Meet Dennis; a yogi. I met him many years ago in Amezcua, a defunct wellness centre along White Plains. I had originally just planned on seeing the resident doctor, who was also an acupuncturist, but he strongly suggested I enroll in yoga classes held at the centre for a more holistic therapy. While I resentfully dragged my feet to sign up, I discovered, to my horror, a required thrice a week attendance. After throwing a little bit of a fit on such an unjust demand, the Spa Manager allowed me to practice twice a week to start, then eventually move towards their program, to which I agreed. Dennis would be my teacher.
*Photo credit: Dennis Dineshvara Daguman
Over the years, I’ve managed to take some classes in other studios with different teachers. Although good, they were not yogies and I would end up comparing it to the kind of yoga I had previously practiced. I would never stay long in the newer studios. It has something to do with the benefits I get from his classes, which I believe has a direct relation to him being not only a teacher, but particularly a yogi. The exchange and movement of energy in his classes might seem relatively slower but is ultimately more vibrant and enduring.
We continue to practice and meditate to this day.
Let’s take a closer look and see for yourself.
How and when did you get started with yoga?
When I was 9 years old, there was a yoga demonstration and interview with a yogi monk with Eddie Ilarde on TV. I got interested and asked my mother for permission to study yoga and of course, she thought I was crazy. It was my desire and dream which I held onto till I personally met the same yogi monk I saw on TV on September 1, 1976. That was the day I was initiated to Tantra yoga practice by Acharya Adveshananda Avadutha. He was a disciple of the great Tantric guru, Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, whom I personally met and had a very private conversation on December 26, 1986.
Who were your mentors?
Shrii Shrii Anandamurti, Adveshananda, Shiveshananda, and my inner self.
How long did you stay to learn in India?
What is Hatha yoga and why do you recommend it?
It is comprised of physical gestures and postures to balance the endocrine system, energize the chakras, and nourish internal organs.
What does it mean to be a yogi vis-à-vis a yoga teacher?
A yogi is a practitioner of a process called Tantra to attain yoga (oneness with the universal mind). A yoga teacher is a yogi who enlightens other beings to trek the path of Tantra. “Asanas” teachers are those who educate people in the proper execution of physical gestures and postures for fitness and wellness.
What would you say are the qualities of a good yoga teacher?
Be an authentic yogi. You can never give something that which you do not have.
Why are yogis vegetarian?
Because yogis are progressive thinkers. An animal based diet is not progressive; it’s destructive 🙂 (sic).
Does everyone need to meditate? If so, why?
Human is from the Greek root HU, meaning predominant, and Sanskrit root MAN, meaning mind. So humans are beings who think. Meditation is concentrated thinking. Does everyone need to meditate? It depends on the level of consciousness of the individual. If the person has the burning desire to evolve then meditation is the best mental activity for optimum evolution. It will unleash the unlimited potentials of the person.
What is your Sanskrit name and who gave that to you?
Dinesh’vara’ means the Lord of the Light, given by Acharya Adveshananda Avadutha.
What else do you teach?
In general I teach people how to make LIFE (sic), not just a living. Other disciplines I teach are Tai chi, swimming, guitar, healthy food preparation, mind synergy, and Tantra philosophy.
Any words you’d like to share to those who want to practice yoga or raise their consciousness but may be afraid?
If you feel you’re a butterfly then get out of the cocoon, spread your wings and fly. Irony is a crime to you inner self.
*Yogi Dennis can be contacted through mobile: 0919.579.4868/ 0906.601.2198