This week we had the opportunity to speak with Mukesh Kothari, who took us deeper into the meaning of Yoga.
Thank you for your time answering the questions. Please tell us a little bit more about yourself. When was the first time you’ve started practicing Yoga and give us a bigger picture of what are you doing regarding Yoga?
I was born in Rishikesh, India in a Brahmin family. My father is a doctor and my mother is a social activist. I have two younger brothers, one of them is a Yoga teacher and manages our school in India and the other one choose to stay with Bank. I started doing yoga from my early school days, I studied in a Hindu school where spiritualism is a core of education and also included Sanskrit and yoga education. In 2003, I went to the Yoga school to finish my education in yoga and naturopathy (Ayurveda).
Now I share what I have learned from masters and school through yoga classes and courses. I conduct courses for general students who want to deepen their practice and also those who wish to share the same what I did by becoming a yoga teacher through yoga teachers training 200 and 500 hours.
Please explain a little bit for the readers, what is let’s say the difference or “better” in Bindusar Yoga and other kinds of Yoga, or Yoga is One and there are no differences? How can Yoga and Bindusar Yoga help people in generally speaking?
Technically yoga is the same, and no one can brand it to his invention. All yoga styles taught in modern time are inspired by Hatha yoga, and they are representing its method irrespective of the name used. Only difference occurs how much of its authentic nature is kept as per Hatha yoga teachings.
In Bindusar we try to deliver the lessons purely and practically, we include awareness of all yoga contents such as purification methods, asanas (posture control), pranayama (breathing methods), meditation and even enhancing its effectiveness by assimilation of Ayurveda in the form of diet, lifestyle and yoga therapy. Yoga and Ayurveda are sister sciences, and yoga widely quotes ayurvedic terms and concepts, so involve both for better understanding and effectiveness. We also explain why the practice is relevant and how it can be significant in the students’ life.
As some big yogis say, that Yoga is actually a way of life, and more than in western society people understand (not just exercise or respiration techniques), what do you think is it easy to adapt in daily lifestyle for people in western countries, or there are cultural or other boundaries?
There are no big, or small yogis, where big and small exists, then ego also exists, and yoga is all about dropping the ego. They are also right when they say it because postures and respiration method are just a tip of an iceberg of the yoga world. It needs well-trained teachers to grow awareness about the depth of yoga. But anyway, yoga is all about flexibility, either body or mind or even attitude to yoga itself. People can begin with postures and respiration method, and soon with the help of a good teacher, they can deepen the practice. Yoga is not meant for one culture; it is flexible and can be adapted to cultures, just keeping its effectiveness.
We understand that you are teaching in lots of countries, but you are living in Budapest. How Hungarians or people in Central and Eastern Europe understand Yoga or particularly Bindusar Yoga, is it easy to adapt in people’s daily lifestyle?
Precisely Hungarians and Romanians are deep thinkers, and their understanding and orientation to yoga are excellent. They are adapting the yoga in their daily life very well, even with 20 minutes of sun salutations. I have been teaching in Hungary for the last ten years, and yoga has evolved here a lot. In Bucharest, I came to train trainers in 2015, and during that time just a couple of small yoga studios exist and yoga is more seem like either a physical exercise in gyms or as a cult, but as I see now in 4 years, yoga has grown all over Romania and even in smaller towns. Our trained teachers have opened around ten studios all over Romania. We have done many Yoga teachers courses even in cities like Cluj, Brasov, etc. and are invited to Sibiu, Timisoara, Iasi, and Oradea. So, this shows Romanians are very keen to practice yoga and learn it well.
As a Yoga instructor, we are sure that you’ve met many people from different cultures, and as we know nowadays Yoga is a trend, too. From your experience have you seen people who really could adjust Yoga or particularly Bindusar Yoga as a lifestyle/way of living, or people just want to learn Yoga for their specific needs (ex. weight loss, for muscular system, relaxation or curiosity), and then they just quit.
