Spotlight on an ISHTA Yogiraj: Douglass Stewart
Can you tell us about your introduction to Alan and ISHTA
I met Alan just at the right time! I was trying to figure out so much about myself. Alan and the ISHTA approach offered a structure and room to express. I come from an artistic background, professional dancer primarily and actor. What attracted me to Alan/ISHTA is the art of yoga. We dancers spend quite a bit of time training our bodies to make beautiful lines and to tell stories. In order to do that we learn technique. But the interesting thing about an artist is, once you’ve learned the technique, you’re encouraged to let yourself express through it. In other words – technique becomes the means for exploration and transformation. I feel that in Alan’s teaching.
What is your favorite yoga pose?
Hum…I’m not so sure I have a favorite pose. I like to arrange poses in a way that channel prana or vital force into specific areas…sort of shifting attention from one region to the next. I think of it like the sun, as it shines on one place or region during a specific time more intensely and then moves on… I like to play with prana and asana that way. But as for a favorite pose I would have say I’ve been enjoying Urdhva Dhanurasana lately….I feel the support from the ground, the strength of my body and completely open.
What inspires you about teaching?
These days I enjoy learning about how fellow practitioners use this ancient practice to steady themselves and to grow. I’m thrilled when someone tells me they’ve come to a clearer understanding about something that concerned them; injury, relationships, or whatever. Their breakthrough inspires me and they in turn verify my own journey to clarity.