entelechy, (from Greek entelecheia), in philosophy, that which realizes or makes actual what is otherwise merely potential.
|Kristina and Sri K. Pattabhi Jois|
Anthony: Tell me about Derek Ireland?
|Derek Ireland, Crete|
Anthony: How did you first meet him and what were your first impressions?
|Derek Ireland in his Yoga Room, The practice place , Crete|
Anthony: What was it like to be taught by Derek, how was he as a teacher?
Anthony: Why was he important to the growth of Ashtanga in Europe?
|Kristina and Derek wedding day|
Anthony: Who were some of his students that we may of heard about.
Kristina: The list is long: John Scott, Gingi Lee, Alexander Medin, Lis Lark, Brian Cooper, Mathew Vollmer, Michaela Clarke ,Annie Pace, Jocelyn Stern, Petri Raisanen, Joseph Dunham, Ginny Dean, Hemish Hendry and many many more.
|Derek assisting Gingi Lee, The practice Place|
|Derek assisting in his Yoga Room|
Anthony: Tell me about ‘The Practice Place’, the Ashtanga community in Greece at that time?
|The Practice Place Kitchen|
Anthony: You taught for some time in Brighton, one of the first Ashtanga classes in the UK I believe, can you tell me a little about your experience of teaching Ashtanga in the UK at that time?
|Exhibition in London|
Anthony: Do you feel that there is a distinctive character to European Ashtanga, to Greek yoga in particular…., visiting your shala it felt like an extended family not just the shala itself but teachers, students of yours from other parts of Greece, returning for Manju’s workshop and even further afield, there seemed to be former students of yours from as far as Finland.
|Discussion with Manju ( I'm up there in front of the altar)|
Anthony: How was it to visit Mysore, tell me about your experience practicing with Pattabhi Jois
Kristina: Sri K Pattabhi Jois was a truly wise man. He was a very generous teacher, as when you practiced in his yoga shala you could feel the intensity of his deep knowledge as well as the connection to the teachers of the past. He had the ability to transfer your practice to a deeper level of understanding the asana and all this would come through his own experience of life and all the hardships and strains he had gone through which offered him a completely different awareness of the practice and the asana itself. He would always work through a deeper part of himself which had been shaped through the good and the bad times of life and had offered him a unique perspective of simplicity and substantiality. At the same time he was a very sincere man and truly industrious while all his students were made to feel part of his greater family and were always offered this knowledge generously. Through all his hard work he managed to contribute to the shaping of a universal consciousness towards a better world.
Anthony: Do you feel that the practice of Ashtanga has changed, not so much the details of practice but rather the experience of the practice.
|Kristina with Liam Ireland, Old Shala, Mysore|
Anthony: Tell me about Manju.
|Manju, Kristina's Shala, Rethymno, Crete|
Anthony: ...and Sharath?
Kristina: Sharath is a man who has also worked really hard and was well prepared by his grandfather. He has taken up a huge responsibility and manages to deal with things in the best possible way, bearing in mind how young he is. He is offering an immediate and true approach to the method while trying to maintain and spread the true essence of this practice, which is certainly not an easy task, and demands great amount of concentration, since our generation is constantly bombarded by huge multinational enterprises and commercialism. He has deep knowledge of both the practice and the way to teach it and I honestly believe that he has both the wisdom and the strength to maintain and convey the legacy of this truly big family.
Anthony: Recently you had Hyon Gak Sunim, a Korean Zen Monk, teaching Zen at your shala, an extended workshop. Can you tell talk about your current thinking regarding Ashtanga and Zen
|Kristina and Hyon Gak Sunim|
|Hyon Gak Sunim teaching in Rethymno Shala, crete|
|Screenshot from Alessandro Sigismondi's 'Come Breathe With Us' ( below)|
Anthony: Tell me about your own practice how it has developed, changed over the years?
|Kristina and son, Goa|
|Liam and Dennis Ireland|
|Kristina practicing along with everyone else, Manju's Led Primary, Crete|
Screenshot from Alessandro Sigismondi's 'Come Breathe With Us' ( below)
Anthony: What are your hopes for your own shala?
Kristina: The hope is that the shala becomes one more home for the Ashtanga community not just for my students and Derek's but as well for the students that love and respect the work of Jois family.I want it to be a place which will continue to function based on the same principles, transmitting knowledge the same way we received it. The shala environment works as a place for practice incorporating the ancient notion of Gymnasium where the practitioners working on a physical level focused on purification and balancing both body and mind.
Anthony: What are your feelings about the future of Ashtanga in Greece, in Europe and in general?
|Kristina regularly Hosts Manju for his workshops and trainings in Rethymno Crete|
(that's me jumping back in front of the altar)
Anthony: What would you most like to communicate regarding your experience of teaching/practicing Ashtanga or life in general…what would you most like to say/communicate to anyone reading my blog.
Kristina: Each one of us bears a personal responsibility to discover the different parts of ourselves and experience life through entelechy so that we can progress to mentally and physically healthy cells of this planet and offer useful elements to our environment through our existence. Our status both as teachers but as practitioners as well reminds us of the necessity for purification and evolution, not just for our own sake but also in an effort to prepare our world for the next generations. In this method our teachers worked under Bodhisattva mind keeping all the human qualities active in order to remind us that the strength of our existence lies in this life as it is.
Who am I? Know thyself!!
Kristina’s work is a continuation of Derek Ireland’s teaching principles. Her work is dedicated to him.
|Kristina and Irina 2013|
pdf version of the interview here
Text only version