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Awakin Calls » Mark Whitwell

Mark Whitwell: Yoga master, teacher, author
Aug 26, 2017: The Heart of Yoga



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Mark Whitwell is a world-renowned yoga teacher and master who has enjoyed a lifelong relationship with the spiritual teachings of some of the world’s greatest masters.  Born and raised in New Zealand, Mark has studied yoga intensively in India, in the home of the legendary Professor T. Krishnamacharya, also known as the “Father of Modern Yoga,” and “the teacher of our teachers" -- whose notable students include his son, TKV Desikachar, BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Indra Devi, and AG Mohan (all of whom have become distinguished teachers in their own right).

Mark studied with TKV Desikachar and shared a close friendship with him for more than 20 years. He also edited and contributed to Desikachar’s book, The Heart of Yoga:  Developing a Personal Practice

Having studied since 1973 in the home of Krishnamacharya, Mark is committed to communicating the timeless yoga principles with compassion and clarity.  Mark’s teachings clarify the profound passion and relevance of ancient wisdom to contemporary life.  He has taught yoga for over twenty years throughout the US, Asia, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.  According to Mark, yoga is every person’s direct intimacy with reality, which is an entirely abundant, regenerative and nurturing power. Yoga must be adapted to individual needs according to body type, health, age and cultural background. This is yoga from the heart for the heart.

Mark lives in Los Angeles and travels throughout the world teaching the timeless principles of ancient Yoga wisdom. In 1996 Mark established The Heart of Yoga Association, a non-profit foundation that provides yoga education around the world.  He is the author of The Promise of Love, Sex, and Intimacy: How a Simple Breathing Practice Will Enrich Your Life Forever, and of Yoga of Heart: The Healing Power of Intimate Connection.  He teaches The Promise practice to thousands of people internationally. He also oversees Heart of Yoga Peace Project, which brings together Muslim and Jewish women in the Middle East to teach them the Promise practice.  Mark's mission is to revitalize the way people connect to self, community, and relationships through the power of breath and yoga.

“Yoga is the practice of unifying opposites internally and externally. The inhalation develops a feminine receptive quality, and the exhalation develops a masculine strength. I call this strength-receiving. … Yoga is making love to life. The body loves its breath, and the exhalation loves the inhalation, and feeling this love tangibly helps us learn how to love one another. When we feel loved, we inevitably give love to those around us. When we become intimately connected to each other from this place of mutual strength and receptivity, we are strong and present to each other as we receive each other.”

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