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Jul 30, 2018

On today’s Yogahealer Real Life Show, I have some powerful, inspiring and heart opening conversation with Sri Dharma Mittra, a Brazilian yogi who has dedicated most of his life in service to humanity and teaching yoga. We dive deep into pain and suffering and why these unpleasantries are essential to human life in order to move through our karmas and develop a lifelong learner perspective. We discuss wonderful topics such as the realization that we are all in the driver’s seat of our lives, the evolution of consciousness on the planet, and the simple pleasures of life such as sitting and just being.

I ask Sri Dharma how he encourages his students not to get stuck on their lower samadhis and how to not plateau at the spiritual intoxication of asana. He gives us insight gives us into the eight limbs of yoga, why we practice certain poses, and what they help us and challenge us to do. We discuss the power of love and compassion and feeling empathy for others at very subtle levels.

Today’s podcast is chalk full of incredible grounding information on yoga, asana, and the spiritual realm and is worth listening to again and again!


What you’ll get out of tuning in:

  • What is a reason for our pain in suffering?
  • What are the most important asanas and why?
  • What are the benefits of practicing the eight limbs of yoga?

Links Mentioned in Episode 

Show Highlights:

  • 1:05- I chat with Sri Dharma Mittra about what is the purpose of pain and suffering in the world. He tells us that it has to do with our karmas, or previous actions, that allow us to learn lessons in order to purify our minds and bodies. He says we all experience the same amount of pain and suffering, but it is how we choose to deal with the pain and knowing why we have this pain, that makes all difference.
  • 12:00- Cate asks Sri Dharma Mittra about how he teaches his students to transcend their lower chakras and how to not plateau in their spiritual work. He talks about encouraging them to know about the gunas, the mind, the eight limbs of yoga and to be aware of the pitfalls of attachment and the ego.
  • 21:50- How do yoga poses give us power? How do the poses represent a state of consciousness in the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional, and bliss bodies?
  • 27:00- Cate inquires about Sthira, or stillness. How do we acquire stillness in our lives when everything outside of us is telling us to do more and go faster? Sri Dharma talks about meditation and technology in regards to slowing down.
  • 39:30- The more we dive into the practice of compassion, the more we feel empathetic to what others are feeling and the more we feel at a subtler and subtler level.

Favorite Quotes:

  • “The reason for the pain and suffering for all creation is for the cleaning of the mind and the body and then we are ready to enter the kingdom of God. If we are able to understand the pain and pass through it with understanding, automatically one develops a strong desire for liberation.” -Sri Dharma Mittra
  • “When this suffering goes deep into the heart, you learn, you understand and you taste your own medicine. Then you are not able to cause that to someone else.”  -Sri Dharma Mittra
  • “As the mind becomes calm, the heart becomes steady.”  -Sri Dharma Mittra
  • “Whoever is really enlightened with some real knowledge, they can not be actionless. They have to share the way with others.” -Sri Dharma Mittra
  • “We keep increasing our divine perception in order to be able to experience the subtle manifestation of existence.” -Sri Dharma Mittra.
  • “Sit quietly for 5 minutes and rest your mind on the infinite. Be a good parent, be nice to your pets and to your guests.” -Sri Dharma Mittra


Guest BIO:

Sri Dharma Mittra has dedicated most of his life in service to humanity teaching yoga, the ancient knowledge of how to attain radiant health and develop spiritually. Since 1967, he has been teaching Classical Yoga: advanced postures, Yama and Niyama and how to lead a content, simple and happy life.

Sri Dharma was born in 1939 in the small, remote village of Pirapora, Brazil and was raised Catholic in a poor family of 5 children. In his early teens, he became involved in esoteric teachings and yoga through books his younger brother was studying. From 1958 through 1964, Sri Dharma served in the Brazilian National Air Force and practiced bodybuilding, wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He had only practiced yoga through books in his late teens when his younger brother Sattya went to New York City to meet and commence studies with their future Guru.

Sattya eventually asked Sri Dharma to come meet his guru in NYC and in 1964, after leaving the airforce and selling his bodybuilding gym he flew to the United States. The very next day, Sri Dharma had a private consultation with the Guru with his brother serving as translator. After meeting his Guru, Sri Dharma immersed himself in intense study and practice of the classical Eight Limbs of Yoga and dedicated nine years of his life to the full-time practice of Karma Yoga. After three years, Sri Dharma was initiated as a Sannyasi (one who renounces the world in order to realize God). During his years as a renunciate, he had the esteemed honor of being the personal assistant to the Guru, attending to all his needs.

In 1967, Sri Dharma was asked to teach intermediate and advanced classes in Asana (postures) and Pranayama (breathing exercises) at the Yogi Gupta New York Center both for his fellow disciples and the general public. He was also involved with preparing food, manning the juice bar and was the main handyman. Sri Dharma was demonstrated Yoga Asana at the lectures the Guru offered to the public in the ’60’s and ’70’s in hotel ballroms all around New York City. With Yogi Gupta’s blessings, Sri Dharma left the Ashram in 1974 to found the Yoga Asana Center in 1975, currently known as the Dharma Yoga New York Center.

Sri Dharma left the Ashram to live his destiny — a life dedicated to sharing and spreading the truth, knowledge and light of God through yoga in the most humble and quiet of ways. Connect with Sri Dharma on website and facebook page.