Like so many people, I came to yoga for health reasons.
I was born in Guyana into a traditional Hindu family. We used to start each day with offerings and prayers, but we didn’t know anything about “hatha yoga”…; We lived a simple life, with no radio, no T.V., no telephone, no toys…; in short with no mentally disruptive distractions. Yet this simple life gave us many opportunities to develop our skills and creativity. We ate non refined, freshly-cooked food – and we ate in moderation. Later on, when I started to work for private companies as a land-surveyor in the Bahamas, social obligations and working conditions took me away from my country and our traditions.
Like any young man coming from a poor country, I was attracted and fascinated by the seductive western way of life. I rationalized that to be so successful, and to have so much money and power these people must know what they are doing: “If they do it, it must be good!”. That is how I started the western diet. My body soon reacted violently, especially my lungs. They gave me more and more antibiotics, but they couldn’t help. My wife, who was a nurse at a naturopathic hospital, kept trying to give me natural remedies, but I kept refusing: How could she know better than these medical doctors who had studied for so long?
Because of my health problems I was constantly on medication. Sickness and medication, especially repeated use of antibiotics, drained all my energy. I used to pray for the day to finish. The doctor was reluctant to prescribe any more penicillin injections, but gave me a whole box of antibiotics tablets saying: “Take as many as you want!”
One weekend, I was feeling terribly sick and had to go to work on the Monday. That is when I decided to give in to my wife’s advice and started to take the natural means that she was proposing, like enemas, fasting, herbal teas, and hot and cold compresses. By Monday my symptoms had disappeared and I could go to work. A few weeks later I went back to the medical doctor to tell him that from then on I would not need him anymore. When I told him about the natural remedies that had helped me to regain my health, he had a good laugh. He was sure that it would not be long before he would see me again. That was thirty-seven years ago. Since then I haven’t even take an aspirin!
My wife had also given me a small book called “Yoga and Health” by Yesuddian. This was the beginning of my great adventure along the path of yoga! Very soon after I started to practice, my body regained its strength and was regenerated. It entered all kinds of postures that were not in the book. I thought I was inventing them, but later on I discovered they were very classical. This went on for a few years.
Then, having tasted and tested the limitations of this world of money and power, at the age of thirty, I renounced my well-paid job and retired from worldly life to enter the ashram of Swami Vishnudevananda with my family. This was in 1975. My wife gave me her full support. In fact she is the one who inspired me on this path. At that time we already had our four children. The youngest was two years old.
We stayed at the Sivananda Organisation for seven years, living on my savings. There I immersed myself in sadhana. This was a time when I used to do postures and pranayama for five hours a day, starting and ending each day with meditation. I also practiced Nada Yoga, studied the Scriptures, and like everyone in the ashram, I dedicated part of my day to seva, or selfless service to the Guru and the ashram’s community.
After these seven years of intense sadhana, for the sake of our children’s schooling, and also to test the validity of yogic principles outside the protected area of an ashram, we decided to settle in Florida where I started to teach Sampoorna Yoga™.
Sampoorna Yoga™ is the fruit of my many years of experience as a seeker and as a teacher, in the field of Karma, Ashtanga, Jnana, Bhakti, Nada and Hatha yoga . Following the recommendations of Swami Sivananda , I have integrated into my life and my practice all these different tools, which were given to us by the ancient Rishis.
Today’s trend is to fragmentation, getting lost in one detail and losing sight of the whole. When applied to yoga, this tendency is a great waste. My teachings of Sampoorna Yoga™ are meant to help you to discover the fullness of yoga and how to use it in order to access the fullness within you.