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The Yoga Podcast: Episode 2: Anthony ‘Grimm’ Hall The Choose Yourself Yogi

Anthony has the most extraordinary yoga story I’ve ever heard, and perhaps one of the first ‘making of a yoga teacher‘ story to be fully documented online. It’s all on his blog. Everything.

[If you cannot see the image with the play button below click here to start listening]


WHY ANTHONY IS UNIQUE

Take for example how it all began:

He started practicing at the age of 43/44, while being 210 pounds, with knee problems, kidney stones, and a horrible diet.

But it was not because of his health that he got into yoga. NO.

He actually believed he was pretty healthy, you know, as in average…  

But then his house was broken into and all his saxophones were stolen.

THAT is what upset him.  And then he was upset at being so upset.

So he remembered the practice of meditation, and he wanted to take it back again because he needed more peace.  

That is when he noticed that many meditators used yoga as a complimentary activity, and so he went to the library, and, very embarrassed, borrowed a yoga book, just to check it out. 

That was early 2007.

As soon as he got into yoga (which was “brutal” as he says), he started sharing his findings and documenting his progress on a blog. 

You have likely seen it Grimmly2007.blogspot.com 

Heck! Everyone has seen it!  He is known as “Grimmly


The whole thing is online, if you go back to the archives you will find him completely obsessed with the jump backs and jump troughs throughout the first year of his practice, and then progressing into future obsessions.

He took a lot of heat from the “yoga police” (yes there is one of those) who did not approve (if you can believe it!) of him practicing at home with books, and progressing as he saw fit.

The internet turned against him with rage many times, because, as we all know, it is fun to hate someone online.
Anthony also took it upon himself to translate one text from Krishnamacharya (the grand-father of yoga) which was not available with help from people who read and follow him.  

The Yogasanagalu from 1945 is something we know, or at least I know about  thanks to him.  
Bharadvajrasana


He also has brilliant insights that challenge people reading his blog constantly.  That is one sure thing you can find with him, a different way to look at things, a constant questioning, a search for truth.


His blog became so popular that recently studios from around Europe, Rusia and the USA began to invite him to come over and give workshops.

“I don’t teach”, he says.  “I never wanted to teach or imagine I would be a yoga teacher”.

He is very humble, yes, but at the same time he realizes he was able to progress fast in asana, and his practice went deep through pranayama and meditation,  and so he feels the responsibility to pass it along.

I, for one, am grateful.

I have learned A LOT from Anthony.

I was surprised to his response of my usual question: “What is one thing that took you a long time to understand towards the end of the podcast. I am always surprised by that one, but Anthony has a way of taking it to the next level.
 
Also, when I mentioned to Anthony that I wanted to call this episode “The Choose Yourself Yogi” he said he was more likely the “Patient Home Practitioner”… I am sure as he reads this he will have another title in mind…
 
That is Anthony, a constant explorer…
 
In Fact…
 

Here is what Anthony wrote ABOUT this INTERVIEW on his own blog… Check it out.

WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT

– The embarrassment factor of starting a yoga practice after 40
– How he had let himself go 
– How he lost 50 pounds and regained health
– How he used anything as props (furniture, blankets, sofas)
– His desire to get the strong (difficult) poses “done” in the beginning – before we would grow older
– Here is Anthony in Marichasana D – we talk about it so it is good to get a visual (forgive the quality I took it from a screenshot of a video of his)
– I ask him: Did you ever get injured in yoga?  As a home-practitioner, it is an eye opener to hear the answer: never… although… there is a covenant
 
– The impossible poses: here is Anthony in Karandavasana, you can see a video of this impossible pose -as he calls it- We talked about how it terrified him.
 
