Intervju z Davidom Melonijem

Intervju z Davidom Melonijem

Kdaj in kako ste prišli v stik z Iyengar jogo?

Sprva sem se ukvarjal z borilnimi veščinami – karatejem, v najstniških letih pa sem se začel poglabljati v jogo. Že samo z vadbo po knjigah sem po šestih mesecih prizadevanj opazil velike spremembe v gibljivosti telesa in v odzivnosti mišic. Tematika me je zanimala, zato sem iskal dobre vire s tega področja in leta 1995 naletel na knjigo Light on Yoga.

Ker takrat v mojem okolju ni bilo na voljo nobenih vadb z učiteljem, sem dve leti poglabljal svoj stik z Iyengar jogo ob pomoči te knjige, vendar je program vaj sčasoma postal prezahteven. Med štiriurno vadbo sem se začel tresti. Odločil sem se, da poiščem učitelja.

Naletel sem na promocijo videa o Iyengar yogi z ameriško učiteljico Patricio Walden, vseboval pa je tudi informacije o učiteljih v Italiji. Tako sem izvedel, da obstaja italijansko združenje, a po telefonskem klicu ugotovil, da na mojem koncu, na Sardiniji, ni nobenega učitelja. Najbližji je bil v Firencah.

Kasneje sem se zato odpravil v Firence, kjer sem nadaljeval s študijem. Nekaj let zatem pa sem se udeležil še izobraževanja za učitelje. Leta 2003 sem se prvič odpravil v Pune. Tam sem se srečal s 85-letnim Gurujijem. Imel sem srečo. Ravno takrat je Guruji vodil 7-dnevni seminar. Ob priložnosti sem ga povprašal, ali smem v Pune prihajati vsako leto. Prva leta so bili moji obiski dolgi mesec dni, pozneje pa sem prosil, ali jih lahko podaljšam na tri mesece, kar so mi odobrili. Od takrat naprej je bilo vse drugače. Začel sem pomagati pri terapevtski skupini, lahko sem obiskoval več vadb. Skupaj sem za asistiranje in vadbe namenil 10 ur dnevno. Sledilo je Gurujijevo vabilo k tesnejšemu sodelovanju. Tako se je vse začelo – moje potovanje vase.

Kaj vam pomeni joga v vašem življenju?

Po dveh letih vadbe karateja in joge sem spoznal, da se moram jogi popolnoma posvetiti. Sprva mi je joga predstavljala zgolj podporno vadbo, kasneje pa je postala del mojega življenja. Danes med jogo in mojim življenjem ni nobene ločnice.

Ali lahko opišete katero od svojih izkušenj z Gurujijem?

Od leta 2009 naprej sem imel veliko izkušenj z Gurujijem. Sprva me je le opazoval, kasneje so mi po njegovih navodilih napotke dajali njegovi pomočniki. Z mano je vedno komuniciral preko nekoga drugega. Njegova prva oblika neposrednega komuniciranja z mano je bilo kričanje. Nekoliko sva se zbližala po nekaj letih. Kot učitelj je bil zelo natančen in zahteven. Po vadbah me je povabil na zasebne pogovore v knjižnico. Tako sem lahko spoznal njegovo drugo plat, ki je drugače ne bi. To se mi je zdelo neverjetno. Kot pravi Prashant Iyengar, se je prav po vadbah bilo mogoče od njega naučiti še veliko več.

Kaj svetujete novim učencem Iyengar joge?

Iyengar joga postaja vse bolj priljubljena, zlasti v državah Vzhodne Evrope, na Kitajskem, v Južni Aziji, kjer je veliko mladih učencev. To je zelo dobro. Zelo pomembno je navdušiti mlade, ki predstavljajo novo generacijo.

Pri vas in na vzhodu ste v položaju, ko je zanimanje za jogo veliko, potrebujete pa nekoga, ki bi vam pomagal in vas vodil. Moje glavno priporočilo je, da vadite. Tu ne gre zgolj za vadbo z vrsto različnih položajev, ki jih mlado telo brez težav izvede, temveč gre tudi za globlje procese. Ravno to uči Mojster.

Dokler nisem prišel k Gurujiju v Pune, sem vadil sam, ob pomoči knjig in drugih učiteljev. S tem sem pridobil na vzdržljivosti ter gibčnosti, vendar pa, kot mi je dejal Guruji, je bila moja vadba prazna. Bila je zgolj telesna. Ko si mlad, lahko narediš marsikaj, kasneje pa imaš lahko težave. Torej, učil me je globljega dela, globlje povezanosti. Učil me je, da se pri vadbi ne uporablja zgolj telesne moči, temveč da je treba delovati organsko. Zavedati se je treba, da se mora s staranjem tudi vadba spreminjati.

Te stvari se je potrebno naučiti, zato bi vas moral voditi učitelj, ki razume vse te korake. Torej, tudi če ste mladi, imate možnost, da osvojite vse korake.

Kje se vam lahko pridružimo pri pouku?

Danes poučujem vsak vikend in sicer po celem svetu. Prihajam iz Italije, zato me pogosto najdete v Evropi. V Italiji vodim tudi petdnevno in desetdnevno delavnico z mednarodno udeležbo.

Kakšen je vaš vtis o slovenskih učencih?

