Featured Yogi – Jude Hynes (Yoga Academy) http://theyogaconnection.co.nz/
Name: Jude Hynes
Studio: (Auckland) Yoga Academy established 1991
Years teaching: 27 years
Years practicing: 28 years
Favourite yoga style: Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga as taught by Sri K Pattabhi Jois

How many different training options do you offer at your studio?
Four in total:
1. YA 500 part time, one year Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Teacher Training Course.
2. The Yoga Academy Ashtanga Vinyasa part time, one year Apprenticeship Course (the pre-requisite is the Ashtanga Vinyasa YA 500 course).
3. YA 500 part time, one year Hatha Yoga Teacher Training Course (to begin in 2016)
4. The Yoga Academy Hatha, part time, one year Apprenticeship Course (to begin in 2017 and the pre-requisite is the Hatha YA 500 course).

training-wmWhat do you particularly enjoy about training new teachers? To pass on the teachings of my teacher Sri K Pattabhi Jois. In essence he taught us that cultivating a yoga practice is not just about physical flexibility or the yoga poses you can do –that he said is just “circus”. The heart of yoga is the cultivation of equilibrium in mind and body, so that one can wake up to the reality of being alive, which includes not just joy and health, but impermanence, aging suffering, and death. That without the balanced practice of all eight limbs, and a path rooted in the first limb especially, yoga practice can easily become another form of materialism. The young and the elder teacher trainees embrace this notion hungrily, and their passion and enthusiasm is a joy to work with. It is an absolute joy to see them grow and transform – they step into their own personal
power and embrace their life’s purpose-their dharma.


What should every new teacher know (in your opinion)?
How to apply functional anatomy and the traditional teachings of the psychology and philosophy of yoga to their teachings, so that they keep people safe on all levels – physically, emotionally, and mentally, while assisting the students to reside and operate from their spirit-their intuition- their deeper True Self.
The pressures of modern life leave people feeling isolated, dissatisfied, tired and unable to relax and experience joy. More than ever, yoga teachers are needed in the world to assist people to log-out of fight and flight mode (sympathetic nervous system) and chill out, and connect with and be at ease deep within themselves (para-sympathetic nervous system).

classes-meditationWhat do you hope every student takes away from your class?
I hope that they realize that:
1. A healthy life long practice is the goal.
2. That if yoga is to truly touch and transform us, then it must be a path of the heart as well as body and mind, i.e. we practice yoga to clean up our bodies, our speech, our actions and relationships.

Do you have a favourite time of the day to practice (and why)?
Early morning when my mind is still and quiet.

ahimsaIs meditation part of your daily practice?
Yes. Being Vata Pitta by nature, I view meditation as my medication! The negative aspects that Vata Pitta people live with when they become stressed and out of balance, are anxiety and fear, frustration and anger. Sometimes I wake up at night and feel anxious or over stimulated and I find doing japa (repetition of a mantra) or a breathing meditation, settles my nervous system and mind so I can go back to sleep.

stillwaters-18Are there any yoga books you’d recommend every yogi have on their bookshelf?
The Mirror of Yoga: Awakening the Intelligence of the Body and Mind by Richard Freeman.
Guruji: A Portrait of Sri K Pattabhi Jois through the eyes of his students by Guy Donahaye and Eddie Stern.guys book on gurujiWho has inspired you on your yoga journey?
I was totally inspired by and fell head over heels in love with (and married) my very first yoga teacher. But that’s another story! Peter Nilsson, the Director of the Yoga Academy in the heart of Auckland’s CBD, continues to this day to be the on-site teacher who like a light house guides my practice toward the safe harbour of the traditional teachings of classical yoga. His advice and expectations of all his teachers and teacher trainees is: “Live your yoga and walk your talk as you embrace the challenges of this deeply spiritual discipline – keep it real.”

Sri K Pattabhi Jois (1915-2009) our Guru in Mysore India guided and changed so many lives through yoga. He was a committed householder yogi, whose existence was centred around family and home as it was on his school and teachings. He truly “walked his talk” and 18 times over a 20 year period, my husband and I rented apartments near the shala and would study with him for 2-3 month periods. His knowledge of the original classical texts, opened a window for us into new ways of directing the mind, body and breath, as one inseparable unit welded together in action, revealing the fullest potential of yoga as a transforming art and science. Guruji taught us by his own example how to integrate the essential principles of classical yoga into the cultural context of our lives in the 21st century, while insuring that those principles are not diluted or lost.
Gwendoline Hunt (1930-2004) I was 30 years old when I met Gwendoline and she was 64 years old. Instantly I connected with her and our close and intimate relationship extended over 16 years before her untimely death in 2004.
guruji meditating Gwendoline encouraged and inspired me to align myself with the strong divine feminine archetype within – the internal witness, the intuitive force which funds all females. Gwendoline’s passion for the Ashtanga Vinyasa Practice, meditation and chanting fuelled my desire to deepen my yoga practice by studying at the source with Pattabhi Jois. I am always grateful for her guidance and hope that as a 58 year old yoga practitioner that I can now step up to the mark and inspire other women as she did me. I have found that working with goddess archetypes has enabled me to see a bigger vision for myself and other women. It is helping me to feel nurtured, loved and cared for. By seeing goddesses as reflections of myself, I find it easier to connect with my own inner divinity.gwensummer (1)Dena Kingsberg is one of Guruji’s most advanced women practitioners, and her “heart –wide-open” husband Jack Wiseman have run profoundly moving and deeply grounding workshops at our yoga shala every year for 19 years. They are part of the greater international yoga family that we too belong to and they are like brother and sister to Peter and I. Dena is –as is Jack- an extremely skilful yoga teacher with a lineage we can trust and respect. They melt us open with their love and compassion and they urge us to explore our edges within the safe learning environment they create.dena-family
What do you love about Kawau Island where you run your Stillwaters Yoga Retreat Centre (that you’d like to share)?
Our Stillwaters Yoga Retreat on Kawau is unique because it is only accessible by boat and has no roads, cafes or shops- just pure nature at NZ’s best. We only take 4 students at a time and we aim to nourish and strengthen them with luscious healthy foods (I love food and I love cooking), sooth them with restorative yoga and meditation and charge their bodies and minds with pranayama, plus their choice of asana (Ashtanga Vinyasa or Hatha). All done surrounded by sea, bush and birds!

eventsHow does yoga influence your life off the mat?
My husband and I have been living yoga together for 28 years. I can now see that when practiced regularly and over a very long time the 8 Limbs of yoga have allowed our hearts (like ripe fruit) to mature and sweeten. Initially our practice was based on seeking, developing and improving ourselves, whereas now it has shifted from reliance on form, to a resting in the heart. Yoga has given us the freedom to experience being at peace with things just as they are and to have moments of realizing that “I am enough just as I am”. While the experience comes and goes, I have to say that over all yoga has allowed me to access a higher level of consciousness, and compassion toward myself and others.

Wherever your mind applies its full power of attention, there you make a seat for yourself.-Rig-Veda