Mark Whitwell Returns To Telluride Yoga Festival

[click “Play” to hear Susan’s conversation with Mark Whitwell]

 

Mark-whitwell Telluride Inside… and Out celebrates the return of guest presenter Mark Whitwell to the Telluride Yoga Festival, this year, July 14 – July 17. And this one is personal: no teacher influenced by personal practice or my teaching more than this wise, funny, compassionate man whom I got to know at last year’s event.

Mark Whitwell thumbs his nose at the circus of gonzo asanas (postures), focusing instead on the elegant simplicity of breath-generated movement. He learned how to develop an authentic yoga practice based on the specific needs of the individual sitting at the feet of the master,T. Krishnamacharya.

Krishnamacharya is the Brahmin whose teachings pervade the Yoga lineages we have come to know in the West. The dynamic series of Ashtanga and the two therapeutic traditions, Iyengar, known for precise alignments and the use of props, and Viniyoga, with its emphasis on a customized approach to the practice, all sprang from that same well of knowledge, where Mark drank for 20 years, fully metabolizing the teaching Krishnamacharya and his son TKV Desikachar, with whom he co-authored “The Heart of Yoga,” a bible of the Yoga tradition.

What is yoga? According to Mark:

“The ancient wisdom of yoga teaches that Life is already given to you, you are completely loved, you are here now. It teaches that we are not separate, cannot be separate from nature, which sustains us in a vast interdependence with everything. The universe comes perfectly, and is awesome in its integration and infinite existence. This union is our natural state. This union is Yoga. When you experience this connection to the fullness of creation, of nurturing source, you are doing your Yoga. Yoga is your direct participation in nurturing source.”

Mark has taught yoga for over twenty years throughout the US, Asia, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. In addition to “The Heart of Yoga,” he is the author of “Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection,” “Hridayasutra,” and recently, “The Promise.”

In “The Promise” Mark suggests happiness arises when we relax into “into the reality of our natural condition.” In other words, when we are in a yogic state of self-acceptance, having eliminated striving from our lives and living in an intimate relationship with ourselves and those we love.

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