I spent two months (December 2014 and January 2015) studying yoga with Masterji in his shala in Mysore. I have been practicing Yoga for more than 15 years and in this time I had attended many retreats and seminars and I read as much books about Yoga as it was possible. Meeting Masterji for two months taught me and made me reflect about Yoga like never before.
In my long journey towards Yoga I never met anyone who know so much about it. I never met anyone with such, love, devotion and knowledge about Yoga. Masterji himself loves Yoga passionately.
Masterji teachings has many different faces, what impress me most has been his unbiased dedication to his students, his deep love to all of them and his understanding about each personal situation.
I encourage all Yoga students around the world to spend some time with Masterji. Their practice and way to understand Yoga would evolve dramatically. Mine already does in many senses. I feel now I am a better Yogini.
I particularly encourage people who have been practicing for a long time and they are discovering the changes of age and time in their bodies. There is always a way to practice and Masterji knows it. But then again, I have seen Masterji teach Yoga to people who has never practice before with such devotion, and then I wish he would have been my first Master in Yoga.
- Maria Telleria, Baghdad, Iraq
Masterji is a hidden gem. I was fortunate to discover him in Mysore when a casual drop-in turned into a 4+ month intensive study starting in December 2013. At times, I'd be the only student. Other times, the shala would be full as groups cycled through. Assisting Masterji was an amazing learning experience as I observed how he treated each student with precise personal guidance.
I look forward to my return everyday.
- Augusto Leal, Student & Teacher, New York, USA
I studied with Masterji in December 2005, completing an intensive course for yoga teachers, and returning in December 2006, completing another month of study and practice.
I really liked the open, holistic and also traditional approach of Masterji. In his classes, I was able to learn and deepen the first three series of Ashtanga Vinyasa and in particular he taught me the art of adjustments to help students overcome their limits with confidence. But the best part was represented by the classes of pranayama, very complete and from which you came out like flying. I liked too the hours spent talking on the philosophy of yoga and Vedanta, a real gem, as I believe that Masterji is a true expert in this field. Very nice also the classes on repetition of mantras, where I could learn the correct pronunciation and the right way to sing the traditional mantras
I highly recommend to study and practice with Masterji, and to completely trust his experience and humanity .
I believe that in an ocean of false guru he is a true Master, humble and full of experience and knowledge. I owe a lot to him if today I have become what I am.
- Giovanni Formisano, KRIYA YOGA ASHRAM, Milan, Italy
I have been studying with Masterji since 2007.
Masterji is one of the few living teachers who is in the direct lineage of the torchbearers of the sacred knowledge of yoga in India. Studying and practicing with him is an experience like none other. His direction, depth, knowledge, insight, patience, skill, compassion, love and intuition as a teacher is to be cherished by the sincere student who is yearning for the yoga in yoga. He accepts and lifts all type of students - from the absolute beginner to the most advanced of the advanced! And he does this with the utmost grace, respect, love and understanding for all his students - in whatever state their minds are!
Simply put - he is a master of the subject of yoga, hence the name "Masterji" that he is known by and is truly a treasure to be treasured.
- Amit Heri, BHAKTI SHAKTI YOGA | Los Angeles, California USA
I had the chance to meet Masterji in Bangalore in November 2007. At that period I was living there with my family, and I started to work intensively with him, every morning from 9 am to 1pm in order to complete a 200h Teacher Training in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga.
For sure at that time I was not aiming to teach yoga. I just wanted to have a deep practice and explore beyond my possibilities. But then I got completely devoted to Ashtanga, to the class, to the learning, to Masterji and since then I could never stop.
I sincerely think that my yoga learning with Masterji was key to success. Masterji has a profound knowledge of Ashtanga, of yoga philosophy, of life, and it was a honor for me that he could share his big knowledge with me. He was to me a great inspiration and he still remains my reference and my inspiration when I got through some difficulties in yoga learning/teaching but also in my daily life. I think of him very often, trying to remember what he would have told to me in difficult times and giving me the good advice to move forward.
The most important thing I learned from Masterji is that Yoga is ONE and for everyone, there is no limits, no restrictions, no borders no matters of your knowledge, no matter of your background, no matter if you are an Ashtangi, or Iyengar, or whatever yoga style.
Masterji is open-hearted and open-minded teacher and human being, is acceptance, of oneself and of others.
Yoga is one, is a universal school of living. And that is the big lesson I apply every day in my personal practice and in my teaching.
I also learned from him that you dont need to have a perfect body to perform perfect asana. He teached me the self-acceptance, and that yoga is not a competition, my body, your body as he used to say to me. And that Im a good yogini even if Im not able to do the most challenging asanas.
Im missing this dimension of teaching in our western world, where we tend to separate, differentiate, and create a classification of good and bad yoga styles, good and bad yoga students, where they want us to be good yoga performers and where there is still a lot of ego from most teachers and students.
I definitely encourage you to take yoga classes with Masterji and enjoy every single moment. In his classes you will be building your yoga treasure that will be always with you. I wish I could live closer to him to meet him more often.
