October 17, 2013

Ashtangi Secrets of the 90’s: An Interview with Gérald Disse.

With more than 20 years of practice, in this three part interview Gérald shares the way in which he discovered yoga and was able to find Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India.

As one of the first French practitioners, he was taught directly by “guruji” up to the third series. An Aurovillian for couple of years, Gérald lived abroad from France for 17 years and has been not only a devoted Ashtanga Yoga practitioner, but has also cultivated meditation, Pranayama and Kriya Yoga practices in his yogic path with his wife Linda Munro both founded Ashtanga Yoga Paris in 2004.

“Undoubtedly, what I admire most of my teacher Gérald is his deeply engrained sense of humility.”

Part One

As Patthabi Jois said, “when one practices one month in Mysore with me it is like practicing for a year outside.” And it is true; there was an intensity that I have never seen elsewhere than in that little room. It was very intense. You couldn’t say “no” to him. There was no way you could say “no, today I don’t feel like doing this position.” It was “you do”…okay. Feeling good or not, there was no way out—you had to do the practice.

Part Two

An Ashtangi’s day started very early. In the beginning it was 5am, but then there were more and more people, we would start earlier and earlier. We started at 4:30am, which means you had to get up at 3:30am, to have time to brush your teeth, take a quick shower, and go to the studio. The lifestyle, it was such an intense practice. You would go practice in the morning one and a half to two hours of practice, and the rest of the day you would recuperate.

After practice you would go home, to your hotel room or your house, if you were lucky. You would prepare breakfast, then you would prepare lunch and invite others students. We would socialize, talk about yoga…

Part Three

It has been a bit more than 20 years that I practice Ashtanga Yoga. I see the changes on people who practice regularly. Physically, mentally, etc…spiritually, I see it brings changes. So you have to make the effort, you have to practice and then…

“Do your practice and all is coming” is something Pattabhi Jois used to say. Do your practice and all will happen.



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Ed: Bryonie WIse

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