Yoga Teacher has Own Style of Practice

By the time he was seven years old, Manoj Kaimal was already well grounded in the basic philosophies of yoga and adept with “sun salutations.”

This is not unexpected, considering both his grandfathers did not only practised yoga practitioners but taught it as well.

Thus Manoj, who hails from India’s southern state of Kerala, was exposed to yoga at a very young age and began formal training at the world-renowned Sivananda Ashram when he turned 15.

His interest drove him to learn all he could about the various distinctive styles of yoga, including theIyengarand theAshtanga Vinyasa.

Students practising the headstand aided by ropes during the Iyengar workshop.

Although he was earning well as an accountant, he eventually abandoned the profession in favour of teaching yoga.In this venture, he has wife Sandhya for company.

Together, they created their own distinctive style of practice, the Manasa Yoga, which seeks to integrate the best elements from all the different styles Manoj has experienced.

Manasa is taught at the couple’s Yoga Life Mind & Body Centre in Petaling Jaya.

“Dynamic sequences of postures, precise principles of alignment backed by medical terminology and scientific knowledge, time-tested breathing and meditative techniques are the hallmarks of this style,” said Manoj.

While some of the styles tend to make a distinction between posture and breathing and meditative techniques, Manoj believes in integration and that,asanaor postures can be used as tools to help the practitioner achieve the meditative state.

“I maintain authenticity by remaining rooted in the timeless philosophy of yoga, as expounded in the classical Indian scriptures.

“Every sequence is carefully thought out and great effort is taken to impart to our students the essence of yoga in its truest form. By using the tools of body, breath and awareness, Manasa Yoga endeavours to guide its practitioners to realise and celebrate their infinite inner potential.”

Manoj and Sandhya are gaining so many students that they have opened a second studio – more than 758 sq m – for daily classes that are taught in English and Mandarin.

The basic classes cover relaxation, flow andAshtanga Vinyasa, which involve jumping movements.

Manoj continues to conduct intermediate and advanced classes in theIyengaras well as theAshtanga Vinyasastyles.

In addition, he regularly holds workshops on yogic scriptures.

In a recently concluded Iyengar workshop, he introduced the use of props such as belts, blocks and ropes.

Originally published in the Star (link)