“When it helps you to lose weight, stay fit, lead a stress free life, coordinate energy, be more compassionate, open up your mind and make you tolerant to ideas and realise the spiritual side in you, then why not?” That is how internationally renowned yoga instructor Fabio Andrico describes the power of Yantra yoga, an ancient Tibetian practice.
In the city to attend a two-day seminar on Building Peace through Learning and Understanding: A Buddhist initiative of Dialogue with Hinduism and with Islam organised by World Buddhist Culture Trust at Osmania University in the coming week, Fabio will also be conducting an introductory workshop this weekend.
With a career spanning over 30 years that started from India in the late seventies, when he studied Sivananda yoga during a trip to India at the age of 22, Fabio started his journey of exploring different traditions of yoga until he met his teacher Dzogchen Master Chögyal Namkhai Norbu, and learned the Tibetan tradition of Yantra yoga directly from him who’s lineage has passed down the craft. The Italian now teaches Hatha yoga and Yantra yoga across the world and is holding his first ever workshop in the region, free of cost, on November 23 and 24 at Saptaparni, Banjara Hills.
The Yoga teacher, who has made delightful humour his signature style in yoga, says about the meditative practice, “There are so many traditions of yoga, many more have evolved after integrating different things with it. But, Yantra yoga is based on the Tibetan text, ‘The Union of the Sun and the Moon’ that dates back to the eightht century, something that has a long lineage, based on root text and practiced for centuries.” Yantra yoga, which is also called yoga of movements, makes use of harmonious body movements and different aspects of breathing to enable one to have awareness of one’s body and regulate one’s breathing.
Yoga and well being
Ask him about the growing popularity of yoga in the West, he says, “Yoga is not purely about spiritual aspects. Health and well being is what is considered more important. People are looking at something they can integrate into their lives.” He adds that it is a big business for yoga trainers as well as manufacturers of accessories. “There are brands of yoga attire and there are also yoga championships.”
Making the differences between Yantra and other forms of yoga clear, he says that Yantra revolves centrally around breathing. “Practice of breathing is central. Through control of breathing, you control the energy and in turn mind. Body, mind and energy should go together and there as many 108 movements and 75 different Yantras,” he points out.
Other than mastering great skill, and clear precision, he is also known for humour while practice and has helped students deepen their practice and understanding of yoga. “It is partly my own nature. Also, I understand that one of the principles of yoga is action and relaxation, contraction and expansion,” he says, adding that sometimes students remain so rigid and through long session that they do not really benefit from practice. Otherwise, “I am a very serious while practice,” he affirms
Yoga as therapy, according to him, is a different level all together. “Tibetan medicine is developed on anatomy of energy. You need to have very sound knowledge so that by practicing you overcome a lot of physical as well as mental problems,” says the master who calls India the Mother of all Yoga traditions. “A lot of interchange of ideas has happened between India, Tibet and Kashmir. Sometimes, it becomes difficult to understand the roots of many traditions,” he points out.
The workshop is between 10 am and 5 pm on November 23 and 24 at Saptaparni, next to Kalpa school, Road no 8, Banjara Hills. Entry only on registration. Email to firstname.lastname@example.org or sms Register Yantra Yoga to 09818928937.