Those who practice yoga understand the special qualities that make an Instructor worth following. While I always love to support new teachers, and experience classes from different teachers, it takes a special teacher to have me return for more classes, to have me long for more classes. While I respect & appreciate every learning opportunity, the short list of special teachers who do this for me (and many other students) are Sri Dharma Mittra, Tao Porchon Lynch, Isaac Pena, David Swenson, and Swami Shivam. These are the type of teachers that I not only recommend to my students constantly, but teachers who I would travel to great lengths to take their classes as often as possible. I now have a new Instructor to add to this list.
For a teacher to make my personal list of favorites, the Instructor has an inspiring yoga practice, has in-depth knowledge of the yoga practice, gives impeccable verbal cues, gives amazing adjustments, gives encouraging words, shines with humility, sets the tone for collective consciousness by inspiring synchronized breath, emphasizes the importance of prana, facilitates a mind body experience that challenges us physically, leaves many students with life changing epiphanies/spiritual growth, and of course leaves every student wanting more.
While I am here in Kerala, India, I am blessed to share in Caroline's Ashtanga Yoga teacher training program both as an instructor and student. There is another yogi who is also participating and teaching. His name is Jaro, he is amazing, and he is a new Yogi that I am adding to my personal list of favorites.
His yoga practice is brilliant. His instruction is comparable to the incredible Ashtanga Guru, David Swenson, who not surprisingly, Jaro has studied from. When I first met Jaro (pronounced Yarrow) and heard his name, I instantly knew he had to have some Czech roots. I told him how my late beloved Godfather was named Miroslav and from Czechoslovakia with a brother named Jaro (Jaroslav). Turns out, Jaro is half Czech.
While here in Kerala, Jaro has been instructing students in adjustments and how to lead the Primary Series of Ashtanga Yoga. He recently taught two led classes. I was supposed to only take the first day led class, and adjust in the second day, but I asked Jaro if I could take both days, and he agreed since I am fine with adjusting that I can take the class. These two classes were soooo incredible, I am mentally planning a trip to Czechoslovakia so I can take his class again.
Jaro is a teacher that is incredibly in touch with the energy of the room, he teaches with the traditional sanskrit Ashtanga Yoga count, and challenges students physically with words of encouragement. He has a lovely sense of humour (comically threatening to collect 50 Euro from students who roll beyond the mat in Chakrasana), and infectious laugh, and gives possibly the best adjustments. Too often teachers avoid adjusting me, they assume since I am flexible or deep into a posture, or aligned correctly, that I do not need to go deeper, that I do not need a tiny tweak, which often makes me never want to return. Like everyone who practices yoga, I LOVE a GOOD ADJUSTMENT, and Jaro gives the BEST!
I am beyond grateful to have met this fantastic Yoga Instructor. I look forward to taking more classes with him in the future.....and conducting retreats and trainings with Jaro as well.
For those of you who are serious about your Ashtanga Yoga practice, please see if you can take class with Jaro. You can also listen to the Pod Cast for the recent amazing classes that Jaro led us in, in Kerala.
Jaro & Ambria......Jaro doing Handstand