's simplicity, and authenticity. His being himself. His generosity. 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. I found Dharma in my early 20s and no one else has made much of an impression since. Even yogis in India don't compare.
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 [...]