Boris and Renee: If you are able to eat with a spoon by yourself, then you can practice Yoga.
Boris and Renee what was the reason(s) you started with yoga and who has been your greatest influence?
Boris wanted to become an astronaut, that's why he started with Yoga early as a child. Different reasons kept him going, but this was the initial reason. His greatest influence is his bulgarian teacher Venzislav Eftimov and his mother.
Renée was looking for a way out of suffering as a teen, and her dad suggested Yoga. She studied philosophy, went for Meditation Retreats, did art therapy and practiced Yoga. Her greatest influence is her husband Boris and her children.
What is your main resistance which holds you back from progress in your yoga practice or in your life in general? How did you overcome it?
The biggest resistance that holds us back in our life is ignorance. We think we know how things are, and we get stuck. We can overcome ignorance by being aware that we can never know much with our little minds. Stay open minded and light hearted. To not take ourselves too seriously.
Do you remember the point when you felt real transformation in your yoga practice?
No. Transformation always happened gradually, and we could never pinpoint the real Transformation to a certain time, or a certain place. Of course the growth and Transformation happened. It's like watching our children grow. We cannot say when they got older, yet they did.
What are you going to bring to our community?
Renee will enjoy singing Mantras together and feel connected to all of you in doing so.
Boris will bring depth and insight into the Yoga Practice and simple movements of daily life.
Boris, what makes your yoga classes unique?
Come and see, we will laugh a lot.
Boris and Renee as a couple what did yoga bring to your relationship?
We met because of Yoga, so I guess the answer is: Everything.
How do you feel about travelling and teaching yoga as a beautiful family of four?
It's wonderful. Sometimes we have to be careful to take breaks, because we enjoy so much what we are doing. But even if we enjoy, we need to pause every now and then.
How do you see and observe Austrian versus Slovak yoga students or yoga community. Is there a difference? Do we have something that is connecting us?
Of course there are different mentalities. But when we practice Yoga, we breathe together. We focus and become aware of the things that make us human. So yes, the beautiful thing about Yoga is that it's connecting all of us. Teaching in other communities, we always meet the most wonderful people.
Renee you are a musician. What kind of music will you bring to us and what music means to you?I will bring my own songs and I will sing Mantras. Making music to me means to be creative. Being creative means to be able to create my own reality and share it with the world. I take whatever is here and turn it into music. In doing that I feel free.
Renee how vital is an Indian tradition and philosophy in the current yoga practice in Europe? Would you like to see a most robust connection between yoga and Indian philosophy or it is not so crucial for yoga practice in our cultural region?
The Indian Philosophy and Tradition is very complex. There are numerous philosophies, and many times in the West the different philosophies get confused and mixed up. For example the Yoga philosophy is strongly influenced by the Samkhya philosophy, which is a dualistic philosophy.
The Samkhya philosophy says that we are entangled in the world out of ignorance, and we become free by realizing that our true nature is completely different than this world. Yet many Advaita philosophers have interpreted the Yoga Sutras in an advaitic way, saying that Yoga is about becoming One with everything, connecting the Spirit with the Body. There is nothing wrong about it, it's just different views on one subject. The only problem happens when someone claims their view to be the only right one. That's ignorance again, and we get stuck.
As I have studied (Indian) philosophy at the university, I have experienced that by diving into a completely new way of thinking, doors of the mind open up and we feel like a new person. It changes us, and we have realizations. This again changes our Yoga practice. I believe that we grow in a holistic way. We have a body, why not use it? We have a mind, why not expand it? If we expand the mind, the body follows. But if someone is not interested in philosophy at all, that's ok. We can still breathe, observe, practice.
Life and practice of B.K.S. Iyengar inspired Ultimate Freedom Yoga Festival. Do you see any of his influence on your practice?
Two of Boris's teachers studied with Iyengar. Two of Renee's teachers at the University have studied with Iyengar, and she loves them dearly, so this is the influence she has from his teachings.
Some see yoga as a practice only for young people, but the example of B.K.S. Iyengar is showing us that yoga is life lasting practice. What would be your message for those who'd like to start with yoga practice but they hesitate because they feel old and/or inappropriate to attend yoga class?
There is a saying that when you are able to eat with a spoon by yourself, then you can practice Yoga. Yoga is about awareness, and we are never too young or too old to be aware. Yoga is popular nowadays, yet what we see is usually not Yoga. We can never see Yoga. It happens inside of us, it's a relationship we build with ourselves. We have a mind to expand it - that's what Yoga is about. The body is here to give us feedback. Can you be too old to breathe and love yourself?
The Last but not least question. What does ultimate freedom means to you?
Ultimate freedom to us means to enjoy every moment of our life. The good and the bad. Life is such a gift, we want to be aware of it as much as we can
Come and see, we will laugh a lot.