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by Donny Mac
Thrivers Podcast

Episode #2 | Gregor Maehle | Patanjali Yoga


Gregor Maehle began his practice of Raja Yoga in 1978 and added Hatha Yoga a few years later. In the mid-1980s he commenced annual travels to India, where he studied with various yogic and tantric masters, traditional Indian sadhus and ascetics. He also studied Sanskrit under Professor Narayanachar and Dr Chandrasekhar. He lived for several years as a recluse, studying Sanskrit and yogic scripture and practising yogic techniques.

Since then he has branched out into researching the anatomical alignment of postures and the higher limbs of yoga. He gained his anatomical knowledge through a Health Practitioner degree and has also studied history, philosophy and comparative religion. Together with his wife, Monica, in 1996 they founded 8 Limbs in Perth, Australia, which they co-directed for 21 years.

Gregor’s internationally acclaimed textbook series consisting of Ashtanga Yoga: Practice and Philosophy, Ashtanga Yoga: The Intermediate Series, Pranayama: The Breath of Yoga, Yoga Meditation: Through Mantra, Chakras and Kundalini to Spiritual Freedom and Samadhi The Great Freedom – have sold more than 85,000 copies worldwide and have been translated into eight foreign languages. He has been invited to many countries to teach and has contributed to and been interviewed by numerous yoga magazines.

Today he teaches an anatomically sophisticated interpretation of traditional vinyasa yoga, integrated into the practice of the higher limbs in the spirit of Patanjali and T. Krishnamacharya. 

In this episode we discuss:

A little bit about Donny's own past history in yoga and how he came to be connected with Gregor.
Gregor reluctantly gives us a bit of insight into his own backstory.
Who are the people who influenced Gregor the most?
How did Gregor end up teaching yoga?
What is yoga? (The ancient Vedic discipline of psychology, the science of mind)
What are the biggest misunderstandings that Gregor personally resolved over time?
Gregor describes the content of his many books.
To what extent is he self-taught and to what extent does he follow the path of his teachers?
Is Shankaracharya responsible for a u-turn in Indian spiritual tradition towards.
Shout out to the works of Theos Bernard, must reads for aspiring yogis.
What is kriya? (here meaning a set of purification practices, nauli and kapalabhati)
How much nauli is too much?
Kapalabhati increases the pulse of your cerebrospinal fluid and increases the oscillation of your sacrum and cranial bones.
The purpose of asana is to achieve radiant health over a long period, remove traumatic conditioning from the body and mind and align the spine correctly to facilitate pranayama.
Hermetic texts and the origin of As Above, So Below.
The role of inversions in creating independence from sensory stimulus and the societal implications.
The purpose of pranayama is to remove conditioning from the respiratory strata/pranic sheath, to prevent projecting, concentrate the mind and achieve kumbhaka (breath retention) and induce a kundalini event.
What is yogic meditation specifically and the real nature of kundalini and it's rising?
What role does devotion play?
A question on how to best divide one's time between the various components of a daily yoga practice.
Is there a problem with modern yoga culture?
How does someone begin a sincere journey into yoga?
Can we expect a new book from Gregor in the near future?



by Donny Mac