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Flatiron Hot! News | December 15, 2017

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Sri Dharma Mittra Imparts Spiritual Wisdom at Dharma Yoga Center

Sri Dharma Mittra Imparts Spiritual Wisdom at Dharma Yoga Center
Flatironhot Contributor

By Colleen McCartney

The Dharma Yoga New York Center, located in the heart of the Flatiron District and a stone’s throw away from Chelsea, offers serenity and instruction to yoga students of all levels. Sri Dharma Mittra, who created the “Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures” and wrote ASANAS: 608 Yoga Poses, teaches on the 6th floor of 61 West 23rd Street. With a teaching style simultaneously demanding and nurturing, it is easy to understand how Sri Dharma acquired the honorific of “Teacher’s Teacher.” Recognizing his dedication to teaching yoga and imparting his spiritual wisdom over the years, the Dharma Yoga Center recently hosted a 75th birthday celebration for its beloved yogi.

I was very fortunate in my opportunity to interview and take a class with Sri Dharma. Although only a novice, I found myself doing headstands and flips by the end of the session. Only a week earlier, I unsuccessfully attempted a pose that involved hanging off the bed which ended with me getting stuck. With Sri Dharma’s guidance, I was able to pull it off with aplomb. Throughout the lesson, Sri Dharma assessed my skill level and worked with me to ensure that I left his studio with a sense of accomplishment. His emphasis on the Cultivation of Self Knowledge and keeping the Ethical Rules and Yogic Observances instills a spiritual importance in the practice of yoga that makes his classes enriching in addition to calorie burning.

Dharma_bridge

Sri Dharma Mittra at the Brooklyn Bridge – Photo Credit: Dharma Yoga Center

Sri Dharma was a body builder in Brazil before he began studying yoga. His understanding of the physical and mental discipline inherent in both informs his approach to teaching. “Bodybuilding is merely a physical pursuit. Yoga is about realizing what you really are beyond name, form and time.” Sri Dharma spiritual knowledge is infectious, redefining how his students view themselves in their daily pursuits as well as their progress in yoga.

Through this spiritual balance, Sri Dharma has a singular view of hectic city life and strives to help his students find their way to this enlightened vision along their own paths. “New York City is the best place on earth to practice yoga. Here, we have all the comforts of technology and all the benefits of living in a stable democracy, while at the same time, we have the chance to test our firmness every time we walk down the street because every temptation is here.” Sri Dharma’s sagacity and compassion enrich the Flatiron District, and with his recent 75th birthday celebration at the studio, there’s sure to be plenty of excitement radiating from 61 W 23rd Street throughout the summer!

Be sure to check out my full interview with Sri Dharma to read more about his insights on spiritual education, living a balanced life in the city, and the wisdom that accompanies nearly four decades of devotion to yoga.

Yoga in action

Class in Session at the Dharma Yoga Center