You met several sadhus in India. Could you name any of your teachers?
Yes, I have met many teachers there. In fact, every one of them taught me something. One of them, whom I deeply respect, Devraha Baba, was extraordinary. I met him on the confluence of the rivers Yamuna and Ganga during the Kumba Mel festival, taking place every 12 years under significant constellation. I strongly admire Devraha Baba. He answered my questions in sort of mental way. A non-verbal way.
Which of the world’s leading spiritual teachers affected you?
There have been many of them, for example, I was shocked by Dalai Lama. when I was near him, how totally normal this man is. Then common yogis such as Doctor Bhole living in India. But in general, I prefer yogis who are familiar, in fact perfectly natural spontaneous, not made-up, smug. That’s the most important to me.
Gandhi once said that Europe would be lost without Jesus. How do you perceive his teachings? Do you see any interconnection between yoga and Christianity?
I don’t know much about Gandhi since he wasn’t my idol. However, I’ve taken up some of his habits, but explicitly just simple things, not spiritual teachings. For example, he allegedly rubbed his feet with stones during his long pilgrimages through India. So I don’t know his contribution.
And the question regarding interconnection between yoga and Christianity…It is, in fact, also spiritual teaching, though yoga is additionally focused on health. But I see these phenomena as completely linked and from the higher perspective as the same. A destination is the same, but tour operators are different. So the teaching of Christ is actually bhakti yoga, the path of love. We practice universal yoga. Hatha Yoga, pranayama, meditation, kriyas – cleansing techniques and similar.
You’ve dedicated your life to Hatha yoga. As you’ve mentioned earlier, there is also the bhakti yoga school. The term is used by Hare Krishna movement to describe their effort. Do you see any obstacles on this journey?
As soon as the first Hare Krishna activities started in the Kopna near Slušovice, I was there to help. I looked after them so they could sing their mantras in tents. I was perceiving it as bhakti yoga movement. Nowadays I do not follow them. And I have no idea what they are up to. The present Hare Krishnas don’t know me. So I don’t see.., or in other words, I would hesitate to pass judgments on their actions.
At present, there are many different yoga schools and styles. Power, Kundalini, Hatha, Flow, Ashtanga, Iyengar…It’s very difficult for a beginner to choose. What would you recommend to such person?
Anyone who wants to start and doesn’t know which lesson to choose from should start with any of these styles. Simply jump into the water and try to float. It’s either to drown or not to drown. And they usually don’t drown and learn something. I recommend to experiment with different styles, to try all available teachers, all available schools, so one can gradually progress. This is how one can benefit from yoga, evolve and then stabilize. Later on, he or she will gain their own style, which will usually be a mixture of all styles. Therefore keep your eyes open with the notion that there are more than one right directions. One should be versatile.
During your lessons, attendees can learn about chakras and their functions. Do you think that one of the chakras is currently more dysfunctional than others?
I don’t think that there is one chakra significantly dysfunctional. In my opinion, we are still able to wake them all up. So I absolutely don’t see any such problem.
Could you name asanas, which you consider particularly beneficial and should be practiced on a daily basis?
It is important to practice asanas, which strengthen our brain. Thus I consider inverted positions to be the most important of all asanas. And, of course, practicing sedentary asanas, which means to sit in one position for a longer period of time. These positions are used for pranayamas, for dharana or even for the meditation.
Can you bring in one mantra, which is effective and suitable for a beginner?
It is ultimately the basic mantra “AUM”, which consists of three letters. It is a letter A, then the U and at the end M, which creates the AUM. This A should be felt in the feet, the U in the trunk, the M should resonate in the head. This procedure, always from the bottom – feet up is the most effective.
You do astrology for dozens of years besides yoga. Why is it so?
I’ve chosen my wife with the help of astrology. It was difficult to choose from a vast number of women, who attended my classes. There wasn’t enough time to get to know them better. But during longer retreats, I have had the opportunity to look into their identity cards with their date of birth. So I suddenly knew that well… this one would be or wouldn’t be good for the marriage, this one will be healthy or not. And so I gradually sought. Not until I was practically 35, 36, I have finally decided. So long it took.
You live in a long and happy marriage, therefore, for many yoga students, you’re an example how yoga and secular life can easily coexist. How can yoga benefit our love life?
It is easy to answer. Yoga helps in love life in a way that yogi while properly practicing might come across answers to life and death matters. This means that the potential partner issues or occasional conflicts or even joys are not so important for her or him. Yogi is able to uplift himself, knows how to overpass problems, which fail to distract him in everyday life or during yoga practice. Therefore yogi understands shortcomings and vice versa benefits of a partner. Thanks to an enormous tolerance, the deep immersion takes place together with a quite different, not egoistic view of the loved one.