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David Williams in Malaysia: Yoga for the Rest of Your Life

Posted Sep 12 2008 11:28am

David_williams_group_shot_kl_malaysDavid Byck in Kuala Lumpur emailed this in earlier during the week. David Williams, the first person to bring Ashtanga Yoga to the US was recently in Malaysia as part of his world tour. David was Bryan Kest's first yoga teacher and was the founder of the original Maui Yoga Community , which also counted Danny Paradise as one its members. Danny Paradise went on to become the teacher responsible for Sting's introduction to the practice.

"I must tell you that I've finally had the opportunity to catch up with
David Williams. I've studied with some of his students, David Swenson
and Danny Paradise but now I've finally heard the stories from the

For those of you who are not familiar, David Williams has been practicing Yoga daily, without
interruption, since 1971. In 1973, he began studying Ashtanga Yoga
with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois at his home in Mysore, India, and became the
first non-Indian to be taught the complete Ashtanga Yoga system of
asanas and pranayama directly from Jois.

He is presently on his, "Yoga for the rest of your life" tour through
Asia and Europe before finishing up in Charlottesville and Virginia.
David is a wealth of information and good old common sense when it
comes to practicing yoga and staying healthy.

The one thing he said was that Ashtanga has gotten a bad reputation
for injuring people. This is something he would like to change because
he believes Ashtanga and injuries do not have to go hand in hand. In
fact, he opened his workshop by saying that he gives everyone
"permission" to enjoy their yoga practice. This struck a cord with me
because I see so many young students just torturing themselves with
their practice and then the inevitable injury comes along and they

To drive this point home, during the practice portion of the workshop
David would lead us into an asana and then he would ask us if it felt
good. And if it didn't, he asked us to "dial it back" until it did. It
was a nice way of putting it.

In respect to practicing yoga for the rest of our lives, he compared
saving money for our retirement and our yoga practice by saying they
are not the same. One can not practice yoga all their life and then
quit one day and expect to live off the "dividends" the rest of their
life. He said, "I don't know about you but my yoga practice only lasts
me twenty-four hours." In other words, his practice lasts him the day
but when he goes to bed he wakes the next morning stiff and remains so
until he practices again.

Anyway, I would highly recommend his workshop to anyone who has the
notion to practice yoga the rest of their lives."

Take care and peace,

David Byck

David, I very much appreciate the fact that you visit this blog regularly and find it relevant. That coming from a dedicated practitioner like you is MAHA validation-

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