The testimonials below are from students who have completed our Heart of Yoga Course.
Heart of Yoga: Student Testimonials
I have done a 200 hour Yoga teacher training in classical Yoga but wanted to learn more about Ashtanga. Ever since taking my first Mysore class with David I knew that I had found a very special and incredibly gifted teacher, from whom I wanted to learn as much as possible.
The Heart of Yoga course was an incredible source of information for me in so many ways. Having both Paula and David’s never-ending philosophical knowledge as guidance along with us while reading both the Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita (and many fascinating discussions about them!) as well as David’s deep anatomical understanding and knowledge throughout the posture practice have helped me so much not only for my own daily practice but also to overcome obstacles I thought I had – in my body (plenty of old injuries) as well as in my mind (being a super busy mom with kids of all ages including a special needs foster child).
Developing and really deepening my understanding of my practice has actually changed my life and it wouldn’t have been without the Heart of Yoga course.
Besides, it was so wonderful to have a supportive community of likeminded people searching and learning together, lasting friendships formed and beautiful memories made. I really look forward to the second year and can wholeheartedly recommend the Heart of Yoga course to anyone (regardless of wether they want to become a teacher or just practice for themselves) who is interested to dive deeper into a yogic lifestyle, no better teachers to guide you along the way!
I have one big regret about the Heart of Yoga course…that I didn’t do it years ago! Years during which I dipped in and out (mostly out, unfortunately) of asana (physical) yoga classes, lamenting my short hamstrings and not appreciating the bigger picture of this wonderful, wonderful practice. Not that I’m claiming that the Heart of Yoga course with David and Paula miraculously lengthened my hamstrings (although the more consistent practice that it inspired certainly has helped), but it opened up the other 7 limbs of Ashtanga and the incredible benefits of the entire system. The weekends comprised a mix of exploration of the asana practice and relevant anatomy; great discussions on the philosophy within some of the key yoga texts; practical instruction on different meditation techniques; guided relaxations and much, much more. They just flew by too quickly! Another wonderful aspect of the course was my fellow participants – what a lovely diverse, interesting group of yogis with whom to share the journey! I have learned so much on the course…about yoga, about my own mind, about paths to increase my overall happiness and well-being. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. If you do only one thing next year to increase your quality of life and that of those around you, please take the opportunity to participate in Heart of Yoga. I loved it.
On reflection, I was mistaken when I mentioned above that I had one regret about the Heart of Yoga course; in fact, I have a second….the fact that the course lasts only one year. However, my journey continues…!
I’ve just finished the 2016 Heart of Yoga year with David and Paula. It was a fantastic experience and one I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone interested in getting a bit deeper into their yoga practice.
We had a brilliant group of people, across the entire range of asana practice, and one of the best things about the year was getting to know everyone and making some new friends, over much needed breakfast and lunch breaks!
The discussion of yoga philosophy, particularly the Gita and the Yoga Sutras great and not at all ‘heavy’. Indeed another favourite part for me was the long deliberations and debates that we would have in the Shala about all the different things it means to be a Yogi.
Pranayama (breathing) techniques, opened up a whole other field of practice for us all and took us beyond simple the physical asanas which really felt like the next step for me. All in all it was a great year, that went all too quickly, and it has laid the foundation for me to go on to year two teacher training.
Again, I really would recommend Heart of Yoga, and don’t feel that you have to be at a certain level of asana practice, the year is about so much more than that.
I asked David for advice as to what I could do to dive deeper into the field of yoga, saying that I wanted the whole package: not only anatomy stuff or a mere focus on asanas but also pranayama and yoga philosophy, and at the same time not too much of “spirituality”.
As soon as David suggested I try the Heart of Yoga course I immediately knew that was just the right thing to do. It was a bit of a challenge to organize the travels from Germany, make myself free for 8 weekends, tackle the financial means, but in the end it was just meant to be and I ended up flying to Dublin once a month. I can say the effort was all worth it, or better said: at the end of the day it didn’t even feel like a big commitment as I got back so much more out of it than I put into it. It was by far more than I expected (which shows that I am still at the very beginning as I still had expectations to the outcome;-) )We covered all different aspects of yoga, certainly also including asana techniques. Though, what was even more important was the fact, that with their profound knowledge and deep experiences David and Paula even made the Yoga Sutras and Bhagavad Gita accessible to us. We received so many comprehensible and down-to earth recommendations how to apply the principles of Yoga into our everyday lives. So, everyone who wants to take the journey to live a more peaceful and content life with the help of yoga shouldn’t miss this great opportunity, and as a nice side-effect it is health-boost for the body as well.
Last but not least, to practice in David and Paula’s Shala with this special energy and being surrounded by other yogis was just a blessing by itself.
The course significantly deepened my understanding of the philosophy of yoga. Gave me a great chance to bounce some of my ideas and questions about yoga off someone!
Gave me a structure throughout the year to my practice and the motivation to practice more. Really got me hooked on the meditation side of things and deepened every aspect of yoga that I’m familiar with – asana, philosophy, meditation, pranayama, yoga nidra, chanting etc.
I really miss not having the weekend coming up in so many ways! I think it would be great if the heart of yoga was an ongoing thing!
It is strange in a way because it is a yoga intensive for one year – and then the intensive stops – and it’s just up to you. I still do everything I was doing last year – I read as much, I try to sit, I practice (but never enough), I try to stay in the present (but never enough) etc etc
But there isn’t the intensive weekend coming up anymore to keep it going. This is the hardest part of having finished the course. I love the insight we got into the Sutras. That was really invaluable.
I love the insight that I got into the Gita. It feels less impenetrable now. I went on to read “Living the Bhagavad Gita” by Ram Dass … I would’ve love to have discussed this book in the class! It’s about taking the Gita and applying it to regular situations in every day life.
The only things that it didn’t do for me were things that I didn’t do for myself. It was a great framework and support structure for getting thru a year of yoga. But you can’t come out to our house and make us practice or meditate or breathe!
As I mentioned in my Heart of Yoga application I had noticed that practicing Ashtanga had had a positive effect on my frame of mind from the start. I was feeling a lot calmer and more patient in general after practice and the more I practiced the better I felt. This was aside from the obvious physical benefits.
I made the observation of the effect it had on my mind before I realised that that is a known effect of the practice, and the main reason a lot of people around the world practice yoga in the first place. I had started practicing purely looking for the physical benefits.
When I saw the outline for the Heart of Yoga course it sounded like it would explain a bit further what potential the yoga practice could have in my life.
After having completed the course, some of it still remains a mystery but it has made me realise that actively practicing yoga in my daily life, both through the physical practice and by applying the yoga philosophy, has a profoundly positive effect on me and my relationship to other people.
It was especially the first couple of months of the course that were particularly enlightening to me, particularly realising that yoga is a mindset rather than just a physical practice. The discussions around non-attachment, selfless actions and the other more philosophical aspects were very interesting. This teamed with the fact that a lot of these psychological aspects will arise naturally through the physical practice.
On a more basic level it was also interesting to observe that through practicing more regularly, I naturally started to want to eat and drink and live more healthily. So introducing a more healthy diet was easy as it became what I wanted rather than a restriction.
As I became pregnant during the course of the year, another dimension was added. I had just started feeling great progress in the physical practice and it was at first a little disappointing to be stopped in my tracks, having to reduce and adjust the poses. But I soon realised what a great friend the yoga was in a time when my body was changing. It really gave me the opportunity to practice non-attachment and be in the moment. I have no doubt that practicing yoga up until the birth of my baby helped in having a healthy and active pregnancy, short labour and quick recovery, as well as a healthy baby!
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