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Victor Van Kooten and the Breathing Body

Yoga Style: 
Painting by Victor Van Kooten.

Victor Van Kooten was born in Holland and began practicing yoga in 1966 with renowned teacher Dona Holleman. He moved to Pune, India to study with B.K.S. Iyengar and became one of the first certified Senior Advanced Iyengar teachers in the world. Following a traumatic experience that left him partially paralyzed, he became fascinated with the energy body and began to explore its subtle wisdom and healing power. The insights that accompanied his eventual recovery caused him to look anew at how yoga was being taught and to question the efficacy of forceful practices and methods. After leaving India he found a kindred spirit in Angela Farmer, and since 1984 they have been sharing their unique approach to yoga, an approach based on releasing tension, creating space, and listening to the body's intuitive wisdom.

Victor is an amazing artist, a creative, conceptual genius whose artistic vision deeply shapes his experience and expression of yoga. He has created a series of books called From The Inside Out, which are a combination of "visionary images of elemental energy patterns" and "evocative text, written in his own incomparable linguistic style" to illustrate he and Angela's essential teachings. When studying with Victor, one is impressed by his deep understanding of the body, his compassion, his insightful adjustments, and his authenticity.

The following talk was recorded by iHanuman at the Satchidananda Ashram on November 4, 2006, where Victor was giving a workshop titled "The Breathing Body." In this talk he discusses the breathing body, quiet mind, finding your inner teacher, and the institutionalization and certification of yoga. Enjoy!

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