Sri Dharma Mittra
"I love you all. I am you and you are me." ~ Dharma Mittra
"I am only here to share my knowledge with others and to help them make rapid progress on the path of yoga." ~ Dharma Mittra
Sri Dharma Mittra has spent most of his life in service to , disseminating the ancient knowledge of how to achieve radiant health and spiritual development. Dharma was born in the late 1930’s, and has studied Yoga since 1958. After meeting his teacher guru, Sri Swami Kailashananda, he immersed himself in intense study and practice of the classical eight limbs of Yoga, and nine years of dedicated full time practice of Karma Yoga. He was accepted and initiated as a sannyasi (one who renounces the world in order to realize God). During these years Dharma had the esteemed honor of being the personal assistant to the Guru attending to all his needs. Sri Swami Kailashananda is known as the first Guru to bring the practice of Hatha Yoga to the west in the early 1950’s.
Dharma taught only for his Guru with selfless expectation, after years as a full-time yogi and brahmachari, a celibate religious student who lives with his teacher and devotes himself to the practice of spiritual disciplines. He was the main demonstrator for the Yoga asanas at the many lectures the Guru gave to the public in the 60’s and 70’s. After being a celebrated teacher for many years at his guru’s Ashram, he left in 1974 and founded the Yoga Asana Center, currently known as Dharma Mittra Yoga New York Center.
Dharma is the first main independent Yoga teacher on the East Coast, initiating hundreds of thousands on the path of Yogic practice and teaching. Dharma began disseminating this knowledge before “styles” of Yoga became popular, and has remained truthful to the original classical practice. Students from all walks and styles of Yoga love his teachings. Dharma has literally been teaching classes continuously every day since he started in 1967. To this day he still makes himself available regularly to anyone who walks thru the doors of Dharma Mittra Yoga in need of help and direction. For his dedication and fortitude, he is known as “the Rock of Yoga”, and for his experience and knowledge the “Teacher’s Teacher”.
Sri Dharma continues to inspire, enlighten, and reveal to Yoga teachers and practitioners today, the real meaning of Yoga. “It is my greatest joy to share with students this knowledge that I have acquired in the past 50 years of practice and study. Yoga practice will give one’s body the power and strength to have resistance to common illnesses and diseases. With proper encouragement and increased faith in the Guru, as one can improve his physical body and mental attitude rapidly, thereby igniting the higher motives of making one’s self useful to himself and all mankind.
Dharma is a most beloved Yoga Master, known for his humility, humor, joy and kindness in teaching. Every student who comes to his class is considered by him “as part of my family”. He diligently teaches the Yamas, the first step of Yoga, as he sets the greatest example for it in his life. In every class you will hear “without the Yama’s, known as the ethical rules, there is no success in Yoga”. He tirelessly continues to promote Ahimsa thru veganism, a live food Yoga diet, and kindness to all living beings, especially our inferior brothers (the animal kingdom).
Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures
In 1984 Dharma completed the Master Yoga Chart of 908 Postures, as an offering to his Guru, and for all Yoga aspirants. This original masterpiece was meticulously assembled from over 1,350 photographs of posture variations he took of himself, all hand done before the computer age. Over 300 of these postures that are very popular today are created by Sri Dharma (of which he will only say “came through” Divine intuition).
It has been an invaluable teaching tool over the past decades. You will find it in just about every yoga school and Ashram worldwide including India. In 1975 Dharma made the Sun Salutation and Yoga Course Poster. This includes all hand done drawings and art work, as well as photographs and two yoga class programs. Dharma is the author of the book 608 Yoga Poses published by New World Library, featured inAmerican Yoga, His Master Chart was used as the tool and inspiration for Yoga Journal’s book Yoga. His Maha Sadhana DVD set for Level I – A Shortcut to Immortality and Level II – Stairway to Bliss, has been widely acclaimed as a preservation of the main teachings of Yoga. They are 8 hours of posture practice, breathing teachings, holy discourses, and Kirtan, for an amazing overall view of Sri Dharma’s years of dedicated service to the tradition.