Meet the cover models of the 130th edition YOGA AKTUELL: Julia Grant-Scott and John Scott.
John, having studied with Pattabhi Jois in the 1980s, you come from a very traditional Ashtanga Yoga lineage. What kept you going for all these years and how do you keep your daily practice alive?
John: For the last 30-plus years I have been counting vinyasa in Sanskrit internally, as a mantra, this I call my morning whispers. Guruji (ed.: i.e. Patthabi Jois)said to me “Yoga is mind control, not exercise. Do your practice and ALL is coming.” For the past 30 years I’ve been meditating, it’s a dynamic meditation that has taken me on a deep inner journey of enquiry: “What is it that I’m doing when I say I do my yoga?”
What keeps all ancient practices “alive” is a thread holding to tradition and an element of innovation. As I come from the Research Institute of Ashtanga Yoga I have spent many years inquiring into the workings of the method adding my voice to the narrative of contemporary yoga and sharing Transcendental Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (T.A.V.Yoga) – to become the master of your body, the master of your breath and the master of your mind, to transcend and to realise we are all Divine Beings.
What is the core of the Yoga practice that you both teach nowadays and how does it differ from the traditional system?
John: At the core of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga is the method Guruji called The Counted Method, which is a “tristhana”, a tri-focus mind, breath and body moving in synchronicity, meaning the mind counts the breath that moves the body. We have expanded our understanding to emphasise the “count”, that by repeating in Sanskrit over and over for every vinyasa as a mantra will be washing away all thoughts, habits and programs that no longer serve, leaving the mind clear open and receptive for wisdom to flow. In other words, in the state of yoga it is possible to be the co-creator of your life.
You’ve spent quite some time in Latin America lately, diving into the spirit of plant medicine, haven’t you? How does your immersion into Pachamama influence your yoga practice?
Julia: Generally speaking, when caught up in the flow of the material world, living in cities living as producers and consumers, we completely remove ourselves from mother nature, this causes the feeling of separation which eventually leads to loneliness, stress, and depression. Working with plant medicine allows us to understand, see and experience that there are other dimensions, other realities offering the potential to not be trapped in the material realm. The material life and so-called system has led humanity into a state of separation, however experience with sacred plant medicines allows you to experience and understand that you are never in separation from earth, the solar system, or the universe, that we are in fact multidimensional beings having a human experience. And this understanding is so healing.
Soma (ed.: i.e. plant medicine), when skillfully administered by a Shaman, Jungle Doctor or facilitator can really take people back to their heart center, back through their ancestral lineage, back to their original birth right to have a full human experience in this life. Plant medicine lets you realise that in this human dimension we can transcend the limits of the five senses, act as a radio channel and receive information beyond the limits of the five senses. The influence of reconnecting to Mother Earth has a powerful internal effect on the practice of T.A.V.Yoga, instead of going out through the senses one can turn the inquiry inward and journey into the depths of the inner space, inner dimensions, inner realms of “All that Is” and realise all is ONE, One Consciousness.
On Johns Instagram Account I’ve read the slogan “Reclaiming your own Purusha“. Can you go a little bit deeper into the meaning of this?
John: When Guruji said to me “Yoga is mind control”. I understood this to mean 2 things:
- To take control of my own mind, not to be controlled by going out through my senses to the objects of the senses and hence not be controlled and shaped by my outer environment – the material world.
- To not be controlled by any outer body of control, social or even governmental.
T.A.V.Yoga is to turn the mind in on itself and through asana reclaim your natural body, breath and mind, to transform doubt, fear, survival, etc. into love. When in love, we can reclaim the dominion over our own body and breath. Love our body, love our life. We reclaim personal sovereignity (finding our inner King or Queen), freeing our minds from outer bodies of control to realise that we are our own observers, our own overseers – this is Purusha: reclaiming your own free unlimited Consciousness.
You two are a couple that lives together, travels together and works together. What are the secrets to a functioning and healthy relationship in your opinion?
Julia: To live, travel and work together requires constant awareness and as a couple you always need to be open to learn from one another.
Basically, to create a healthy, loving, and functional relationship, the secret is not being self-centred. Because if you are self-centred, you can’t focus on your partner or the growth that you can share together. It doesn’t mean that you don’t pursue your own individual skills, but it’s a decision to create harmony together and therefore trying to balance your individual self and the understanding that you and your partner are One: One Consciousness simply reflecting itself in the Other.
|Julia and John will be in Berlin, Germany, from November 12-14, 2021.
For more info, please visit:www.johnscottyoga.com