People come to yoga for different reasons, such as you mentioned Philosophy, practice, and effects of yoga on health. My experience in Romania have proved people want not just health with yoga but also wants to accept yoga effectiveness in lifestyle such as eating, positive thinking, joyful living, good relationship, stress reductions, etc. With Bindusar we bring a method, where we analyze the student’s health, body and mind state, starts with easy yoga and slowly grow them with the safe practice to an advanced level at the same time improving the different dimension of life.
As we see you have several upcoming events in Hungary, Romania, Austria, one of those is this weekend, ” Bindusar Spine Yoga Therapy” in Romania, what can people learn there?
We regularly conduct workshops and courses in Europe. Mainly we run the series of workshops that are designed to help students either with their physical health, mind or spiritual motive. The Bindusar spine is our standard class that is taught by our trained teachers, and its primary purpose is to prepare students safe movements of the body with keeping spine and back safe. It helps students to understand their body so have an injury-free yoga practice. The Bindusar spine is also recommended for people with issues with the back, as the class is gentle and can help them to progress in the world of yoga safely and effectively.
Your Yoga classes have specific needs for people, dietary changes, for ex. Ayurveda or you accept anybody, who is willing to learn?
Yes as I mentioned with, we have system placed to introduce people to yoga in steps by steps. Our studios or course always invite beginners with spine classes after six weeks, they can enter to hatha and then to basics, basics 2, etc. Here is our chart attached that shows our method.
What do you think, why people should invest in Yoga?
Just for two reasons and those are health and good state of mind.
Take an example that most people want to amass wealth, career, status, family goals, etc. in their life the journey cost their health and peace of mind during the process. So, yoga helps you to achieve everything you need but keeping you healthy to enjoy the fruits of hard work.
Second, is a state of mind; every second we are becoming Vikshipta (distracted either with desires or fears) as said by sage Patanjali. Distracted state of mind always keeps us unsatisfied and anxious. Therefore yoga is the only solution to attain the Ekagara, the focused state where we keep the mind quarantined from negativity.
In conclusion, Bindusar Yoga system brings yoga in daily life to help students to enjoy fulfillment and stay healthy without moving to caves or jungle for peace of mind.
About Mukesh Kothari
Mukesh Kothari is a spiritual counselor for some and yoga guru to others. He was introduced to yoga at an early age due to the surrounding of his native village in Rishikesh (The yoga capital of the world” a town in the Himalayas). Later, the quest to understand it in depth took him to many Himalayan gurus and yoga school.
He has been teaching yoga since 2003, immediately after finishing his formal education in Yoga and Ayurveda. His teaching includes the style of Hatha yoga and inspired modern styles such as Ashtanga Vinyasa, Vinyasa, and self-created Bindusar yoga system.
His teachings also include the study of classical texts like Patanjali Yoga Sutra, Hatha yoga texts such as Hatha yoga pradipika, Gherand Samhita, Hatha ratnavali, where the complete approach of asanas, pranayama, meditation, and Vedanta emerges.
He has regularly been teaching in India and West since last 15 years, where he has gained the competency to explain the old tradition of Vedic yoga and Ayurveda knowledge to western students easily.
He was introduced to Ayurvedic lifestyle since from his childhood due to family and social environment, as his father is a doctor in an Ayurvedic system. He started learning yoga concepts at an early age under the guidance of Swami Hanumant Giri.
Mukesh Kothari has a high influence of yoga and spirituality during his school education of 14 years at the school of Honorable Swami Omkarananada Saraswati (www.omkarananda-ashram.org).
He is actively teaching around the world with his courses and Yoga teachers training 200 and 500 hours and set up his stable teachings along with a very dedicated team in European cities such as Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Moscow, Bratislava, London, Moscow, Sardinia, Cluj, and Bucharest. He has trained over 600 Yoga teachers in the European continent since 2012.
He is the founder of BinduSar Yoga Rishikesh and Yoga studio in Budapest, where more advanced courses and teacher development programs are conducted regularly.
For his courses in Europe and India, please visit: www.bindusaryoga.com