Question: How did you meet your spiritual masters? For how long have you been practicing yoga?
Answer: Actually I’ve been practicing yoga since 1969. So whatever that is… 45 years. And I was a surfer, that was my lifestyle that I chose. I’ve heard there is surfing now in Kamchatka.
I started doing hatha yoga to improve my surfing. Because three of the best known surfers in the world who actually lived right up the road from me wrote an article in the Surfer magazine how they were doing this yoga and it was really helping their surfing. And so I said, “Wow, I know these guys. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me. I’ll try it.” (laughs) And it worked. It was great.
And I started reading books, meditating. Not mantra meditation. It was just closing my eyes and doing something. Good, felt nice. Then I adopted a yoga diet, vegetarian diet. Wow! That was an improvement again. And one thing led to the next.
So I basically just decided – this is going to be my lifestyle. So for two years I was basically doing this kind of on my own in conjunction with books and so on. And then I met my spiritual teacher and he taught me about bhakti yoga and the chanting and all this philosophy. Showed me that the philosophy that I had accepted was not totally correct, it wasn’t complete. And fortunately enough for me I could understand – yeah, this is all true. So from that moment on I’ve been following his teaching and here I am today. (laughs)