Mark Whitwell teaches from his lifelong relationship with the teachings of Professor T. Krishnamacharya, “the teacher of our teachers,” whose students BKS Iyengar and K Pattabhi Jois have popularized and defined Yoga in the West. Having studied since 1973 in the home of Krishnamacharya with his son TKV Desikachar, Mark is committed to communicating with compassion and clarity the timeless yoga principles as they were taught to him. He seeks to simply put back what has been curiously been left out of western yoga education and practice, placing Krishnamacharya’s ancient principles into the popular styles and a remarrying of yoga to its tantric origins. This makes yoga practice powerful, efficient and accessible to everyone
Of utmost importance in Mark’s teachings is the principle taught to him by Krishnamacharya that “If you can breathe, you can do yoga.” Asana is breath-based and therefore must be adapted to the individual. Asana is for the breath; the movement of the whole body anatomy participates and enhances the breath in the great polarity of inhalation / exhalation, above to below, strength that is receiving, the male female qualities of Life. Mark teaches that “asana is hatha yoga, the union of all opposites, and hatha yoga is non dual tantra, our direct absorbtion in the nurturing source.” By simply participating in source through hatha, inhale/exhale, an authentic and efficient Yoga practice will manifest for each practitioner, taking into account individual differences, age, body type, health, and cultural background. Mark’s lectures and classes offer a study into the technology of asana, pranayama, bandha, meditation, and life as a seamless process. The teachings and experience of the tantra clarify the profound relevance of this ancient wisdom to contemporary life. Mark insists that there is a right Yoga for everyone. Being a yogi has nothing to do with spiritual attainment, nor asana achievement; it is the beautiful embrace of your own reality.
Mark has edited and contributed to The Heart of Yoga written by Desikachar, as well as made contributions to Desikachar’s Health Healing and Beyond. He now works with Srivatsa Ramaswami, Krishnamacharya’s senior student and author of three books, Yoga for the Three Stages of Life, The Complete Book of Vinyasa Yoga, and Yoga Beneath the Surface. Mark’s book, Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection, is published by Lantern Books.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Mark now splits his time teaching throughout Europe, Asia, America, and the South Pacific. In 1996 Mark established the Heart of Yoga Association- a non-profit foundation that provides Yoga education around the world. Having studied with many known and unknown yoga masters, Mark is most interested in revealing actual Yoga and how each person effectively practices. His teachings are profound yet simple, accessible to everyone, and, when applied make lasting positive changes in his students’ lives.