August 25, 2008

Yoga Instructor Profile: Darren Rhodes of Yoga Oasis and Prana

Darren teaching at Yoga Rocks.

Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Studio: Yoga Oasis and Tirtha Studios
Class Times: yogaoasis.com
Style: Anusara
Age: 37

Gherandasana 1 with ease.

What’s your weakest asana? I’m biomechanically ill-designed for shoulder stands without props.

Strongest Asana? Gherandasana 1.

Favorite Asana? Bhujangasana (Cobra).
How long have you practiced yoga? 30+. Both parents practice daily without fail. Seriously for 15.
Why yoga? How it makes me feel and who it connects me to. And what it connects me to.
Favorite yogic philosophy? The Baul tradition and Lee Lozowick’s teachings. He’s the radical rascal. They truly live their yoga. They seem to seek out the places where yoga isn’t and they go to the most difficult places to practice, to practice, putting themselves up against trying circumstances.
What do you focus on in your classes? Invoking the presence of the practice.
What is your training background? Certified Anusara instructor. My main teacher is John Friend. I taught Ashtanga for many years.

More instruction at Yoga Rocks. Check his Prana ad in the last Elephant.

Yogi Diet? I try to eat cruelty-free products. Mostly vegan, but I’m not super strict or preachy any more. We rescued four chickens and they live in our backyard. I eat their eggs.
Nude Yoga? I’m sure it’s no better than clothed yoga.
Any religious affiliation? Amalgam (mixture or blend).
What have you been reading lately? The autobiography of Osho. As It Is by Lee Lozowick. Only God, the autobiography of Yogi Ramsuratkumar. And my all-time favorite is Rudy.
What else are you into? Investing fully in my marriage. I love to collect murtis (sculptures) and artistic artifacts. I’m also getting into tea. I’ve been learning how to taste them and smell them. Each morning I read for 45 minutes and drink tea.
Any thank you’s? My main guidance comes from my father. He fearlessly draws from any tradition that works. If it works, he works it.
Last thing you did to help the world be a better place? The non-doing. Not reacting or coming from a negative place. Also investing in conscientious products.
What does yoga do for the ego? It can either be aligned with the heart so the ego serves the heart and serves the practice. Or it can actually inflate it…and many scriptures like the Ramayana states that yoga gives you the siddhis (spiritual powers) and you can use them however you want. That’s why having a guide or teacher is so important to keep us in check.

Thanks, Darren!

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