Interview José Carballal: "the problem of the Ashtanga is that it teaches very badly"

Says it this disciple of the grandson of Pattabhi Jois, Professor authorised by the Mysore school to teach the first and second series. Beginners become José school dreaming of having the body of Madonna and just discovering themselves.

Jose Carballal

Actor by profession, in the school of interpretation to which assisted José recommended doing Yoga to improve the expressiveness of his body, accumulating too much tension, and to recover from a pericarditis (inflammation of the heart membrane). I needed to relax and open up. He started in school Sivananda, where was doing Karma Yoga, cleaning and helping to change go to class.

"Yoga hooked me very fast, I said to myself: this is." Then I was trying different styles and when I found the Ashtanga, I returned to thinking: this is mine. "A few months, went to Mysore (India) for the first time". It was the year 2002. There he studied with Sharaht, current guru and grandson of Pattabhi Jois. Happen that the teacher of Ashtanga which Joseph was studying in Madrid went to United States, and Jose own coworkers asked him to take responsibility for the classes. "Now I think about it and it seems to me a total irresponsibility; It was wilt to start teaching". Back from Mysore, he decides to start teaching in the living room of his home in Malasaña. Years later it would open House Ashtanga Yoga Mysore, its current center of Madrid, together with its partner Rafael Martínez.

What is for you a guru?
Someone who does it for you, but that accompanies you on the road; It is essential that it is someone who inspires you, you have to see the example in it. Is what happens with Sharath: is someone who walks the road; It does not say it but it lives it. I am fortunate because I have a guru and a teacher: Sarath is the guru and Peter Sanson the master, one of the first Western students of Pattabhi Jois. I see Yoga in them, live 24-hour Yoga.

Do not teachers forms in your Centre?
No, we are nor train, less type teacher tranning. Don't believe that someone paid I do not know how much money, are a few weekends and give him a paper saying: "you are already a teacher, because you can teach". Does not seem real. I believe very much in the traditional method. Ashtanga - which I generally has no very good fame in the world of Yoga because very little is known, and because it teaches very evil - is a very traditional method. Always respects the method of transmission from master to master. I do believe that it can form a teacher individually and with a lot of time, but it seems to me that the greatest teacher is the practice... All this from the teacher training does Yoga in a very delicate position, because the integrity of the practice is strongly committed.

Can you explain it more?
Parece me super teacher training courses there and that has to do with deepening, understand. But it is that concept a bit misleading if you do 200 hours, I give you this paper and already a teacher", it seems dangerous to me.

Means that it is a minimum, from which one continues to deepen...
Yes, what happens is that teach Yoga has a lot to do with being able to pass, and I think that not they can teach it anywhere, for many hours you do or that you pay. What most teaches you is to have a committed daily practice; one has to be in daily contact with that you want to transmit. My teacher Peter Sanson said: "everybody wants to teach but nobody wants to practice". There are many people who teach and practice two, three days a week, and that integrity is very committed.

José Carballal in one of her classes

And which your proposal for anyone who wants to teach?
For me it makes more sense to invest in your practice and find a teacher you trust, that will inspire you, to help you further.

What does Ashtanga which not brings another style of Yoga?
I think that it works for all those who practice it, but I don't think it's for everyone. And has nothing to do with it being an elitist practice or for people with equis conditions, but with the personality of each type. All Yoga is Yoga, and they are different paths to get to the same place. But it cannot be said that Ashtanga is better than Iyengar or other style. It is better for me; I've tried them all and that works for me is this.

How should we be for Ashtanga works for you?
Vague people cannot do, is impossible. I think this can be applied to almost all the Yogas, but Ashtanga is a type of Yoga that gives you a lot, but asks a lot too; It is a radical Yoga in a sense. And it is a practice which, like all spiritual practices, is daily.

It is the idea of requiring special physical conditions Ashtanga...
Yes, that is for athletes. The very serious problem of Ashtanga, that has a lot to do with the boom of teachers that spoke before, is that it teaches very badly for me. I have been practiced for ten years and two months ago he said to me: ah, is this; I'm starting to learn now... Do not stop learning. One must take many years practicing every day to begin to understand the depth and the subtle that has the practice. And that the experience of years, gives you not the superficial knowledge. That's the problem: there are many teachers living practice from a physical and athletic, Yoga presented it as well and teach it as well. And this misconception is extended...

To me I have come to ask by phone: "Hey, is that Yoga makes Madonna? I want that body... "." I'm not saying that not because most people start there and then begins to see the rest. Anyone who go to Mysore or listen to Sharath realizes that it is something quite spiritual, but as any Yoga that is sustained by the Yamas and Niyamas and working asanas as one way to go elsewhere...

Ashtanga is a tool. Used correctly is a spiritual, holistic system, that healthy, calms the mind and helps to connect... Used in the wrong way it serves to inflate the ego, to injure, to put you above the rest. It depends on how teach you it and how uses it.

What have discovered you your practice within ten years?
This that every day is the same sequence of asanas (although when just the first series start to work the second and become new challenges to the mind and breath), I live it as if one is looking every day in the same mirror. If I want to know exactly how I am and I look every day in a different mirror, I will take more time to see me. But seeing you every day in the same mirror for me is the way to get to know you in too deep: what you resist, where is the anger or sadness, what is telling me this of me. The relationship that one has with the practice speaks to you of how you relate to the world; the practice is a metaphor of how you are in life. I always think that I have a therapist free two hours a day six days a week.

Your school will be many actors, what typically look for?
In general, the actors are students who come over on a spiritual quest than physics. Also on the subject of concentration. I also believe that acting and practicing Yoga have much in common, although the atmosphere is apparently very opposite; When one acts it must be channel, leaving the ego and put at the service of something bigger, which is the character. The actors have, therefore, easier to make that leap of interpretation to the practice of Yoga.

What you would tell a beginner should put on the Yoga mat, as well as hard work?
You also need to be smart to handle the demand, because working with too much demand just by doing that one pull the towel; Hence each has to find its way. After ten years, I feel that this year I got married with the practice (I have been mistress with her during a lot of time, because there is little people with so much resistance to compromise as I), and I succeeded me committing to daily practice, but really doing what I can every day. My commitment has been putting the mat every day, and there, do what you can. The lack of higher demand has made me want more and more and overcome the resistance.

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By • 14 jan, 2013 • section: Interview