Really enjoyed talking to one of my great yoga teachers along the way, Zahir Akram. We explore some ideas in his new book, “Yoga, Meditation or Madness”, the path to self-realisation, teaching teachers and how to approach doing yoga if you have back pain.
Zahir Akram is an author, yoga teacher and owner of Akram Yoga studio in Surrey, UK.
00:55 Yoga isn’t the only way to achieve calmness
03:12 Starting points on the physical journey; cricket, Muay Thai
04:45 The transition into yoga
07:45 The non-sense of the yoga world; “yoga is good for people with back pain.”
09:18 What modified yoga is, and why it is more appropriate
11:10 Working with a therapist to discover what modifications are necessary
13:20 When your system becomes your dogma
15:50 Benefits of hot yoga for athletic populations
19:25 Mental strategies for newcomers to get the most out of their practice
22:00 Why so serious?
24:10 How are you going to teach the science of self-realisation if you are trying to be someone else?
26:00 The irony of winning the ‘Best Yoga Teacher’ award and how teaching is the direct expression of your own personality
28:35 The history of arm balancing within asana practices and the evolution of yoga
Breath of the Gods documentary (https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/bre…)
34:50 Beginning the inversion journey – where do you start; headstand, crow, handstand?
36:20 “Yoga; madness or meditation?” ( https://www.akramyoga.co.uk/single-po… ) – inspirations for starting the book and the writing process and why it’s not your typical yoga book.
42:20 The importance of critical thinking within the frameworks of other cultures
45:02 Letting students discover things for themselves by sharing with them how you discovered things for yourself
46:50 The difference between yoga and jiujitsu and the relationship between pressure and achievement
49:47 Why Zahir doesn’t meditate (in the modern sense of the word) and how we discover what our meditations are in periods of reflection
55:30 How the modern yoga industry has catalysed the rise of charlatans
59:10 Advice to new teachers; it’s easier to change lives when you’re being yourself
1:00:21 Teaching the art of teaching, simplifying cues, removing the useless.
1:02:30 Why people come to learn to be yoga teachers, and why people come to practice
01:07:00 Converting an old bank into an environment that provides an escape
Instagram ( @akram_yoga )
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