Lauren x Ramaswami
Who is Ramaswami?
Srivatsa Ramaswami is the longest standing student of Shri T. Krishnamacharya. Ramaswami studied under Krishnamacharya for over 30 years. For me, Ramaswami is one of the most devout students because of his level of respect for the teachings and his dedication to articulating them directly as he received them. He is in his later years and opportunities to learn directly from him are getting rare.
What kind of teacher is he?
Ramaswami has a calming presence and a constant metronome of breath. He has a unique ability to see into someone’s body. This ability allows him to guide you to do things you wouldn’t normally think you could do. You can feel his presence in the whole room—yet his position doesn’t really change.
What was your first experience with Ramaswami?
My first experience with Ramaswami was in 2014 in Saskatoon. I took the 36 hour YTT. I eventually took the 100 YTT as well that focused on the practice of postures (learning over 700 vinyasas), pranayama, anatomy and philosophy. We covered the entire Yoga Sutras. He doesn’t even use a book—he just knows them by heart.
He opened my eyes to the subtleties of the postures. I learned so much—he explained the anatomy and subtle anatomy of the postures and breath. He went into so much detail. I got an understanding of what is happening in the heart during certain yoga postures and the connection between the head and the heart. It helped me care even more about the specific order in which I sequence the postures in my practice and classes. Throughout the practice, I could distinctly feel different muscles waking up preparing me for the next variation. Connecting to all subtle muscles has transformed my practice.
What are the core Ramaswami teachings that you take with you?
Movement follows the breath.
You can exhale more than you think than you can.
Recognize humbleness and what happens to your spine when you bow your head to your heart.
There is ALWAYS a next variation to learn, something to work towards.
In Ramaswami’s yoga—all postures come from the breath. As a teacher, I used to think, ‘I am supposed to move these people’. After learning from Ramaswami, I know that ‘the breath moves people’. Breath creates movement. My most powerful classes are not related to brute strength but to subtle awareness allowing for deep strength. The end quality is completely different. As students of the breath and body we move closer to kindness, sweetness and humility. This is the yogi I am working to embody and what I want my students to experience and deliver to the world.
Who is this YTT for? Why should they take it?
This teacher training is for someone who is interested in getting traditional teachings of yoga.
You do not have to do all of the poses—yet. If you are feeling unchallenged in your practice—there is a lot to learn and this is a great training for you to explore.
This teacher training is for someone who has questions—like I did and do. For a student who is ready to practice. I wouldn’t say he taught me how to teach. It was more of a personal experience that has helped me become a better teacher.
When you are practicing with Ramaswami—there are no extras. He teaches exactly what he learned from Krishnamacharya. This is an opportunity to keep the traditions alive.