Max Stromin ("A Life Worth Breathing" kirjan kirjoittaja) haastattelu myyogaonline.com sivustolla:




Interview with Yoga Expert Max Strom

My Yoga Online has had the recent pleasure of interviewing Yoga Expert, Max Strom.  Max has authored a new inspiring book, A Life Worth Breathing.  Enjoy this latest interview as Max offers wonderful insight and perspective about the integration of yoga in daily living.

What's the most important lesson you've learned from yoga?

That practicing yoga - physically, mentally, with self-enquiry, and with breath - can accelerate healing and spiritual transformation.  Profoundly.

What unexpected benefit has risen from your practice?  

Early on, the most unexpected benefit was the emotional healing that transpired.  I didn't know that breath, intention, and postures, would affect me inwardly to the degree that it did.  I didn't understand that the human body contains our past emotional experiences, and by manipulation our body we also affect our emotions and mind.

You travel and teach. Why do you think the world needs yoga?

Worldwide, nations are replicating America's system of modern consumerism as rapidly as possible. But what they are ignoring is the fact that as materially well off as we are here in the States, too many of us are also chronically living what Henry David Thoreau coined "a life of quiet desperation."  According to John M. Grohol, Psy.D. in the PsychCentral News, in America alone, over 10 percent of the population, (over 30 million people), rich by the rest of the world's standards, exist on antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. And the ever-growing use of sleep-aid drugs has increased to over 56 million people, according to Denise Gellene with the Los Angeles Times.  And this is now happening across the industrial world.  The number one health complaint in Beijing now is sleep disorder.  Yoga is one of the only practices that help to get people out of pain on the mental and emotional levels, as well as the body.  So, everyone living in a city or under stress can get great benefit from yoga.

You're known for your ability to teach a multi-level, challenging yet accessible class, where everybody actually breathes. Can you share some of your techniques for achieving this?

First off, I explain in the beginning that yoga is a breathing system accompanied by postures.  I let them know that yoga is noncompetitive (and repeat this many times throughout the practice.)  I then explain the benefits of conscious breathing to motivate them.  I inform them that a deep conscious breath for 90 minutes can help give relief from depression, heal sleep issues, and calm the nervous system which can help greatly with anger issues.  This way they breathe deeply because it is in their self-interest, not simply because a teacher asks them to.  Regarding postures, I let them know that I usually offer more than one variation of the postures and to choose the variation that is best for them today.  For example I might ask level 2 students to hold plank pose, and level one students to hold downward dog.

What do you do if the class is resistant to breathing deeply?  

In urban cities there is so much frozen energy around the heart, so much stress, so much competitiveness that to breathe makes some feel like their lives may fall apart, that it would destroy their lives.  So, breathing is a real challenge.  Opening the chest is the hardest part because it is in the chest that we keep our old memories, our sadness, and to open the chest would mean dealing with a new personality - dealing with a new body.

This means that for whatever reason, i.e. astrological, collective unconsciousness, they are holding in stagnate energy, or anything else.  You can help them release by using this system of sequencing.

1] Work them hard through the standing/flow sequence so a lot of internal heat is produced.

2] Then after 30-40 minutes, move into standing balance postures for up to 7 minutes. (total)  This focuses the mind/nervous system/breath.

3] Then move into Backbends.  This will open up the chest, where we store grief.  Backbends also opens the spine to release our power.

After a few counter poses, I would end class as follows:

4] Final Relaxation while in a passive backbend.  For 7-12 minutes you can have them lie down with blankets or bolsters under the shoulders so they can rest in a chest/heart opener.  

This sequence melts the ice around the heart and then water comes out from the corners of the eyes.

I've heard you say you explain what you do is 'teach people to breathe.'  Why is the breath so important to you? And please feel free to correct my memory of how you explain what you do.

The breath so important to me because once I developed a conscious and meaningful breathing practice - as I practiced the postures - transformation and healing came quite rapidly.  I feel the breathing discipline was directly responsible for deep emotional healing that occurred in me.  As a teacher who now passes these techniques along in my workshops and in my breathing DVD, I have seen thousands of people benefit in the same way.  Once a person discovers the power of a conscious breathing practice, they undergo emotional healing. And this healing impacts all of their relationships.  Because people who lived in anger, became less angry.  People who were depressed, became inspired.  People who lived in fear became more courageous.  It is awe inspiring to witness.

Who will benefit from reading your new book?

I think the book will touch people who are already beginning to ask the questions: who am I? What am I?  What is this life? The book is geared towards that person who is already a bit of a seeker.  The purpose of the book is to help lead people within, where the answers to these questions already exist.

Click the following link to learn more about Max Strom and his new book, A Life Worth Breathing.  Click to read more about Max and to view more video interviews with Max Strom.