– How he got into retaining the breath during asanas as per Krishnamacharya
– Why he thinks Ashtanga is a good place to start for someone getting into yoga
– And the question of the million bucks: What took Anthony a long time to understand.
Mahamudra
ABOUT ANTHONY
THE TRANSCRIPT
Claudia Azula Altucher: Hello and welcome to the yoga podcast. I’m very excited today to have Anthony Grim Hall, because he is the most unique yoga teacher I have ever encountered. He has 2.5 million visitors to his blog and he has been obsessed with every aspect of the practice of yoga. He changed his life radically in 2007 because . . . Anthony, what was your profession before 2007?
Anthony Hall: Before 2007?
Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.
Anthony: Oh, I was an instrument repairer.
Claudia Azula Altucher: An instrument repairer.
Anthony Hall: Yeah.
Claudia Azula Altucher: He developed his own practice completely from home by himself most of the time, and now he travels around the world teaching yoga, because people invite him to their yoga studios. So he’s been in Russia, and he’s been in Spain, and he’s likely to be coming to the United States later this year in 2015. He trained with Srivatsa Ramaswami who is a student of Krishanacharya for 35 plus years and with Manju Jois who is the son of Pattabhi Jois. He has written two books. One is called Vinyasa Yoga Home Practice Book 
(in 2012) and the other one: Krishnamacharya’s ‘Original’ Ashtanga Yoga Practice Manual (in 2014). Anthony, welcome to the show. I’m so glad to have you here.
Anthony Hall: Yeah, it’s good to see you, Claudia.
Claudia Azula Altucher: So its 8 p.m. there in Japan where you are. What did you do today?
Anthony Hall: Today, not much. I’m getting over a cold actually so I’ve just been taking it easy.
Claudia Azula Altucher: Okay, so no practice?
Anthony Hall: Yeah, I’ve practiced. Yeah, of course.
Claudia Azula Altucher: Oh, that’s good to know. I was taking there for a moment, I wasn’t sure. It seems unbelievable to me to be talking to you, because we’ve never talked on the phone even though our blogs have been paralleled. You started a little bit earlier than me and we’ve been on the journey of practicing together. And your book is in my blog, my book is in your blog. We’ve been together in so many levels as we went through, but you have a very specific origin story and I wanted to talk about that about how you came into yoga. You talked about a defining moment that happened to you in 2007 where your house was broken into.
Anthony Hall: Yeah.
Claudia Azula Altucher: Can you tell us?
Anthony Hall: Okay, it doesn’t sound such a big deal anymore. I think the first ten times I told it, probably it sounded so dramatic to me but not so much anymore. Basically we were burgled or robbed. The house was robbed. I had seven vintage saxophones stolen. I was an instrument repairer. I got it with someone who worked with vintage saxophones. So I had seven saxophones stolen. And basically I was angry about the saxophones stolen and then I was angry about being angry.
Claudia Azula Altucher: I like how you say that, because the anger on top of the anger is the second arrow. You were really upset.
Anthony Hall: Yeah, I used to do a little bit of Zen before a long time ago. So I thought I’ll just do some meditation and I think I started with some Vipassana mindfulness through some podcast session. And then sitting was uncomfortable, so I thought, “Well, maybe I’ll do a little bit of yoga just to make it a bit more comfortable sitting.” So I went to the library and the books were just dreadful covers. And in those days, you had to take the book to the actual librarian and sort of say, “I’d like a book please.” Most of the books I really didn’t want to take up to the librarian. The least offensive were a couple of books. It just happened to be Ashtanga. So that didn’t look so bad. So I took them home and then I basically started practicing at home on a towel in my underwear basically. And I practiced just those, building off from there. Eventually I started getting some tapes, DVDs, but, yeah, that was basically.
Claudia Azula Altucher: You were overweight at that time you mentioned.
Anthony Hall: Yeah, yeah, quite a bit. Did I lose about 20 kilos or something. I guess I was about 94-kilo and I got down to about… I tend to sit around about 77 afterwards. So I lost around about. . .
Claudia Azula Altucher: I looked that up. In pounds, it translates to something like going from 210 pounds to about 160 pounds. So it’s a significant amount of weight that you lost through the exercise.
Anthony Hall: Yeah, it’s probably a bit more dramatic than that, because Ashtanga builds quite a bit of muscles as well. It’s quite a powerful practice. . .
Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.
Anthony Hall: So you’re putting a bit of muscle, as well, which is kind of heavy. If you’re actually fat, I guess I lost quite a bit.
Claudia Azula Altucher: And you said that you would use furniture or books as blocks when you couldn’t reach for things. You started transforming things that were in your life into yoga tools without. . .
Anthony Hall: Yeah, I didn’t have any blocks or straps or anything. So I was just using belts and a couple of piles of books and things like that. I remember buying my first mat. It was quite a big deal going into a shop and buying a yoga mat, but it was the right thing to do.
Claudia Azula Altucher: Do you still have it?
Anthony Hall: No, no, I don’t actually. Well, I don’t have anything now, because I just moved back. I don’t have anything. I sold everything but I had it for a long time.
Claudia Azula Altucher: What I found interesting when you were talking about this is that you said that you loved the first sun salutation, but the second one exhausted you. I get this picture that you were out of shape, feeling unhealthy. You also said you were feeling bloated at that time.
Anthony Hall: Yeah, pretty much. I think I wrote about how it was… I think later it became disturbing to me how I hadn’t realized the condition I got into. I think that’s quite interesting. I thought I was okay. In Japan, I was teaching English. I had some fancy suits. I thought I looked okay. And it was gradual. You were putting on weight gradually, gradually, gradually. I must be the only person getting more unhealthy in Japan. Yeah, it was kind of gradual. So I didn’t really realize in a way that I put on so much weight, that I was in such bad condition. I had a couple of things happen and then I had my gallbladder removed. I got some kidney problems. Different things but I still didn’t really take it that seriously and I think a lot of people think they’re okay. They think, “I can lose a couple of pounds, but I’m probably not that bad,” but actually I was probably not in good shape at all.
Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, and you were 44 at this time when you got that book in the library.
Anthony Hall: Yeah, something like that – 43, 44.
Claudia Azula Altucher: And I think that’s what I see in a lot of people, hitting middle-age, and thinking it’s the norm to have all those extra pounds, and then to be unhealthy like taking it for granted that that’s just how life is. But I think the way you transformed your life is proof that there is another way.
Anthony Hall: Yeah, you see it walking around. We see it all the time now walking around, because we’ve seen people our age. We see they can probably do with some exercise or they could do with some eating a little better. And it’s like they’ll probably figure they’ll get around to doing it some time. It takes time to turn it around. The longer you leave it, the longer it takes.

