Danny Paradise has been practicing Ashtanga Yoga since 1976 and has been teaching worldwide since 1979. He draws from teachings of ancient Shamanic practice, Krishncimutri, Buddha, ancient Egypt, as well as many Indigenous Culturea: Hawaiian, Mayan, and Native Americans. At Yesterdays BaliSpirit Festival, I had the privilege of practicing with Danny Paradise.
I walked upstairs to the Byron yoga studio and laid down my mat; the sun was shining, a lingering sent of tea tree oil and lemon drifted in the air, a cool Bali breeze swept threw the upstairs room.
Danny entered, and the room filled with a presence of genuine comfort. He began with a friendly introduction putting everyone at ease regardless of what level their at. Calm and humble, he spoke about authority and equality. Danny joked, “Any type of authority in the world is frightening. Teachers attract the students they deserve, so when your in a room full of student worshipers, you’ve really got something to think about.”
Danny then asked the class if they had anything they wanted to ask him before we started a guided pranayama exercise. He answered questions with both profound wisdom and humor, also asking for the input of the rest of the class as well. The class was full of focus during the length of the discussion.
Danny is a man full of food for thought. He expressed beliefs about yoga being personal empowerment and total freedom, with an understanding that nature is our spiritual teacher and guide. Also, sharing on mastery; how we are only the masters of ourself, when we strive to be our personal best.
Danny passed out a worksheet titled Pranayama- Expansion of life force. He instructed the class to get closer to the center of the room, and sit comfortably with a straight spine. We did 6 different inhale exhale breathing excersices including; recaka, puraka, nadi sodhana, bastrika, surya bhedana, and sitali. After 35 minutes everyone was feeling the intense affects of pranyama. We concluded the last breathing exercise with an Om. The longest most beautiful, vibrating Om many of us had ever been apart of. Now it was time to lay down with eyes closed in shavasna.
“Yoga was created to free people in all ways… From the limitations of our minds and bodies, from teachers, teachings, attachments, expectations, from dependency on and person or thing. It is a personal, private journey to liberation.” -Danny Paradise