The more I practice and the more I do these Ashtanga yoga podcast interviews, the more questions I end up having! And today’s episode with certified Ashtanga yoga teacher, Mark Darby – or Darby, as he tells me to call him – is no exception.
Darby was first introduced to Ashtanga yoga with Pattabhi Jois – Guruji – in Mysore in 1979. You do the math – but lets just say Darby has been practicing and teaching for a very, very long time. Lucky for us, I got the chance to catch up with Darby for practice and this interview his very last week teaching morning Mysore in Montreal.
Dan T’ian: Working from a place both powerful and soft
If I had any questions prepared for our interview, they all went out the window. So if I sound a little tongue-tied at times, it’s only because I’m not sure I was able to form words around what I had just experienced in the practice room before the interview. He stops me in my very first sun salutation having me straighten my legs and fold over his fist.
“Dan t’ian” he tells me. Look for Dan t’ian.
As I fold over Darby’s closed hand below my navel, something else catches my attention. It’s his feet. There are individual letters below each of his 10 toes: S-P-R-E-A-D-T-O-E-S. He will tell me later, he’s thinking of having this tattooed on his two feet. Then I come to the floor and instead of binding in my seated postures to pull myself forward in the folds, Darby has me specifically not bind and push away instead.
Curious yet? I hope so! Because I think you’re going to really have fun listening to this one. And afterwards, you can an take all your questions and YOU to Costa Rica to spend time with Darby where he and his wife Joanne, will continue to teach. Visit their website, sattvayogashala.com to start planning.
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This episode of the Ashtanga Dispatch Podcast was edited and produced by Chris Lucas and hosted by me, Peg Mulqueen.