Claudia Azula Altucher: And I think also, very interesting, you actually wrote this originally, I believe, in a response to an article that the New York Times magazine had published saying that yoga can wreck your body. I think this is the first time that you got prompted to write this story and you said, “Hey, New York Times, my body was pretty much wrecked before yoga.”

Anthony Hall: Emotional, isn’t it?

Claudia Azula Altucher: What?

Anthony Hall: I got quite emotional about that.

Claudia Azula Altucher: I don’t blame you. I think many of us who take yoga without pushing or trying to make you work instead of having an idea of how you should look like, it definitely helps. I think you’re a good portrait for it but what I find more interesting is that you said that in that article that you had problems with your knees and being bloated, but also the anger seemed to have eased in your life, that you don’t feel so angry.

Anthony Hall: Yeah. I mean, I wasn’t crazy angry. I mean, I don’t think I was that bad but like any book is it usual to start shouting at your computer and shaking your fist up the computer screen or when it doesn’t do when you wanted to do something.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: I noticed that I just didn’t seem to getting as angry on computer anymore, which is a small thing perhaps but that’s one of those . . . I think a lot of people probably get angry with the technology.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yes.

Anthony Hall: To me, that was kind of a sign that perhaps I was less stressed than more chilled out.

Claudia Azula Altucher: If you were to. . . knowing what you know today, if you were to recommend someone who’s curious and hears your story, gets inspired and wants to start yoga, what would be your first point or suggestion?

Anthony Hall: It depends. I mean, to me, I started with Ashtanga and Ashtanga worked for me. Perhaps there was something about. . . Ashtanga is very good for building discipline. That suited me quite well. Also, I used to practice Aikido before when I was playing the saxophone. I was just going to practice by the river every morning. That kind of practicing everyday seemed to work for me. It was quite physically challenging and that worked as well. I think that my temperament actually even worked quite well. I don’t think if I pick up particular books, it might not work for me. I might get half after few months back.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: For somebody of a different temperament, and perhaps a different kind [inaudible 00:12:09] in my work or it might be something else. I mean it might not be [inaudible 00:12:13]. It might be, I don’t know, just going swimming or something every day or something that you really enjoy doing because that was part of it. I enjoyed what I was doing, I loved it.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: Also, the other thing was it seemed to be coming… in fact, good thing about Ashtanga is that because you’re doing the same postures every day, your [inaudible 00:12:37] but your postures are feeling a little bit more comfortable and you’re getting a little deeper into posture and you couldn’t. You’re doing few more postures before you stop and feel exhausted perhaps.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: That was helpful for me but for somebody else, it might be something of a different kind.

Claudia Azula Altucher: You can definitely see the progress in Ashtanga where you feel. . . because it’s the postures day in and day out and you can feel the body sort of changing and adjusting.

Anthony Hall: Well, of course the other side of that is that you can get lost in that. You can kind of get suck up into the whole next posture, next posture, next posture, next series, next series. You can just kind of get carried along by that. Really, that can be problematic as well perhaps.

Claudia Azula Altucher: I think I was a posture for that. I definitely. . . when I started, I got very carried away. The day I started, I wanted to do four series. I wanted to do first and second right away. I thought it all was going to happen very quickly and I got pretty obsessed with the Asana to begin with. Perhaps out of ignorance in a way.

Anthony Hall: Also, for me, it was an age thing. I don’t know you’re younger.

Claudia Azula Altucher: I’m just slightly younger. I’m 46.

Anthony Hall: Oh. Okay, but for me, that was that kind of thing that . . . I think once I go past . . . I don’t know I got past [inaudible 00:14:07] series or something. You started a thing that if you didn’t do it now, then you probably wouldn’t get it. If I didn’t do third series now, I didn’t do fourth series either. Maybe I didn’t have so much time to do all the fancy stuff. That was that thing for quite a while. I think I was quite drawn up into that. I was thinking like I just really need to sort of do as many postures that I can while I still can perhaps. It took a while to get over that. I think now, I don’t really care too much which postures I really do. They’re pretty much the same.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right, several things have happened but I wanted to point out . . . you developed your practice pretty quickly because I remember finding your blog probably at the end of ‘08. Even though you started and you could barely do the two Sun Salutations, then you got sort of obsessed with the Asanas and you were dropping back, you were doing leg behind the neck postures and you pretty much learned the sequences of Ashtanga, I would say promptly, pretty fast.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, I think one of the things is that because I was doing it at home, that’s the thing with somebody who practices at home. You don’t have anyone telling you that you can and you can’t. I actually did because when we started blogging, we had people telling us all the time, “You’re not supposed to do that and you shouldn’t.”

Claudia Azula Altucher: The police.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, exactly. I don’t know. I think we had a lot of common sense, didn’t we? I think because also there was no one. If I put both legs behind your head and there is no one to come and get you out of it. You are a little kind of cautious as well, and dropping back as well. You don’t want to hurt yourself, so you are careful. There is common sense there. Also, there’s no one to sort of say what you can and you can’t do and how quickly you can and you can’t progress. I think that perhaps allowed me to just kind of keep going and keep working on postures. There will be postures that perhaps I didn’t have a 100% but it was coming along. It was coming along well enough and I was happy. Then, we moved on to something else and something else and then now, there’s these earlier postures that keep progressing if [inaudible 00:16:37] this way. For example, Marichyasana D. . .

Claudia Azula Altucher: Marichyasana D by the way, if you can describe it because some people may not know the postures [inaudible 00:16:47]?

Anthony Hall: Marichyasana D, so you have one foot in half lotus. The knee is bent, the foot is inside your hip. Then, the other leg is bent up and then you twist over and you reach around to the leg that’s bent. You reach your arm all the way around and the other arm goes around the other side and then you basically hold on to your. . .

Claudia Azula Altucher: It’s an impossible twist.