I will be always grateful to him and to life. I started my yoga journey with Masterji and with the Ashtanga Primary Series and I fell in love with it. Ashtanga is what I still practice and teach. I also studied and practiced other yoga styles over the years, and Im also certified to teach yoga to children. But Ashtanga remains my first love. I also teach it to over 40s ladies, I offer them a soft version of Ashtanga, and they really love it and got a lot of benefits from it.
- Gabriella De Rinaldis, GAYOGA STUDIO, Munich, Germany
I studied with Masterji during January and February 2015. I was inspired to join his classes after some friends recommended him, and from the first class I knew I'd found an immensely knowledgeable and experienced teacher who could teach me so much. Masterji is always watching you and spots all the cheating patterns you've developed, gradually helping you to unpick them one by one - hard work but definitely worth it! After just six weeks practice with him I feel I've tidied up my practice no end, and he has also helped me gain confidence with some more advanced postures. The combination of his asana and pranayama practice help to provide a more rounded yoga experience, which is topped off his willingness to share his deep knowledge of all the eight limbs and yoga philosophy. I would highly recommend Masterji to any practitioner, no matter if it's your first class or you've been practising for years. I certainly hope to be back!
- Becky May England
It's a pleasure to give my testimonial for Masterji. Today Yoga has been trivialized in East and West from many people and teachers. It's very easy to find a yoga teacher and call him/her a "Master" but it is not easy to find a TRUE yoga Master. I feel very privileged to have met Masterji, to have him to guide me through my Yoga journey and helping me in all aspects.
Masterji is not only a great teacher with magic adjustment, he teaches Yoga as a whole, responsible for each part of Yoga. He guides his students very personally in Asanas or Pranayamas, but also he shares so much knowledge in Yoga philosophy, deities, culture and stories. He will even lead you in your spiritual path if you are willing to keep evolving as a person and spirit. Apart from all great yoga classes, I have been to Hindu rituals and temples with him and have had the most amazing experiences.
I keep in touch with my master regularly; I am from Brazil and met Masterji in my country in a yoga course, after that I decided to do the teacher training in Mysore. He keeps helping me in everything I need with simplicity and humbleness. I will be forever grateful for his teachings and friendship and I look forward to see him again soon!
- Milena Sgarzi, Sao Paolo Brazil
I went to India to attend Masterji's Yoga teachers training at 2010. I was looking for a teacher that is still connected to the old tradition. There are so many teachers in India, so many students, so many different approaches and a lot of influences from the modern world. But to me it was important to stick with the origin methods. Luckily a dear friend of mine recommended Masterji and I was happy and fortunate to spend 3 months with him in Bangalore. Priceless and precious time I had with Masterji. Even today I have a reminder every once in a while that I have picked the right teacher for me, when I listen to great teachers lectures I recognize the language, the approach, its the same narrative.
Even though I have practice yoga before I met Masterji, I realize that the time I spend with him changed my practice, refined and deepen my physical and breathing practice. After a few years of practice only in Bangalore I started to really feel and understand the effect of yoga on my body. I remember waking up early mornings and then diving into 2.5 hours of practice, where each time I would lose myself and during class collect parts of me till I became whole again. The pranayama sessions kept me healthy throughout my time in India. I was not sick and felt very strong. Our philosophical sessions were uplifting, the enormous knowledge that Masterji holds is remarkable, he is a real teacher, very honest and makes no compromises when it comes to yoga. I appreciate that in a teacher. Masterji lives a yogi life he has dedicated his life to yoga and sets an example for his students. I miss my time in Bangalore and I miss Masterji classes, I hope I'll have a chance to practice and learn more from this great teacher. Namaste.
- Zohar Marnin, YOGA STUDIO EILAT, Eilat, Isreal
LILA is the name of my Yoga Studio located in Villa La Angostura, Neuqun, Argentina. I live in this beautiful place since 2004. Here I give regular Yoga classes, 5 classes a week, based mainly on sana, then, usually one time a week, practices based on Pranayama, Mantra and Mudra. And, when it is required, weekend seminars. This happens 7 to 8 times a year. These seminars are dedicated to Yoga Teachers.
The sana practices I teach dont follow a particular Yoga style. I have developed an eclectic practice based on breathing and movements, following the vinysa principles. Each class, focused on one aspect (focus, alignment, core, balance, etc,) has an important period of breathing exercises to enhance the motive of the class. Of course, for doing so its necessary to have a proper knowledge of sana functional role in the process of Yoga. Something that any person is able to develop as the time passes when having the right guide and information. I had the privilege to develop this point of view and this ability after studying with M.S Vishwanath.
I met M.S Vishwanath in Buenos Aires in April, 1999. It was my first meeting with a real and original Yoga Teacher who came from India to share his knowledge.
I had started my studying on Yoga in 1980, being 43 years old. I started teaching in 1985; as many others I taught only sanas. As time was passing, and after being more and more deeply involved in Yoga, realized that Yoga is a huge research field. As I have a Master in History, I was provided with the tools to undergo a proper research; but the research showed that the right way of learning was not only written information but a proper guide.
When I met Masterji, I understood that the guide was there. I started to learn and to place the knowledge in the right place.
