Dharma Mittra, legendary yoga teacher and the creator of the master Yoga Chart of 908 asanas, celebrates his seventy-seventh (!) birthday on Saturday.
A living legend, Dharma Mittra has dedicated his life to yoga and been influential on my own practice ever since our first meeting five years ago. I still recall our first class when he breezed in, barefoot, dressed simply in yoga clothes, meticulously groomed as he casually moved to the stage.
As he began a sun-salutation on the platform, he kicked over a statue of Vishnu, breaking off its head. It didn’t interrupt his flow. The only acknowledgement of what he had done an “oops” a few minutes later when he assessed the damage and broke into a smile.
I did my teacher training with Dharma in 2011, and then performed karma yoga at his temple on 23rd Street, learning valuable lessons like how to roll the mats and the importance of washing the windows.
This interaction grounded me in my own practice, as well as opening my eyes to the level of skill that it takes to master a craft like yoga – a lifetime of dedication.
Dharma Mittra was one of the reasons I moved to New York, with his yoga studio or ‘temple’, as he calls it based in Manhattan.
I don’t throw around the tag ‘spiritual mentor’ lightly, but he is one of mine. Most importantly, his students are cool and the environment is very supportive and non-judgmental. The classes always have a unique energy which is hard to describe.
So I’d like to wish Dharma a Happy Birthday and many more years of health and success.