Anthony Hall: Yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: It literally looks impossible.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, it is quite extreme. For the men, you would say that you shouldn’t necessarily be held back on that posture but you would keep working at it. You would keep working on some other posture that once come off but you would still keep working on say Marichyasana D and that would come along in some time.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: Interestingly actually, Krishnamacharya put Marichyasana D in intermediate postures so it wouldn’t be in primary series anyway

Claudia Azula Altucher: That’s interesting and I think this is very specific to the Ashtanga system. This sort of like, “Oh no, you cannot move to the next pose unless you have done these and you will never do these unless this happens first.” Kind of like the guidelines change depending on what teacher you are looking at.

Anthony Hall: Yeah. It depends on the teacher. Some senior teachers will have you progressing along, continuing to work on the more challenging postures but not necessarily holding back then.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: Other teachers will maybe stay at that posture; just keep working at it until you have it pretty much perfectly. Then, they would give you the next posture and the next posture, next posture. There are two different approaches.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: Both of them have good arguments.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, I would say. I mean, because I think if I had been stopped at the Marichyasana because it took me such a long time so much . . . you know when you laugh, when you finally get a pose and you have that laughter sort of like nervous.

Anthony Hall: Yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Like, “Oh my God. It happened.”

Anthony Hall: I got that on camera.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Oh, you have that on camera?

Anthony Hall: I think so, yeah, when I came up from drop backs.

Claudia Azula Altucher: When you came up from the drop back, right?

Anthony Hall: Yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, that’s beautiful. You have all these journals of all the postures and they’re amazing. I was going to say, I think if my teacher had stopped me in Marichyasana when I first started, I would have gotten bored. I’m glad that that didn’t happen but let me ask you, did you ever get injured through yoga?

Anthony Hall: No, not really. Just recently, I had my first yoga injury. I was quite proud.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Oh.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, I was practicing with a friend that’s doing a workshop and I was staying at a friend’s place. We were practicing together in the morning. She lifted up to do a jump back, lifted up while still in the posture to jump back, which is something I used to do. I went to do the same thing and then my mat was a bit slippery and I just slipped. I think I dislocated my finger slightly.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Oh.

Anthony Hall: Actually, it’s still a little bit swollen. I can still see it now. It feels fine. I can do everything I want with it but it feels little bit swollen.

Claudia Azula Altucher: I think it’s interesting to know. It was a slip.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, it’s a little slip. It took me about seven years I think to get my first

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right, but it wasn’t that you were forcing something. I believe that when yoga is well understood, then you would never force. It seems to me this was more an accident than an injury. Like you just slip but it’s not that you were carelessly sort of trying to force yourself into a deep back bend or anything like that.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, I think that was the thing is I was on practice. I think we didn’t really force ourselves in that practice. I mean, if you go to [inaudible 00:20:46] you can sometimes have somebody who is taking you a little deeper into the posture [inaudible 00:20:52] trying to show you the full expression of the pose, full expression of an Asana. We don’t really have that in at-home practice because there’s no one to take it deeper into the posture except ourselves.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: You could use a strap. A strap can help us go in a little bit more.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: Generally, perhaps we don’t know we’ll do it. People think practicing at home there is no teacher to see you but we may have a common sense. I think we tend to go little bit careful.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yes, I agree with that. Yes.

Anthony Hall: I think I was a little brave in some of the Asana but also a lot of common sense as well. I think that was that kind of a little balance, a little bit of bravery to try stuff and a little bit of common sense as well. Also, some cowardice in some other postures as well. At home, we can use the wall for example. There’s no one is telling us, “You can’t use the wall.” I used to use the wall for [inaudible 00:21:59] Asana and just posture where the forearm stand. You go up in your forearms and then you fold your legs into half lotus and then fold all the way down and bring it down so, the lotus ends up in your forearms and then take a little bit back up. I was always terrified going up.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Another impossible posture. I mean, I haven’t even gotten there yet. I am not sure I want to know about it but. . .

Anthony Hall: Well, it’s terrified if I am flipping over the other way because it didn’t seem to make sense to me. I couldn’t picture how my body would be if I flipped over the other way while I was on my forearms. That kind of scared the heck out me so I always used the wall. It wasn’t until recently when I actually went to [inaudible 00:22:44] whereI knew that I would actually have to do it in a room that I had to force myself to overcome that.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah. That’s interesting. Your blog has changed names as you went along. In the beginning, you were a bit obsessed with the jump backs and the jump throughs and the blog I think reflected that name. Then, it was called Krishnamacharya. Then, it was called Vinyasa Krama. Now, it is called Overcoming Asana.

