President of Yoga Federation of Moscow talks to Annet Kulyagina
Photos courtesy of Sergey Litau
When and why did Yoga came into your life?
Well, my first experience of Yoga was in 1997 when I came to Yakov Marshak training. It was not easy to understand what I wanted from Yoga then, but now I know that I was predefined in my previous life to start practicing.
Why did you organize the Federation?
I would never do that alone; there were a lot of people in Moscow who felt it necessary to do one important and big thing…
What is important for you personally as the President of the association?
The target is simple and complicated at the same time. My personal part in it started when I felt that it was the time to give all that I had to give and known. The main task for the Federation is the popularization of Yoga, working up a group of good trainers and opening new practicing and educational centers. We also try to organize charitable programs for children. We want to help people to realize their creativity, become better and happier than they are now, and give the chance to achieve new levels in life with the help of Yoga.
You mentioned charitable programs for children, why do you do that?
My answer will be honest. There is only one. We give the children who live near our gyms the opportunity to come and take lessons for free, because we feel the responsibility and try to keep them from the streets, drugs and criminals. I have children and I hope I could make them happy and it doesn’t mean I will ever insist on their practicing Yoga; I can give them the chance to choose.
But why do you think Yoga can give all that happiness and success?
There is a difference in other kinds of training and Yoga, sport and Yoga. Sport gives you discipline and strengthen your body, makes you compete with other people for a victory. Yoga is not a competition; it is the search into the depths of yourself. That makes Yoga so interesting and appealing.
Do you try to attract as many people as possible?
No, definitely no. What we do is we try to create all the conditions for a person that comes to the federation to feel the freedom of Yoga, to teach them to feel and listen to themselves.
What exactly do you do for that?
For the moment we have three sports gyms, where people can come all year round. And every summer we open two pavilions. They are cozy and unusual. No one did that before. They are ecologically clean and give the feeling of being close to the Nature. We plan to open two more gyms and participate in Moscow Fitness and Sport Festival in 2007. We have our own magazine called Yoga Life where we give series of exercises and pieces of advise to the beginners, write about the people who make their own contribution into developing our Federation. We invite everyone to participate.