August 11, 2009

Yoga Teacher Interview: Zachary Hitchcock of Diamondhead Yoga, Hawaii

Name: Zachary Hitchcock
Age: 46
Hometown: Honolulu, HI
Studio: Daimondhead Yoga
Style: Ashtanga
Training Background: 200 hour Ashtanga Intensive at Yoga Hawaii with Anthony Carlisi, Studies with Pattabhi Jois as well as Pattabhi’s son Manju, grandson Sharath, and daughter Saraswati.
Contact: [email protected]
Website: www.GT350.com

How long have you practiced yoga? 14 years.
Why do you practice yoga? It calls me. Something told me, even as a kid, that I’d be practicing yoga and tai chi.
What is your regular practice? Typical two hour Ashtanga practice six days a week minus moon days. The energy is really intense on the full moon and really low on the new moon. If you get hurt on those days, it takes longer to heal.
Yogi Diet? Macrobiotic. Once you start it, its like nothing else. It makes you feel so good.

Favorite Asana? Garbapindasana – wrapped lotus while rolling around in a circle.
Weakest Asana? Drop-backs.
Strongest Asana? Sirsasana – headstand.
What do you focus on in your classes? Fundamentally, first and foremost, the breath. Secondly, grounding and alignment.
Nude yoga? You need to be careful. You might trip over something, or hop through and … woops!
Any religious affiliations? There’s no god-realization without self-realization.

What’s it like studying with Pattabhi Jois? The first time I encountered Guruji was in New York. I was in class, in chataranga, watching him to see where he’s at. I hear him saying “Head Down! Head Down!” Next thing I know, I’ve got this big hand on my head, and he’s pushing me down. So it’s me he’s yelling at out of 200 people. I don’t think there’s a teacher on the planet that doesn’t feel awkward around him beacuse he has so much compassion and a beautiful presence. Its humbling.

How does yoga work with the ego? It humbles the ego.
What else are you into? Surfing, rock and roll, and tai chi.
Favorite yogic philosophy? Yoga is the cessation of the flucuations of the mind. Chitti vritti nirodaha.
Last thing you did to make the world a better place? I taught you yoga this morning.
Any thank yous? Nature (prakriti), to all my students, and of course, god, whatever that is.

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