An Interview With A Great Yogi- Vigay Gopala
To get to know one our favorite guests teachers and a great Yogi, Vijay Gopala, we conducted an interview with him. Sarah first met Vijay three years ago and studied Meditation and Pranyama with him intensely. He has had a profound influence on Sarah’s spiritual path. Vijay has taught with Drishti Yoga Teacher Training in Goa, India in 2013. We are excited to have him back guest teaching on our upcoming Yoga Teacher Training in Goa, India this November 2014. Get to know this fascinating spiritual teacher. He is an amazing guide and great soul.
1. Where are you from?
2. Has Yoga always been part of your life?
Yes, even my father was a Yogi. And the environment where I was born is embedded with Yoga.
3. How long have you been teaching?
4. What is your favorite aspect of teaching Yoga?
My favorite aspect of teaching Yoga is that it can bring the change in the way of life itself. Since Yoga is a methodology containing all the levels of individual formation (physical, breath, mind, knowledge and spiritual body), positive changes are assured.
5. Yoga has become very popular in the West. How do you think it differs from the East?
It has always been a normal phenomenon of a society to treat a subject from the background of its own evolution process it went. In this same way the West as it is being evolved from the mind orientation, the subject Yoga is treated from the outer angle (more physical). As the society of the East evolved with the orientation of beyond mind, they treat the subject Yoga in its fullness. As a result of this, most of the time yoga practitioners in the West end up with building of ego (in their practice) instead of losing it. And also it is not easy to practice Yoga in its real meaning under a system which is always trying to push you into the becoming process by not giving the space of expression of being-ness.
6. What do you think, if anything, could the western Yoga culture learn from the more traditional eastern approach?
Mainly the western culture can learn to lead the simple life. In the West most of the people spend their life working and trying to become something, having no space of time to express the “Living Of Life”. In the West they work to earn money which is used to collect unwanted materialistic things. Even in their washrooms they will have many varieties of shampoos and their shoe rack is filled with heaps of shoes. Their consumerism attitude is extending from head to toe. Then also it is not easy to find as many happy faces in the West compared to the East. This is very well mentioned in the explanation of Yoga Sutra by great Sage Patanjali through the principle of Aparigraha (not to collect unwanted things). We can see that this consumerism attitude is also expressed in the western Yoga culture.
7. We know you are also passionate about Kids Yoga. Why do you think teaching Yoga to children is important?
Through proper teaching of Yoga to children we can build knowledge based active innocence in children. This makes children to have a journey on this planet by not missing the beauty of their inner child. This beauty of keeping the inner child intact makes one to deal with the situations of life in absence of stress and strain.