Sr. Iyengar Yoga Teacher Father Joe Pereira

In September, I will be driving 12 hours to Chester, Nova Scotia to attend my second workshop with Father Joe Pereira, a Sr. Iyengar Yoga Teacher from India.

He is a very special yoga teacher who is also a Catholic priest. I never imagined a priest quoting Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. His perspective on yoga and his teachings are very different from my North American teachers. I found the stories of his many years of travel with Mother Teresa and his longtime friendship and teaching with BKS Iyengar inspirational.

He told a story about breaking his back working with Mother Teresa. The doctors informed him he would need surgery and permanent metal supports would be inserted to steady his spine. He thanked the doctors and took the scan to BKS Iyengar. Mr. Iyengar looked at the scan and said, “26 asanas” and wrote the asanas right on the scan. Father Joe practiced these 26 asanas everyday for an hour and a half. He hung ropes and placed props outside the rectory. Mother Teresa got many comments from the villagers asking, “What kind of priest hangs from ropes like a bat?”

One of the students in the workshop asked how long it took to heal his back with these asanas. He said It took 2.5 years. The students gasped. He replied by saying that we North Americans don’t have fidelity in our practice. We want things fixed right away – resulting in a high percentage of shoulder surgeries, knee replacements and back surgeries in our country. The discussion went on, but it was his comment about our need to fix things quickly and our lack of ‘fidelity’ or commitment that struck me. We move so quickly through our lives, we have a need to do everything now, the need to be first in line, the need to rush through the light before it turns red, the need to place the hand on the floor in Triangle pose (Utthita Trikonasana) before our bodies are ready…… We need to learn to be present.

About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta Dell'Anno E-RYT 500, Certified Yoga for Scoliosis Trainer Owner EssentialYoga Studio. Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and teaching yoga since 2004. She has studied extensively under master yoga teachers Patricia Walden, Manouso Manos, Zoë Stewart, Sri Arun H.S., Elise Browning Miller, and others. She completed a two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training program with Sr. Iyengar Teacher, Peentz Dubble in June 2017 and continues her weekly studies with Sr. Iyengar Teacher, Manju Vachher. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014 and attended Abhijata's 2-week intensive in Pune, India, December 2016. She completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as a 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor in 2014, completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center in 2005 and is registered with Yoga Alliance as a E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. The studio provides individual & specialized privates, semi-privates, group private sessions, and yoga workshops. Roberta conducts local and out of town workshops specializing in prop use. She uses props to help students and teachers transform their backbends, twists, standing and seated postures, as well as inversions like sarvangasana (shoulderstand). She also works with individuals who have physical challenges, specifically individuals with Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, scoliosis, and amputees in private, semi-private and group sessions.​​
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One Response to Sr. Iyengar Yoga Teacher Father Joe Pereira

  1. Ganeshkumar says:

    Time magazine had judged Guruji BKS Iyengar as one of the 1000 most influential people in the world in 2004. Truly, there is no parallel to the innovation he bought in the form of Iyengar Yoga. Now yoga can be practiced by everybody relatively easily. A living legend indeed.

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