M.S. Vishwanath stayed in Buenos Aires for 8 months. He started regular classes of Yoga: sana, Prnyma, Mantra and deep understanding of the main principles underlying the practice of Yoga. With his teachings I felt as reborned in the field of Yoga. My understanding, practice and teachings radically changed after this relationship.
In 2000, I went to Bangalore, India, and stayed 4 months at Masterjis studio: Pathanjala Yoga Kendra, just studying and practicing with Masterji and visiting places and temples under his guidance and explanations.
It was an immersion in Yoga and the culture of India and an amazing experience that I highly recommend to any Yoga student. When returned to my country I had to change the way of teaching after having experienced in situ the meaning of santana dharma.
I was supposed to return to India in the short term but many things happened in the world after the September 11 events; besides, my country went through a very hazardous time due to misleadings in the managing of the national economy. After that, we met some times more, mainly in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and one time more in India. This time, I was not as a student bus as a participant in a Conference about Natha Sampradaya.
Before meeting Masterji, as I had a very simple training practice in Yoga based only on sana, I started my own research about Yoga. Being a researcher, my background provided me with enough criteria to choice teachings and written information; therefore I never got stuck in the first teachings. Good teachings and teachers were not available in Argentina during the last years of the 20th Century, at least, the kind of teachings I was looking for. I was not interested in sanas techniques but in knowledge.
Therefore, when meeting Masterji, I felt as reaching one of the most important events in my life: the possibility of studying with a true Yoga Master.
In this occasion, Masterji started teaching sana. But I soon discovered that he was a well of knowledge, that he owned a comprehensiveness that meant more than sanas techniques. In the beginnings, he was very cautious but he started to provide more information as he discovered a real and serious interest in his students.
Regarding sana, Masterji is very special in the art of adjustments, and, of course, in teaching the right way of doing sanas. Anybody who undergoes sana classes with Masterji will never forget this. Through sanas, he helps to develop the ability of focus, precision and alignment, and the different levels of alignment.
But Masterji, as I told, is not only a teacher on Yoga postures. You discover his depth when he starts teaching Philosophy, (be it Vedanta, Smkhya, Tantra or Yoga), and when he teaches Prnyma, Mantra, Mudra and the depths of the meaning of life.
And you discover and understand the kinship between Philosophy, Psychology, Yoga and Life, and the meaning of sana in such a context.
With Masterji, you are not going to learn only sana. You are going to learn about life.
Im now 78 years old. I keep teaching Yoga and keep healthy. But, I am not only a Yoga Teacher. And this is because of the subtle and hidden influence of Masterji: I became a Yoga writer. Started this activity when I moved to Villa La Angostura where, surrounded by this overwhelming Nature, I could answer to Her invitation, the invitation of Life and Yoga: to put in words the great experiences, feelings, challenges and changes triggered by Masterjis influence.
This influence awoke forgotten memories. The only I had to do was to answer to the call of Yoga and Life. And Masterji Vishwanath was the proper mean in spite of him and me. So, Im a Yoga teacher and a Yoga writer. My aim is to reach to as many students as possible through specialized books. I have a good amount of students, between 30 to 50, depending on the season; not a crowd. Yoga is not a business for me. Im looking after good and serious yoga students who may continue to spread this knowledge.
I believe that the knowledge and practice of Yoga is a blessing and a need for humanity. By the different means of Yoga and by the different practices provided by Yoga mainly sana, Pranayama and Pratyhra - any person can face different problems and find a positive way out. Stress, a calamity for psychological and physical health, is understood and changed just moving slowly between different postures, breathing evenly, and then, sitting quietly observing the movements of breath and thoughts. This is the path to meditation, learning to stay in the best company: the Self that dwells inside us.
This is the path I discovered with M.S. Vishwanath. At my age, I have no fascination for challenging sanas. Young people usually are attracted by this fascination. They have to. The reason is that sana is meant for arranging the gross body and the gross mind so they can serve as proper vehicles for the extraordinary means of the subtle body.
- Karin Larsson, LILA, Neuquin, Argentina
I am happy to express my gratitude to my teacher of Yoga, Viswanatha Mysore Sivaram.
I am certified in teaching yoga in the period June-August 2012. It was an unforgettable experience in my life and I really want to savour again. I was lucky that I took lessons from Masterji, who understood me and encouraged me for the period that I followed the course of yoga. My choice to be trained with Masterji was not casual, my friend Angelos who is a physicist from Greece, told me for the wonderful days that had passed some time ago in the yoga class with Masterji.
This training helped me a lot in the teaching of traditional Yoga. If you would ask me which part I liked learning more it would be hard to answer, however I can say that the Mantra classes gave me a special pleasure. Masterjis0 voice was warm and with a special timbre. Anyone who is willing to learn and be perfect in the field of yoga, will not be disappointed if they take part in the class that Masterji conducts, which is characterized by accuracy, wisdom, understanding.
In my country, Albania, yoga is not very popular, therefore, this experience makes me happy and sure, to share with people of my country, to make them aware, about the benefits that brings yoga in their lives.
- Nina Ristani, Albania