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Written by: Filipa Veiga
6 days full of juicy talks, lots of ashtanga yoga, every day a new senior teacher, surrounded by the energy of the Balinese rice fields... Is this for real? Yes and about to happen in the upcoming month of November.
This event is Anthony «Prem» Carlisi’s «baby». The senior ashtanga yoga teacher, certified by the late Pathabi Jois, felt the call during a specific moment in time. «I had the idea some years ago when Guruji passed away», he tells us. «I knew there was this kind of void that had been created, like a vacuum. When he passed away I felt that something came in to me. I had to stand up on my own two feet, and now that he was gone and I had received so much from him, I felt an even greater responsibility».
He felt a new energy. The love and respect for Pathabi Jois transformed itself into a force that needed to be shared. Being able to join some of the old-timers with the new ashtanga yoga generation suddenly fully made sense. «It almost feels the way I felt when Shanti went». Prem’s 27 year-old daughter, who recently passed away. «Her body has left this planet but her energy has become more present in me. I see her in everything, in the sunset, in the wind». Prem shares with us. It was the same with Guruji. «I see us now as a source of transmission».
The lineage is presently in the hands of Sharath Jois, Guruji ́s grandson. But times have changed and the demand is higher than ever. Thus the conference will also be about the future of the ashtanga yoga practice. «Everybody that is coming has a lot of experience and has lived through a lot. I wish to see who wants to co-operate», says Prem, as «the ones who are coming are part of the ashtanga family», a generation of teachers that evolved in the last 30-50 years!
The panel is rich and has been adapted to the fact that this is the first Ashtanga Yoga Bali Conference. Manju Jois will be present because he is the direct son of Pathabi Jois. Manju’s practice began at age 7 and he started to teach with his father at age 15. He will share the power of mantra and its importance to enlightenment.
David Williams began studying Ashtanga Yoga with Guruji in 1973 in Mysore, India. He is the one that «captured» Guruji for all of us. He became the first non-Indian to know the complete Ashtanga Yoga system of asanas and pranayama directly from Jois. He teaches us that the key is being able to continue practising yoga for the rest of your life on a daily basis.
Danny Paradise was the man that made ashtanga as incredibly famous as we know it today. He introduced the system to Madonna, Sting, Paul Simon, among many others including Buddhist Lamas, dancers, film directors and actors. Sharing the shamanic vision is Danny’s challenge.
Joanne and Mark Darby are solid practitioners and lived together with Pathabi Jois for 4 years. They will not just share their knowledge of the practice but also their love story, for they met in Mysore and started their family under Guruji ́s blessing.
Annie Pace has an advanced B teaching certificate from Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, a rare honour. She will share the magic of ashtanga and how to embrace the obstacles.
Prem and Radha, the hosts, will share the Ayurvedic principles of living in the world today.
The entirety of this profound and deep knowledge is wrapped in living stories. These 6 days will reveal the meaning of ashtanga, «a world of rich information that we want to share», says Prem.
Guruji was a man of few words. His statements are now famous, yet they are not always understood for their complete inner deepness. «Guruji was like a yoda, you take it, practise and all is coming, Mula Bandha 24 hours a day... He had many zen phrases, and we often looked at each other, wondering what he meant», recalls Prem. «After many years of practice and commitment, we understood. And that is what we are sharing here, our experiences, and our love of this endearing practice. I want these young and upcoming yogis to have some real and genuine guidance. We can influence people in a beautiful way». Just as Guruji influenced them.