Sri Dharma Mittra is a Yoga Master, known for his humility, humor, joy and kindness in teaching. Every student who comes to his class is considered by him "as part of my family."
In every class, Dharma diligently teaches the Yamas, known as the ethical rules, and that there is no success in yoga. He is also committed to promoting Ahimsa thru veganism, a live food yoga diet, and kindness to all living beings, especially our inferior brothers (the animal kingdom).
Sri Dharma Mittra has spent most of his life in service to humanity, disseminating the ancient knowledge of how to achieve radiant health and spiritual development. As the first main independent yoga teacher on the East Coast, Dharma initiates hundreds of thousands on the path of Yogic practice and teaching and attracts students from all walks of life. Since he started in 1967, Dharma has literally been teaching classes continuously everyday. To this day he still makes himself available regularly to anyone who walks thru the doors of Dharma Mittra yoga. For his dedication and fortitude, he is known as "the Rock of Yoga," and for his experience and knowledge the "Teacher's Teacher."
Sri Dharma continues to inspire, enlighten, and reveal to yoga teachers and practitioners today, the real meaning of yoga. "It is my greatest joy to share with students this knowledge that I have acquired in the past 50 years of practice and study. Yoga practice will give one's body the power and strength to have resistance to common illnesses and diseases. With proper encouragement and increased faith in the Guru, as one can improve his physical body and mental attitude rapidly, thereby igniting the higher motives of making ones self useful to himself and all mankind."
Born in the late 1930's, Sri Dharma Mittra has studied yoga since 1958. Dharma began disseminating his knowledge before "styles" of yoga became popular, and has remained truthful to the original classical practice.
After meeting his teacher guru, Sri Swami Kalaishananda, he immersed himself in intense study and practice of the classical eight limbs of yoga, and nine years of dedication full time practice of Karma yoga. Sri Swami Kailashanada is known as the first Guru to bring the practice of Hatha yoga to the west in the early 1950's. During these years, Dharma had the esteemed honor of being the personal assistant to the Guru attending to all his needs. Dharma was accepted and initiated as a sannyasi (one who renounces the world in order to realize God).
Dharma taught only for his Guru with selfless expectation, after years as a full-time yogi and bramachari, a celibate religious student who lives with his teacher and devotes himself to the practice of spiritual disciplines. He was the main demonstrator for the yoga asanas at the many lectures the Guru gave to the public in the 60's and 70's. After being a celebrated teacher for many years at his guru's Ashram, he left in 1974 and founded the Yoga Asana Center, currently known as Dharma Mittra Yoga New York Center.
In 1975, Dharma made the Sun Salutation and Yoga Course Poster. This includes all hand done drawings and art work, as well as photographs and two yoga class Programs. In 1984, Dharma completed the Master yoga Chart of 908 Postures, as an offering to his Guru, and for all yoga aspirants. This original masterpiece was meticulously assembled from over 1,350 photographs of posture variations he took of himself, all hand done before the computer age. It has been an invaluable teaching tool over the past decades. You will find it in just about every yoga school and Ashram worldwide including India.
Dharma is the author of the book 608 Yoga Poses published by New World Library, featured in American Yoga, and is the inspiration for Yoga Journal's book -Yoga. His Maha Sadhana DVD set for Level I "A Shortcut to Immortality and Level II Stairway to Bliss," has been widely acclaimed as a preservation of the main teachings of yoga. They are eight hours of posture practice, breathing teachings, holy discourses, and Kirtan, for an amazing overall view of Sri Dharma's years of dedicated service to the tradition.
Yoga Master Dharma Mittra offers over 50 years of gems from his practice in two beautiful, useful, high quality DVDs from Pranayama.
Maha Sadhana (meaning the great practice) levels I and II are comprised of asana and Pranayama (breathing) practices, meditation practices and spiritual discourses as the core content. Both are as amazing to watch as they are to practice with, since a man of Dharma Mittra's age (he was born in the late 30s) would not be expected to have the strength, flexibility and muscle tone that he does. Lest we should be distracted by his perfection of postures, however, including such things as ease into full splits and the perfectly smooth flow between postures, Dharma Mittra emphasizes more than once in both DVDs that the postures 'are only one of the eight limbs of practice, designed to prepare the body for breathing exercises and meditation.
Sri Dharma Mittra and his devotees, through Dharma Mittra yoga, offer Dharma Mittra yoga "Life of a Yogi" 200 and 500 hour teacher trainings on the eight limbs and nine forms of yoga. They are designed from years of practices that Dharma did himself to become a yogi. Each participant receives handcrafted charts which Dharma made in the 1970s to record their daily practice records. They too are beautiful works of art created by Dharma when in a state of bliss consciousness. Each student is prescribed spiritual programs that will totally charge and change their life to become a calm, content and better person. The results have been miraculous and the essence of these ancient teachings come to life for each individual to use in this world of constant distractions. These yoga teachers, thru Dharmaji's guidance become much more than just teachers, they become Yogis.