I was really looking forward to this interview and this was the reason why I keep on sending consistent reminders for it to happen (being probably very annoying). I was under the impression that the readers would be particularly interested in this specific teacher who is actually the most famous yoga teacher here in Germany. I guess I equated fame with Top Quality and was hoping for some amazing insight, some message from the “above”, some juicy details from the life of the Titan.
As a result, I got these answers that resemble something like Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras: a set of verses that could be best described as codes, the decoding of which is a highly creative process that differs from Decoder to Decoder, and hence varies greatly in the meaning, depending on whose interpretation you are reading, and what hidden conscious or unconscious agenda each of them has.
Perhaps the fault is that of the format: I usually ask my interviewees to answer my questions in a written format via email, I then use the answers to create an article with an introduction and a title that best fit the content. I imagine Patrick Broome is a very busy person: running a studio, teaching internationally, fathering children, and making sure the German Soccer team is well stretched. It’s a lot of work, no doubt about that!
And so below are Patrick Broome’s Sutras. But before you embark on the journey of Decoding, here’s a quick synopsis of Patrick’s Life, of which I know nothing but have to rely on Wikipedia to provide the best estimates.
Patrick Broome: born in Germany, grew up in California. Studied in Germany and got a PhD in Psychology. Followed the Jivamukhti Yoga Method for a while, then developed his own yoga method: Yoga for Everyone. Owns a studio in München. Author of many yoga books.
A: Patrick, you have such a curious background: one year after getting your PhD in Psychology you decide to go to New York and do a Teacher Training in Jivamukti Yoga. First of all, how did you come in contact with yoga in the first place and what “hooked” you? Second, why Jivamukti Yoga – what’s the connection there?
P: I met Yoga at my Martial Arts Training and loved it. So I Started practicing at Sivananda Yoga and there I read an article about Sharon And David (founders of the Jivamukti Yoga Method) and decided to visit them in New York. Meeting them I decided to Study deeper and move to New York to take their One Year In-House Jivamukti Training.
A: You had practiced Jivamukti Yoga for 15 years before deciding to change the direction. What was your experience like to be a part of the Jivamukti Yoga tribe? What were some of the most important lessons you learned during these 15 years?
P: Actually I studied almost 20 Years with Sharon and David, before I decided to make a change and started teaching a more open, more gentle and less “branded” Yoga Style. I learned almost everything I know about Yoga especially from Sharon and I will be grateful forever, but at one point my heart stopped resonating for this Method.
[Editor’s note: According to the German Wikipedia entry, Patrick went to New York to study the Jivamukhti method in 1999, and gave up the method in 2014 upon setting up his own yoga studio. Go figure!]
A: What was the point where you realized you didn’t share the same path anymore with your initial teachers Sharon Gannon and David Life? What made you chance the direction and search your own way?
P: see answer above.
A: Now that you have your own studio, you developed a new concept of how you teach yoga, Yoga for Everyone. What are the main elements of this method? What is the class structure like? Where did you get your inspiration for this specific set-up?
P: My teaching became much more Open, Gentle and Supportive. I still love the Elements of Playing Music and the Energetic approach to the Asanas as in Jivamukti, but the teaching is more directed into Accepting than to Transforming Yourself. My Friendship and Work with Krishnatakis has a Strong impact to this Change…
A: What do you see and teach to be the ultimate purpose of yoga, regardless of the method? How do you manage to incorporate yoga theory and practice as a practitioner and a teacher?
P: The Ultimate Goal of Yoga, regardless of the Method; is to Heal our Emotional Wounds and to Clear our Mind through an Intelligent Work with our Body.
A: What do you find the most challenging about teaching yoga? How have you learned to overcome this challenge?
P: I don’t view Teaching as a Challenge it’s a beautiful Service and very Playful.
A: What is your take on the modern yoga? In your opinion, is it too removed from the tradition? Is it too physical or fitness-oriented? Do you feel that it is becoming too commercial?
P: Any Physical Movement is Beneficial and if you add some Meaning to it the Better. Personally I don’t care too much about Traditions. If something works, makes you feel better and does not Hurt any other Being: Go for it!
A: What are the words of wisdom you would like to share with the sincere practitioners and yoga teachers worldwide?
P: Enjoy your Practice, Love Yourself and Become an Instrument for Service.
During the BYC 2017 try out a class with Dr. Broome. You have the following options: