Sri Dharma Mittra has spent most of his life in service to humanity, disseminating the ancient knowledge of how to achieve radiant health and spiritual development. Dharma was born in the late 1930's, and has studied Yoga since 1958. After meeting his teacher guru, Sri Swami Kailashananda, he immersed himself in intense study and practice of the classical eight limbs of Yoga, and nine years of dedicated full time practice of Karma Yoga. He was accepted and initiated as a sannyasi (one who renounces the world in order to realize God). During these years Dharma had the esteemed honor of being the personal assistant to the Guru attending to all his needs. Sri Swami Kailashananda is known as the first Guru to bring the practice of Hatha Yoga to the west in the early 1950’s. Dharma taught only for his Guru with selfless expectation, after years as a full-time yogi and brahmachari, a celibate religious student who lives with his teacher and devotes himself to the practice of spiritual disciplines. He was the main demonstrator for the Yoga asanas at the many lectures the Guru gave to the public in the 60’s and 70’s. After being a celebrated teacher for many years at his guru’s Ashram, he left in 1974 and founded the Yoga Asana Center, currently known as Dharma Mittra Yoga New York Center. Dharma is the first main independent Yoga teacher on the East Coast, initiating hundreds of thousands on the path of Yogic practice and teaching. Dharma began disseminating this knowledge before "styles" of Yoga became popular, and has remained truthful to the original classical practice. Students from all walks and styles of Yoga love his teachings. Dharma has literally been teaching classes continuously every day since he started in 1967. To this day he still makes himself available regularly to anyone who walks thru the doors of Dharma Mittra Yoga in need of help and direction. For his dedication and fortitude, he is known as "the Rock of Yoga", and for his experience and knowledge the “Teacher's Teacher". Sri Dharma continues to inspire, enlighten, and reveal to Yoga teachers and practitioners today, the real meaning of Yoga. “It is my greatest joy to share with students this knowledge that I have acquired in the past 50 years of practice and study. Yoga practice will give one’s body the power and strength to have resistance to common illnesses and diseases. With proper encouragement and increased faith in the Guru, as one can improve his physical body and mental attitude rapidly, thereby igniting the higher motives of making one's self useful to himself and all mankind. Dharma is a most beloved Yoga Master, known for his humility, humor, joy and kindness in teaching. Every student who comes to his class is considered by him “as part of my family”. He diligently teaches the Yamas, the first step of Yoga, as he sets the greatest example for it in his life. In every class you will hear “without the Yama’s, known as the ethical rules, there is no success in Yoga”. He tirelessly continues to promote Ahimsa thru veganism, a live food Yoga diet, and kindness to all living beings, especially our inferior brothers (the animal kingdom). "When I am in his (Dharma) circle of love and kindness, I could really feel I'm surrounded by huge love of god and mother earth." In 1984 Dharma completed the Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures, as an offering to his Guru, and for all Yoga aspirants. This original masterpiece was meticulously assembled from over 1,350 photographs of posture variations he took of himself, all hand done before the computer age. Over 300 of these postures that are very popular today are created by Sri Dharma (of which he will only say "came through" Divine intuition). It has been an invaluable teaching tool over the past decades. You will find it in just about every yoga school and Ashram worldwide including India. In 1975 Dharma made the Sun Salutation and Yoga Course Poster. This includes all hand done drawings and art work, as well as photographs and two yoga class programs. Dharma is the author of the book 608 Yoga Poses published by New World Library, featured in American Yoga, His Master Chart was used as the tool and inspiration for Yoga Journal's book -Yoga. His Maha Sadhana DVD set for Level I – A Shortcut to Immortality and Level II – Stairway to Bliss, has been widely acclaimed as a preservation of the main teachings of Yoga. They are 8 hours of posture practice, breathing teachings, holy discourses, and Kirtan, for an amazing overall view of Sri Dharma’s years of dedicated service to the tradition. “Yoga Master Dharma Mittra offers over 50 years of gems from his practice in two beautiful, useful, high quality DVD’s from Pranayama. Maha Sadhana (meaning the great practice) levels I and II are comprised of asana and Pranayama (breathing) practices, meditation practices and spiritual discourses as the core content. Both are as amazing to watch as they are to practice with, since a man of Dharma Mittra’s age (he was born in the late ‘30s) wouldn’t be expected to have the strength, flexibility and muscle tone that he does. Lest we should be distracted by his perfection of postures, however, including such things as ease into full splits and the perfectly smooth flow between postures, Dharma Mittra emphasizes more than once in both DVDs that the postures 'are only one of the eight limbs of practice, designed to prepare the body for breathing exercises and meditation.'” Sri Dharma Mittra and his devotee’s, through Dharma Mittra Yoga, offer Dharma Mittra Yoga “Life of a Yogi” 200 & 500 hour teacher trainings on the eight limbs and nine forms of Yoga. They are designed from years of practices that Dharma did himself to become a yogi. Each participant receives handcrafted charts which Dharma made in the 1970’s to record their daily practice records. They too are beautiful works of art created by Dharma when in a state of bliss consciousness. Each student is prescribed spiritual programs that will totally charge and change their life to become a calm, content and better person. The results have been miraculous and the essence of these ancient teachings comes to life for each individual to use in this world of constant distractions. These yoga teachers, thru Dharmaji’s guidance become much more than just teachers, they become Yogis. “Reduce your wants and lead a happy and contented life. Never hurt the feelings of others and be kind to all. Think of God as soon as you get up and when you go to bed.” DM Dharma Mittra conducts Maha Sadhana, Divine Purification, and Yogic Treasures for a Shortcut to Immortality workshops worldwide at retreats and weekend workshops. His practice known as Dharma Mittra Yoga Shiva Namaskar Vinyasa (Levels I,II,III, IV, V), is a stairway to bliss that reintegrates the continuous flow of prana (cosmic energy) through the spinal column, emanating deep into all areas of the physical, metabolic, intuitive and bliss body. Levels I thru V of Shiva Namaskara Vinyasa have been embraced by Yogis from all styles, for their unique integration of the classical spirit of true Yoga in a completely thorough mobilization of the corporeal (physical) body. It will bring contentment, merging complete identity with the true self, the goal of Yoga. Many have told us of how they now know what Yoga is after meeting and studying with Dharma, even if they have been practicing for years. This is testament in itself of his great gift to Yoga practitioners, Yoga teachers, and society at large. HIS LIFE Sri Dharma Mittra is the teacher with the most mileage. Since 1967, he has spent more than half of his life teaching the yamas and niyamas of Yoga thru daily practice of Hatha-Raja Yoga to ten's of thousands of students. He was born in 1939 in the small remote village of Pirapora, Brazil, and was raised Catholic in a poor family of 5 children. In his early teens Dharma became involved in esoteric teachings and Yoga through books his younger brother was studying. Dharma had started to practice Body Building, Wrestling & Jiu-Jitsu. In 1962 was awarded the title "Mister Minas Gerais" ( a state in Brazil ). From 1958 thru 1964 he served in the Brazilian National Air-Force. Dharma had only practiced yoga through books, but his younger brother had already come to NYC and found the Guru. Within Sattya's letters, about Swami Kailashananda, was an invitation to come to New York City and stay with him. Dharma immediately left the Air Force and gathered enough money for a flight to the United States. On September 14, 1964, he and his brother sat in Cafe Reggio on MacDougal Street, near his Leroy Street apartment in the heart of Greenwich Village, filled with the colors of the times, and a soon to be final cappuccino and smoke. The next day he had scheduled a private consultation with the Guru, with his brother as the translator. The path ahead was now unfolding. The next two years Dharma immersed himself in every class and course, had private consultations, sat at the Guru's feet, and immersed himself in self-less service. Dharma was initiated into the family of Bramacharya , as a sanyasin, one who renounces the world in order to achieve liberation. In 1967 after much perseverance, practice and experience, he was asked to teach Ashtanga Yoga, specifically the 3rd and 4th limbs, asana and pranayama. Between the years 1967 to 1975 Dharma lived at the Yogi Gupta Ashram, at that time the main Yoga school in New York City. He was assigned to attend to all the needs of his Guru, as in preparing his food, clothes and shaving his head, and by receiving the blessings of Karma Yoga practice (self-less service or action without attachment), he served all the needs of the Ashram. Dharma was the main handyman, juiceman, and most beloved Hatha teacher, giving two classes and privates daily. When the Guru gave lectures to the public, Dharma was asked to give the Hatha Yoga demonstrations with him. Dharma imparts: "This was an absolute blessing for me, to be constantly near the Guru and be charged with his aura and grace, showered in love, compassion, thoughts of renunciation, self-realization, surrender and fortitude. Thu realizing that spiritual knowledge can only be imparted psychically, mentally and mostly spiritually". In 1975, after becoming self-realized, knowing that Krishna is all, and saturated with sattva (spiritual bliss caused by knowledge, realization and discipline), Dharma left the ashram to live his destiny. A life dedicated to sharing and spreading the truth, knowledge and light of God and Yoga in the most humble and quiet of ways. There is a long story involved in the telling of the opening of his first school, the Yoga Asana Center, penniless, and of it's many locations to come, but that may be told at a later time. Just let it be known that he has provided 38 years of dedicated teaching, for years only enough to pay for the rent of the center and for his food (giving out free posters & sprouts). He taught thru the 1970's and 80's when there were no independent teachers outside of a larger organization and there was little interest in Yoga. Dharma has always persevered and maintained a loyal growing following. Yogi Dharma Mittra is a pioneer in the popularity of Yoga today. Years ago, he was the only one teaching Ashtanga and a vinyasa flow of advanced postures. Teachers from all schools came to Dharma to learn, practice and then teach elsewhere. Dharma is truly a sweet, gentle master who sets the greatest example of Yoga by living what he teaches and asking nothing in return. He continues to be that same self-less, shining example today! Most teachers throughout the USA and especially in NYC have studied under Dharma. In 1984 Dharma completed a beautiful work of art and inspiration: " The Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures". He took all the photographs by himself of himself. The chart was all hand made before the computer age, was dedicated to his Guru, and offered to all for their Yoga practice. This chart is as beloved by many as he himself is, having touched hundreds of thousands of lives over his past years of service. It has been recognized with the greatest of esteem in the Yoga community enhancing the walls of most Yoga schools and centers worldwide. The chart has also been seen in many Hollywood movies and television shows and is still asked for to assure that the set represents a yoga studio or health resort. Yogi Dharma continues to teach daily in the Kailashananda Temple at his school, the Dharma Yoga Center in the Gramercy Park section of Manhattan. Students, friends and teachers get one on one attention, and their questions reassuringly answered after all classes. He holds teacher training, and retreats upstate in the Catskills, as well as giving workshops to those who wish him to come to their schools. Little do they know they are making a friend for life! Hari Om Tat Sat STRENGTH: Dharma you are the “Rock”, you are “the Teacher”, you are “Yoga”, you are “The Force”, you are the “Diamond”, you are the “Yoga Master of the Universe.” You give us such strength and fortitude in our life, our goals, and our participation in the Divine Plan. Thank You, Dharma. COMPASSION-AHIMSA… Non-violence, Vegetarianism, and Respect for All Beings. Thank you, Dharma for demonstrating compassion to all, and serving as an example and model for us to emulate. HONOR: Yamas, Niyamas. Your character is praiseworthy. You keep us principled and respectable. Thank you revealing these tools on the path of purification and cultivation of good Karma. JOY: Laughter, Lightness, and Fun. Dharma this is such a serious endeavor we have undertaken with you. Thank you for taking the edge off and making it effortless and graceful. DIVINE: The spark of light is in all of us. In some, however, it shines brighter. In Saints, the Supreme Self manifests 99.99%. Well, Dharma in you it radiates 100%.
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