Yogi Lifestyle: Personal Experience – “A great sense of happiness”


The header that I chose for YOGIGO is dedicated to my first real yoga teacher – Anton Samsonov. I had tried yoga a few times at university and it hadn’t really stuck. It was O-K but not really ‘my thing’. Then I went to Anton’s class. His mix of strength, balance, toughness, inner stillness and kindness was exhilarating. The Ashtanga sequence unlocked something in me and yoga did its thing.

My first yoga teacher

In the middle of the class, I felt an overwhelming sense of joy and I couldn’t stop grinning like an idiot. My eyes opened up and I was awestruck. It was a rush of chemicals that I’d never felt before in my life. I flowed through the class gulping in every breath in a heady blur, just feeling my body open up with every bend, jump and pose.

I called my friend after the class in a fit of hysterics, unable to explain what had just happened. In between fits of laughter I could only say that I felt an incredible sense of happiness. It’s hard to compare this feeling to anything else. Perhaps it’s like rushing down a rollercoaster, or slipping in to a hot bath after when your skin and bones ache, or standing at the top of a mountain. I sometimes get this feeling also when I’m riding my bike, when I feel the wind rushing by and I can’t stop laughing.

Needless to say I went back for more, and more and more. I took Anton’s classes in 3 different yoga centres around Moscow. One was a crumbling basement hall with the remains of punching bags swinging from the steel rafters (read more in Yoga in Moscow). Amongst friends, I got boring about yoga and dragged numerous people along with me but no one came away with the reaction that we’d both expected. They got the ‘so-so’ vibe from the class. It just goes to show that different teachers suit different people.

I owe Anton a great big thank you for inspiring me to start yoga and for bringing me a lot of happiness through my practice. Inspiring someone with yoga is a wonderful gift.

To visit one of his practices you should speak Russian but if you are in Moscow and have a Russian-speaking friend who can take you to the class, I would highly recommend it. If you’re going to Moscow and don’t have a friend who speaks Russian, I can introduce you to someone who can help. Email dotpinkney@yahoo.co.uk for more information.

Ashtanga Yoga Centre (website in English)

Moscow and St.Petersburg (Russia)

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