Interview with Danilo Hernández: "yoga is a science of the development of human potential"

Swami Digambarananda Saraswati (Danilo Hernández) is one of the most renowned teachers in the yoga world, inside and outside of Spain. So you think about yoga, your learning and teaching.

Disciple of Swami Satyananda and Swami Niranjanananda, is dedicated to the teaching of yoga since 1975. Recognized as Yogacharya (yoga teacher) in 1993 by the International Yoga Fellowship Movement and the Bihar School of Yoga of Munger, India. Founded in Madrid Bindu School of Yoga of Chamartín, in 2002.
He is the author of one of the most valued and serious yoga books: Keys of Yoga. Theory and practice (Ed. The March Hare). Swami Digambar regularly runs yoga courses in other Spanish cities and in South America.

What you would say to a young man that asks why start learning Yoga instead of Pilates?
Firstly, I would ask you what you are looking for. If simply seeks to get a better form physical, then you would say that with practice Pilates or another gymnastics would be enough. If in addition a good physical shape you are looking for personal development, achieve harmony and balance in all aspects of their personality or raise their level of consciousness, then I would say that yoga is definitely the way. The Pilates system cannot be compared with the magnitude and dimension of Yoga. Pilates, with all its virtues, is a simple method of physical education.

Yoga is a science of transformation and the development of human potential. A system of comprehensive growth that provides health and harmony in all aspects of the personality: physical, energetic, emotional, mental, spiritual and ethical.

In any case, in the many years that I've been teaching I have advised many people who have requested it to me but I have never tried to convince anyone to practice yoga. I think it is a personal decision that is born of a certain sensitivity, maturity and the search for a dimension deeper and full of existence.

What we can expect of the yoga and what not should wait?
What can we expect from yoga in general depends on what you are looking for and the faithful that we are in our practice. Yoga can help us to realize all our goals in life.

It is obvious that we should not expect miracles. Unrealistic expectations are always a cause of frustration. What if we can expect is a great improvement of our quality of life.
If you persevere in practice with "patience and determination", the benefits will be coming in due course. The principle is often experience a noticeable improvement of the health and physical well-being. The prolonged practice provides a State of emotional and mental balance that leads to greater clarity, insight and efficiency in managing all aspects of life.

When the practice and the practitioner ripen, the fruit is the appearance of a higher level of consciousness that is expressed in a selfless life style. Positive values are updated as: kindness, generosity, understanding, solidarity, selfless love, the spirit of service, etc. Ultimately, what we can expect as a result of the practice of yoga is a more fulfilling and happy life.

What, in your opinion, the most valuable contribution of yoga, its most notable values?
The contributions of yoga are numerous. It resaltaría two approaches of the transformation and evolution of the human being which are poured into the texts of tradition. In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali describes the structure of mental yoga, a system of practices and attitudes that allows the overall development of the person. It begins with the ethical codes of Yama and Niyama, which harmonize the external and internal context of the life of the practitioner and is completed with the method of meditation that provides the awakening of all the capabilities of the individual.

On the other hand in the Bhagavad Gita We find the vision of the Integral Yoga. This text represents the quintessence of yoga and describes three trails that allow Liberation: Gyana Yoga (via the discernimiento-sabiduria), Bhakti Yoga (via the amor-devocion) and Karma Yoga (via the accion-servicio). It gives us an overview of yoga in which the three trails converge and integrate resulting balance between head (thinking), the heart (feeling) and hands (the action), the harmonization of all aspects of the human personality. Thus yoga is a set of isolated practices and is updated as a "lifestyle" fully conscious, loving and unselfish, can awaken and express the full potential of the individual.

What you must self contribute to your yoga practice?
In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali masterfully sums up the qualities that should accompany the practice. These are Abhyasa and Vairagya. Abhyasa represents constancy and regularity. Vairagya is the attitude of non-attachment, the absence of expectations regarding outcomes.
One of the mistakes that can fall is mechanical attitude or the operator. The practitioner must provide much consciousness as an antidote to the mechanical practice. The discernment is also essential at the time of understanding the application proper of them exercises and attitudes that proposes the Yoga.

The rush to get results is another obstacle. At the end of a yoga session usually sing the mantra Om followed three times by the word Shanti. Shanti means peace and sing it represents our wish that all beings achieve that State. Another meaning of the word Shanti is patience. So we would also recommend that the practice is accompanied by patience, patience and patience...

As for the teaching of yoga in Spain, what their current quality?
A response is not generalizable nor is pleasant to pronounce on the matter. No doubt there are many excellent teachers of yoga in Spain. But "all is not gold that glitters". The stunning spread that yoga has had in the last two decades has resulted in a processing and marketing abusive of his teachings. This has caused the impoverishment of the quality of teaching. On the other hand, the great proliferation of yoga teacher training courses has become an important business. Perhaps this is the reason that some professors who do not have students have launched to organize teaching courses, activity that is much more profitable to them. It is sure that some of these courses are quality, but there are others that raise suspicions and is likely that training is inadequate or they are giving "cat eyes". We have seen ads for courses to become a teacher in 15 days. In short, there are plenty of comments...
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

The qualities of a good teacher

Danilo says: "a good teacher before that nothing has to be a good practitioner. A key point is to have a good preparation, i.e. a knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of Yoga".

"Some of the qualities that define a good Yoga teacher are: honesty, humility, realism and common sense, not to be dogmatic or sectarian, a remarkable spirit of service, the desire to overcome, etc." And if he has a good sense of humor, better than better."

"Has of having also the capacity of put is in the skin of the student and understand which are their real needs and the mode of meet them." And of course it has to be a person determined to keep learning, growing and helping."

Pepa Castro

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By • 17 Oct, 2012 • section: Interview