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My dear friend, brother, teacher and all around inspiration Govind Das stops by the kitchen table to talk with me about what yoga means in a 21st Century application, the path of bhakti, how to combat the Maya, embracing ones dharma and finding compassion in these troubling times. Govind Das is truly one of the great American yoga teachers and you should check out his classes and offerings whenever possible.
INTRO TOPIC – my confusion around the new age community and the recent police brutality events.
Govind Das first came to yoga while living in Los Angeles in 1994 because of health concerns- specifically ulcerative colitis/crohn’s/inflammatory bowel disease… After years of many different practices with the intention of healing(hatha yoga, ayurveda, buddhist meditation etc), Ira Rosen found his yogic “home’ in the path of Bhakti Yoga… the aspect of yoga frequently described as the “yoga of the heart” or “the yoga of love and devotion”. Not by avoiding or denying our life and health challenges, but only by accepting and courageously moving through and forward, the flower of our full appreciation and devotion to Life blooms. It is in this tradition of “Bhakti/Devotion” where Ira was given his spiritual name- Govind Das or simply “Govindas” which means “servant of the Divine”… This path of service is at the root of his spiritual life- to serve the Love and Spirit that lives in the hearts of all. His journey has led him to India on 5 different occasions to immerse himself in the ways of the yoga tradition at the Ashram of his “Guru” or main spirtual teacher- Neem Karoli Baba, as well as spending time in holy yogic places like Vrindavan, Varanasi, Rishikesh and many more… Through his journeys to the “motherland of yoga”- India, Govindas has been blessed to enjoy the “darshan” or be in the company of many yogic saints, sadhus, and wise teachers- It is from these transmissions that Govindas shares the authenticity of the Bhakti path… As well Govindas would like to express heartfelt gratitude to his yoga teachers here in California – Bryan Kest, Saul David Raye, Shiva Rea, and Mark Whitwell… and bow to his Bhakti and Kirtan teachers Ram Dass, Jai Uttal, Bhagavan Das, Krishna Das, Shyam Das, Raghu Markusand many many more…