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Awakin Calls » Chase Bossart

Chase Bossart: Yoga therapist, teacher, healer, spiritual seeker
May 21, 2016: Coming Alive With Every Breath We Take



Read: Call Transcript

Chase Bossart has devoted over 20 years to living and teaching therapeutic yoga in the tradition of Sri Krishnamacharya/Viniyoga. First introduced to Yoga as part of a study abroad program in Chennai, India in 1991, Chase became hooked on its simple yet profound teachings and returned repeatedly to study with Mr. TKV Desikachar at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai. Eventually spending more than 4 years in Chennai studying the therapeutic application of yoga, Chase strives to make yoga available to populations that do not normally have access to it. “As a philosophy major in college, I went on a study abroad program to India,” Chase said. “One of the courses was Yoga Theory and it just happened to be taught by Mr. TKV Desikachar. Though I knew almost nothing See full.
Chase Bossart has devoted over 20 years to living and teaching therapeutic yoga in the tradition of Sri Krishnamacharya/Viniyoga. First introduced to Yoga as part of a study abroad program in Chennai, India in 1991, Chase became hooked on its simple yet profound teachings and returned repeatedly to study with Mr. TKV Desikachar at the Krishnamacharya Yoga Mandiram in Chennai. Eventually spending more than 4 years in Chennai studying the therapeutic application of yoga, Chase strives to make yoga available to populations that do not normally have access to it.

“As a philosophy major in college, I went on a study abroad program to India,” Chase said. “One of the courses was Yoga Theory and it just happened to be taught by Mr. TKV Desikachar. Though I knew almost nothing about yoga before the trip, I became completely absorbed by the clear, concise and simple answers that Yoga has for life’s most knotty questions. Yoga not only describes who we are, what our relationship with the world is and why we suffer, but it also gives great advice about what to do about it! I was hooked and have spent the rest of my life delving into it.”

Founder of the Yoga Well Institute and Co-Founder of Yoga As Therapy, North America (YATNA), Chase trains yoga teachers, therapists and health practitioners how to modify movement, breathing and attention techniques to meet the individual capacities and needs of each student. The idea of viniyoga is that all the tools of yoga be adapted to the individual’s capabilities and needs and then developed gradually over time at a pace appropriate for each student. This individualized approach to practicing and teaching yoga is essential if the student is to realize the full potential of yoga practice for healing, self-discovery and personal transformation.  Chase applies this approach to help even severely affected people to participate in their own healing.

Chase believes that understanding the traditional world-view/philosophical perspective of yoga is important and strives to make these ideas easily digestible and applicable to everyday modern life.

“It is easily observable that different experiences during the day affect us mentally, physically and emotionally,” Chase says. “For instance we react to the same road very differently with traffic than we do when it is without traffic. Similarly, different Yoga techniques also affects us in different ways (for instance, inhale speeds up the heartbeat while exhale slows it down). So, Yoga is really just a (serious) game of conscious linking in which techniques are intentionally engineered experiences. If we have an understanding of how experiences influence the way our bodies, minds, emotions, etc. are functioning then we can use all kinds of different experiences to encourage healing. It is not only endlessly fascinating, but unlimited in its applications.”

With extensive experience in the therapeutic application of yoga, Chase travels frequently to present workshops and trainings on a wide range of yoga and yoga therapy topics. Chase also regularly develops yoga interventions for scientific research and formerly served as the Director of Therapy and Education at the Healing Yoga Foundation in San Francisco. Based in California, Chase has an M.A. in Religious Studies from UC Santa Barbara, where he focused on Indian philosophy and wrote his thesis on Patanjali's Yogasutra.  He is a faculty member for the Loyola Marymount University's Yoga Therapy Rx Program.


Five Questions for Chase

What Makes You Come Alive?
At the bottom of all my emails is this wonderful quote by Howard Thurman:<br /><br />"Don't ask yourself what the world needs... <br />Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that... <br />Because what the world needs is people that have come alive."<br /><br />Indeed, I'm following his advice!<br /><br />

Your Greatest Inspiration?
Meeting Mr. TKV Desikachar. <br />In 1991, I was struggling. I'd been cracked open by my time in university. But faced with the foundational questions of life (who am I? what is the purpose of living?!?! etc.) It was painfully obvious that I didn't have satisfactory answers. Despite becoming a philosophy major and really wrestling with the ideas, I was lost and disturbed. Then I went to India on a study abroad program, and one of the courses in the program was Yoga Philosophy. It was taught by a very slight and short Indian man (Mr. Desikachar) who was disarmingly humble but who continually bowled me over with simple, yet profound, explanations for how life works, what is the world and my relation to it, etc. He provided not only the descriptive (why we suffer) but also the prescriptive (what to do about it) and I was absolutely hooked! The ongoing, 20 year personal relationship with Mr. Desikachar that I was privileged to enjoy following that trip has shaped every aspect of my life.

An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
Same as above and too many to list.

One Thing On Your Bucket List?
They are all internal experiences.

One-line Message for the World?
Tune In. Listen and Follow (i.e. Be quiet. Tune inward. Listen. Trust what you hear. And do what it says)!!


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