Talking Shop with Aadil PalkhivalaIf there were a dictionary definition of "renaissance yogi," Aadil Palkhivala would fit the description. Born in Bombay to a family of lawyers, Palkhivala started his training with B. K. S. Iyengar at age 7 and by age 22 was the youngest student to earn his Advanced Teacher Training Certificate. As a child, Palkhivala was also introduced to the teachings of Sri Aurobindo and Mother Pondicherry, whom he cites as his spiritual teachers, along with his wife, Mirra, who teaches a form of transformative spirituality.
Today Palkhivala can add lawyer, certified naturopath, ayurveda">Ayurvedic practitioner, and bodyworker to his credentials. He co-directs Yoga Centers in Bellevue, Washington, with Mirra and runs a food company called Eastern Essence Organic Whole Foods.Yoga Journal:What was it like studying with Mr. Iyengar as a child?
Aadil Palkhivala: It was very intense. Iyengar is a very strict teacher. Though not as strict now as he was then! Since I wasn't exactly born supple, I had to work really hard to get the movement he wanted. But he was more than just a teacher to me-he was also a friend. He would come over to our house, and we'd have breakfast and lunch and all that. Often he would stay at our house when he came to teach in Bombay many weekends. So we got to know the other side of him, which is one of the major reasons my family stayed with yoga. Had we only known him as the powerful teacher, we may not have continued. But the other side is very beautiful-gentle, sweet, childlike, full of fun, loves adventure.
YJ: Obviously your asana teaching is based on the Iyengar method, but can you talk about how you blend other styles into your teaching?
YJ: With your busy schedule, how do you find time for your own practice?
YJ: How does your background in so many vocations affect your teaching?
YJ: What advice do you have for beginning yoga students?
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