Guest monk Dandapani teaching in Eagle through Sept. 21 |

Guest monk Dandapani teaching in Eagle through Sept. 21

Katie Drucker
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyDandapani teaches a yoga class at Yoga off Broadway in Eagle. He'll be teaching classes at the yoga studio through Sept. 21.

Yoga off Broadway, a yoga studio in Eagle, has a guest star, Dandapani, who will be teaching until Sept. 21.

Dandapani, a studied monk, is teaching yoga positions and spiritual tools dating back 5,000 years, to help pave the path for an enlightened future for local residents.

Dandapani, a Hindu of Sri Lankan descent, grew up in Perth, Australia. After graduating from university with a degree in electrical engineering, Dandapani met Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, the founder of a Hindu monastery in Kauai, Hawaii.

“I had wanted to be a monk for a long time … Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami was an amazing individual and the most highly respected Hindu leader of our time. The opportunity to study with him, you could not give it up,” Dandapani said.

In 1999 Dandapani left everything behind and has spent the last 10 years studying the teachings of his guru at the monastery in Hawaii.

A meeting between Dandapani and Kelly Marshall, the owner and lead instructor of Yoga off Broadway, three years ago in Boston, brought Dandapani to small-town Eagle. Soon after Marshall opened her yoga studio in April, she invited Dandapani to be a guest teacher for five weeks, from mid-August to mid-September.

“Kelly invited me here to be a part of her studio for a few weeks to teach what I have been taught, mainly focusing on spiritual tools for life,” Dandapani said. He will offer instruction on how to improve your concentration, how to have a positive outlook, how to work with your past and how to plan your future.

Yoga in the West is commonly associated with positions, Dandapani said. However, in the Hindu religion, yoga is also about philosophy, a way of living and spiritual tools.

“Carpenters always look for better tools in order to build better tables or better chairs; graphic designers always look for new programs to enhance their work. But why are we not given tools for life; for relationships, for our emotions?” Dandapani asked.

“Most people wing it,” he said. But yoga can provide these tools.

In 10 years of being a monk, Dandapani said he has seen many people’s lives dramatically change as a result of yoga.

“People go from not having a handle on life to having total control of mind, body and emotions,” he said.

Dandapani uses laying in bed for a half-hour longer than planned on a cold winter day to illustrate how mind, body and emotions dictate people and an example of what yoga can change.

Dandapani will continue to teach locals to be the master of their mind, body and emotions during one hour classes including Hatha yoga, a lecture and a guided meditation, until his departure.

“You get hooked on it when you realize the magic of yoga,” Marshall said.

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