Anthony Hall: Oh, it’s changed again.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Oh, it’s changed again?

Anthony Hall: Yeah, yeah. It’s Slow Ashtanga.

Claudia Azula Altucher: It is Slow Ashtanga, based on Krishnamacharya’s early teachings.

Anthony Hall: Right.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Your own definition of yoga has changed many times. What would you say it is today for you?

Anthony Hall: For yoga or what my blog is about?

Claudia Azula Altucher: Well, let’s talk about both. What is your blog about and how do you see yoga for you today?

Anthony Hall: I think the blog changing up the titles was just so people knew what they were getting really. We got a lot of criticism over the years. We get people who read every post and pretty much give a negative comment on every post. Why read it if you’re . . . change the channel.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: Sometimes I would say, “Well, you call it so and so Ashtanga.” I am like, “Okay, maybe if I change the blog title and so it would be Krishnamacharya’s Ashtanga or Original Krishnamacharya’s Ashtanga.” Then a friend turned around and was saying, “Well, original, that’s not very nice calling it original.” I was like, “Okay.” I just ended up calling it Slow Ashtanga recently. I guess the idea is that people get an idea on what it’s about so they can choose then whether they actually want to read it or not.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: What yoga is to me now?

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: What yoga is to me now? I think yoga hasn’t really changed that much. We have been talking about Asana. I mean Asana is just Asana. The blog is about Asana. It wasn’t that much about yoga, it wasn’t really that much about the philosophical side. It was mainly just about Asana. That’s what the blog was about. I come from a philosophy background. I didn’t really want to write about the philosophical side so much. Recently, it’s come out a little bit but I didn’t really [inaudible 00:25:31].

Claudia Azula Altucher: You got into the Pranayama part, you got into Mudras, you got into even some talk of meditation here and there.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, I started doing Advanced Series, Advanced A, Advanced B. I became a bit of an Asana junkie. It was always more Asana, more Asana, more Asana. While I was in that phase, I came across [inaudible 00:26:02] yoga. When you see the book, it is just lots of Asanas, I said, “Wow! Great! Asana, Asana. Great.” I took that book home and I started to practice it and I know you practice on this as well. The thing about Rama Swami’s practice is it’s pretty slow. Each posture kind leads into the next posture but the focus is so much on the breath and when you practice along with the book, your whole practice slows down completely. The whole experience of the practice changes. It seems to become much more in term . . . I always found Ashtanga to be quite [inaudible 00:26:44] practice. I found this Vinyasa Krama approach quite profound. That had quite an effect on me. Then, I had that problem — how did then I square that with my Ashtanga practice because I’ve been practicing Ashtanga for a long time.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right, yeah.

Anthony Hall: I tried practicing both. I practice Ashtanga in the morning and Vinyasa Krama in the evening. Then, the other way around and then I try to make my Ashtanga more Vinyasa Krama or my Vinyasa Krama more Ashtanga. For a couple of years, I think on the blog that was problematic. I think, it was only really when I then went back to Krishnamacharya [inaudible 00:27:24] teacher who associated Ashtanga with. When I went back to Krishnamacharya’s original writing, I saw how his practice was described as much slower than we would have customs, how he was using Kumbhaka Breath Retention posture.

Some postures he was holding longer. It didn’t seemed fix. You could start seeing how that early Ashtanga wasn’t much closer or not so far away from the Vinyasa Krama I have been practicing as well. I think once I found that, I was able to bring those two practices together. Now, it’s just one practice but it feels more consistent with each other. The other aspect about that [inaudible 00:28:11] Krishnamacharya is they were both encouraging an integrated practice. You would do Pranayama. You would do meditation. I think Krishnamacharya said, “You don’t clean the room and then not live in it.” Yes, Asana and the Pranayama was cleaning the room. You are doing your Asana, you can do Pranayama and then you do your meditation practice.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: I think I seemed to get lost a little bit in the way. Many of us practice Ashtanga, just didn’t go around to the Pranayama and meditation.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Can you give me like . . . because I am very curious about your practice today because you went back, you found someone who helped you translate the yoga Asana, the [inaudible 00:28:52] by Krishnamacharya which he wrote in the 40’s.

