Chris Magee: Ultimate Freedom, is the ability to choose, at all points of your life, to be happy.
Chris, what was your main resistance which holds you back from progress in your yoga practice or in your life in general? How did you overcome it?
When my practice began the struggle was to remove my ego from the asana. I was always pushing, forcing and struggling. Only with releasing, letting go did I start to get the real benefits of the practice on the mat and in my life.
Do you remember the point when you felt real transformation in your yoga practice?
It was about six months in. The light bulb moment that came with the surrender to the work of the practice. The first time I ever felt truly relaxed - and I fell asleep in savasana.
What can people expect from your classes and what makes you different from other teachers?
I like my class to be fun and dynamic, a well balance mixture of strength and release, mental and physical, coupled with the breath.
Life and practice of B.K.S. Iyengar inspired Ultimate Freedom Yoga Festival. Do you see any of his influence on your practice?
One of my favourite quotes of Iyengar, from his later years (I think when he was 85+) is, “I remain a junior teacher - but a senior learner.” I love this approach, it inspires me to continue to learn and grow. It’s a wonderful reminder to be the student of yoga always as well as the teacher.
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 is so varied, so many styles, methods approaches and modifications are available - it truly is for everyone. Know that whatever capabilities you have when you start your practice are perfect. It’s not about the strength, flexibility or age in your body, it’s about the intention of you practice in your heart and mind.
Chris, you are known for bringing Japanese folklore and martial arts to your regular yoga practice. What is the reason of this mixture and how people can benefit from it?
I have been a martial artist from a very young age across several different disciplines, and I was always fascinated by the movements and the culture - in the same way as the Bhagavad Gita can be a source of wonderful analogies, Japanese lore is the same - and it’s nice to hear stories and references that we may be less familiar with!
As a global ambassador you are travelling around the world and teaching in many different yoga communities. Could you shortly describe what you see as a main trend and focus in yoga ? Where do you see future of yoga?
Current trends center around an asana practice that tones and strengthens the body, whilst having a practical application of mediation and the ability to reduce stress from our daily lives. The future of yoga is very bright as I really see more and more people from all walks of life starting to find the practice and recognise the benefits of making it part of their daily life.
The last but not least question. What does Ultimate Freedom means to you?
Ultimate Freedom, is the ability to choose, at all points of your life, to be happy. Happiness is the ultimate freedom to me.
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