Slovenski učenci ste zelo zagnani, tak odnos ohranite še naprej. Če misliš, da veš že vse, se ne boš naučil ničesar novega. Poiščite si učitelja, ki bo na začetku opravil 80 odstotkov dela, kasneje pa vas bo zgolj vodil, da boste 80 odstotkov dela opravili sami. Učitelj vas bo spremljal le še občasno in bo predvsem vaš navdih. Ostanite radovedni in v delu iščite globino. To je tudi smisel Gurujijevega poučevanja. S pravilnimi gibi pri vadbi asan potem ni več razlike med klasičnim in terapevtskim pristopom.

N. B. uredništva: intervju z Davidom Melonijem je bil posnet med eno izmed njegovih delavnic v Ljubljani, pred proglasitvijo pandemije leta 2020 in splošne svetovne zapore. Namesto osebnih srečanj so zdaj na voljo številne internetne vadbe in delavnice, z udeleženci z vseh koncev sveta.


David Meloni interview

When and how did you come in contact with Iyengar yoga?

I was first doing martial arts, karate, and started practicing yoga in my teenage years. Within six months of yoga practice, I noticed a big change in flexibility, response of function of the muscles, all of which happened just with the help of books. Because I was interested, I was looking for good resources and soon I found Light on Yoga, which happened in 1995. I started practicing from the book and continued for almost two years as at that time there was no teacher training or anything similar. After a while, the program from the book got really hard. I started shaking in my four-hour practice, so I decided that I needed a teacher. I found an advertisement for a video about Iyengar yoga with an American teacher, and that was Patricia Walden. She was promoting her international video and in it, there was some information about teachers in Italy. So, I knew that there was an Italian Association. But after a phone call to the Association, they told me there was no teacher in my area (Sardinia), and the nearest Iyengar yoga studio was in Florence. Hence, I moved to Florence and studied there for a while. Few years later I started attending their teacher training and after that, I went on my first trip to Pune in 2003. There I met Guruji, he was 85 years old. I was lucky, because that year Guruji gave a 7-day conference. For sure, I was very happy with this opportunity, so I asked if I could come every year. During the first years, I was coming for one month and then I asked the permission to come for three months at a time, and they agreed. With this, everything changed. I started helping with medical class and was also allowed to take more classes, so in total it was ten hours of assistance and practice. And then Guruji asked me to stay closer to him, so this is how it all started, my journey within.

What does yoga mean in your life today?

When I started doing yoga, I still practiced karate for another two years, then realizing that I had to invest everything in yoga. First, I was using yoga for support and after that, it became my life, there is no distinction between my life in general and yoga.

Can you describe one of your experiences with Guruji?

I had many experiences with Guruji, since he started working more closely with me in 2009. First, he just watched me and later he asked assistants to tell me something, to correct me, but not directly. He was using someone else to communicate with me. After that, he started to approach me, but he was basically shouting at me. And after a few years, the relationship became a little closer. When he was teaching a class, he was very precise and tough. He also asked me to speak privately with him, after class in the library. So that was absolutely amazing, because you could observe a side of him that was otherwise impossible to see. As Prashantji was saying recently, you would be able to learn from him much more in situations after the class.

What can you advise the new practitioners of Iyengar yoga?

Yes, Iyengar yoga is growing a lot, particularly in countries like in Eastern Europe, China, South Asia, you have practitioners who are quite young. This is very good. It is very important to pass on the enthusiasm to youngsters who are the new generation. So here and in the East, you have a situation where there is interest in the subject and you need someone to help, to guide you. What I can say, the main thing is to practice. But not only to practice in a certain way, just because the body is young and can perform a number of positions, but you should engage in very deep actions. Because, actually, this was the teaching of the Master. When I arrived in Pune to study with Guruji, I have been practicing by myself, with books, following other teachers, which gave me the stamina, the capability to do many things. But Guruji was actually saying that my practice was empty. It was just physical. Now, because you are young, you can do a lot, but afterwards, you are finished. So, he was teaching me this deep work, deep connection from one point to another. He was teaching that one should not be practicing in a way that only uses physical strength, but that one should be working organically also. And this is what you can continue to do, gradually you have to realize that with age your practice should change. These things should be learned, and you should be guided by a teacher who is showing you all these steps. So, even when you are young, you have a possibility to learn all these steps.

Where can we find you teaching?

Nowadays I am teaching every weekend everywhere. You can find me in Europe very often, as my base is in Italy. Also, I have two longer (5 days and 10 days) retreats in Italy, where English speakers are also welcome.

What is your impression of Slovene practitioners?

Slovene practitioners are enthusiastic, that is very good, so you should continue to have this kind of attitude. Once you think everything is known, you do not learn anything anymore. So, you may want to look for a teacher that does 80% of the work in the beginning, later the teacher is guiding you, so that your work becomes 80%. Then the teacher is seeing you when he can, and he is just an inspiration. Be always curious and search for the deep work. That is the purpose of Guruji’s teaching. When the actions are right during the practice of Asana, there is no difference between classic approach and medical approach.

N.B. of the editors: the interview took place during one of David Meloni’s workshops in Ljubljana, Slovenia, before the 2020 pandemic and the general lockdown. Online classes and workshops have thus replaced the face-to-face encounters, and are easily available at a variety of levels, with attendees from all over the world.

IYENGAR JOGA ZDRUŽENJE SLOVENIJA
Ulica Jožeta Jame 12
1210 Ljubljana

info@iyengarzveza.si

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