Anthony Hall: Yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: You studied the Yoga Makaranda in depth. I mean, every time you find a book, then I have to go buy, then read it because you really get into it with a passion that I have never seen before. You have managed and in your last book you have these where you have how Krishnamacharya taught the postures that we now do while within the Ashtanga sequence. Give me an example of a change where you made the retained breath or stay longer in a posture or how is it different?

Anthony Hall: Okay. I think that was part of it. I think people tended to think that there was early Krishnamacharya and there was a late Krishnamacharya. The early  Krishnamacharya was the [inaudible 00:29:40] then developed into the Ashtanga we have now. There was that idea. Then the idea that there was a later Ashtanga that we see [inaudible 00:29:49] in yoga. Ramaswami, [inaudible 00:29:53] but actually, when you go back to the text, you see that that’s not necessarily the case. There’s consistency perhaps throughout. For me, it was a case of just reading those texts wasn’t enough. You actually have to practice it. The nice thing about the blog was people would send you things. Somebody had sent me basically a screen. They’ve taken a photograph of every page of Krishnamacharya’s second book, [inaudible 00:30:28]. It was in the Mysore Sanskrit Library. I took pictures out on my blog and then somebody got in touch and says, “Oh well, I’ll translate for you because I am a kind of a native speaker.” Great. We translated that.

Then, we saw in that book its original table which was pretty much exactly the same as the Ashtanga we have now except the advanced series which that was quite a big difference. The primary [inaudible 00:30:56] me was pretty much the same. We knew that Krishnamacharya had the basis of the Ashtanga we have now, the primary and second series. Then, we have his earlier book which gave instructions for all the postures. Most of the postures are in the primary series. The idea of the second book was to re-order those postures in the first book into the order of the second book. In that way, we were then able to say, “Okay, here’s the Ashtanga we are familiar with but here are the instructions which are in a different set.” For example Janu Sirsasana, one leg is bent, the foot is on the inner side, and so the right knee is bent and right foot is on the . . .

Claudia Azula Altucher: And you are sitting down?

Anthony Hall: That’s right. You’re sitting down, yes. Then, you’re holding on to say your toe with both hands and then you would fold over. Krishnamacharya would have the same Vinyasas we use. He would start from standing and then, he would fold over and jump back into Chaturanga or plank position, goes up the face and go down the face and go and he would jump through as usual, Ashtanga into the posture. Then as he would fold over, he would introduce Kumbhaka basically on the end of the exhalation. Kumbhaka is a breath retention. He would hold the breath in, he would engage the [inaudible 00:32:41] and he would hold it for three to five seconds.

Then, he would relax the balance to the extent and then come back up again inhaling, getting in some space to breathe. Then, he would then fold back in the exhalation and then do another Kumbhaka. He would have a Kumbhaka at the end of every exhalation in that posture. In another posture where the head is up, he would have a Kumbhaka staying up to every inhalation. That’s something that’s quite different about Krishnamacharya’s instructions [inaudible 00:33:16].

Claudia Azula Altucher: Do you find that it has a different effect on you practicing these way as opposed to the Ashtanga where you would get in Janu Sirsasana and just breathe five times, get out, go to the other side. In these sort of stopping and retaining the breath and . . . what happens to you when you practice it that way?

Anthony Hall: It has a very [meditative] effect. Ashtanga generally always felt to be meditative anyway because you are doing same postures and the movements are familiar and there is a focus in the breath. It’s always been a meditative practice but this seems even more so. I mean, it slows it down. The inhalations and exhalations are slower perhaps than we’ve become accustomed to [inaudible 00:33:58].

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right, right.

Anthony Hall: The Kumbhaka as well, there is this moment when nothing happens. There’s just this pause. Everything just stops. Everything stops. That happens at the end of every exhalation or the end of every inhalation.

Claudia Azula Altucher: When you say everything stops, would you say the mind stops too in a way or?

Anthony Hall: It does seem to. Yeah. I mean, we talk about sometimes like monkey mind, how the minds kind of go all over the place. Normally, if you try to meditate [inaudible 00:34:35] time all of a sudden thoughts would be coming out and thinking about and so much [inaudible 00:34:39] but I don’t find it happening in Kumbhaka so much. I don’t know [inaudible 00:34:44]. Perhaps because it is only for a few seconds but there is that stillness that seems to come into the practice which is quite interesting.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, that’s very nice and that’s definitely something that has happened to me as I learn from you about these retentions and certain poses in trying them a little bit, not a lot. It has the effect of slowing the practice so much that I have had to cut postures sometimes because otherwise, I will be practicing for I don’t know how long, five hours. I can’t do it.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, exactly. That’s part of the problem. I think if you have a fixed sequence then that becomes problematic because there are a lot of postures in the Ashtanga series. If you want to get it all practiced within 90 minutes to hours, you have to crack on it. You have to compromise and what gets compromised usually is the breath.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: You make it a bit shorter, whereas if you want to make breaths longer and slower, you want to use Kumbhaka. Then, you have to compromise elsewhere and that becomes [inaudible 00:36:00] posture. To me, I am quite happy to do half the series one day and then do the second half of the series another days. Sometimes, even a third of the series.

Claudia Azula Altucher: You have to take it slow.

Anthony Hall: Yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: This week, I have been . . . it is cold here.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: It is kind of cold and I have been running around doing workshops for the last few weeks. I felt I have lost the degree of flexibility. In the last couple of days or two days, I’ve gone back to pretty much full Ashtanga series but I have been changing the tempo quite a bit. Because my breath is quiet long, so I cut; some postures I only take two breaths. It is pretty much same length of time as I was been practicing the Ashtanga with same posture but my breath is longer in summers so two breath is enough there. Other postures I would treat it more as a Mudra and stay longer. I would do most of the series but then I’ll change the tempo quite a bit. Yeah, some postures I’ll stay longer, some postures I’ll stay less amount of time. I’d do less Vinyasas as well so I won’t necessarily jump back off for every posture or in between every side of the posture.

Claudia Azula Altucher: When you say I’ll make the posture a bit more of a Mudra, what do you mean?

Anthony Hall: There’s something strange about Krishnamacharya’s instructions in his first book which he wrote in Mysore in 1934, the same time he was teaching. It is almost as if he’s treating a posture in Mudra. In Mudra, banners are engaged; usually the exhalation could be longer, maybe twice as long. Usually in Ashtanga, there is the same length of inhalation as exhalation. In the Mudra, the exhalation can be twice as long as that. There would be usually, say a Kumbhaka in a Mudra. Banners will be engaged and that will be a strong focal point, negative focal point, concentration. When you look at the Asana instructions of Krishnamacharya, it seems like almost every posture, he seems to be treating almost as Mudras. [inaudible 00:38:31] it is a second series posture. One knee is bent back. The other leg is in half lotus, the other foot is in half lotus. You reach around and hold on to that foot in half lotus with the arms with that foot in half lotus. Then, the other hand goes under the knee.

It’s a deep twist. You look over say the right shoulder and that’s where the twist is.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: Krishnamacharya would have you look the other way. You would be looking towards the front which seems to allow more space in the chest and allow you to breath. In that posture with the head forward, you can really engage in the [inaudible 00:39:21] chin can come down. You are able to do a Kumbhaka and he will tell you to save 12 breaths in this posture or he will suggest 12 breaths. It seems to me that he’s pretty much describing the Mudra. The Asana seems to become more [inaudible 00:39:39].

Claudia Azula Altucher: I see. It seems to me that practicing Krishnamacharya’s sort of way of Ashtanga yoga would give a completely different effect than practicing the Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga yoga especially if this practice today jump in, jump out, one and a half hour is all of the Asanas. I think we are seeing practitioners who have been doing it now for 30, 35 years and how they are changing too. You pointed to an article to me yesterday from Gregor Maehle where his view of Ashtanga yoga has changed. I think many of us or at least for me as I grew older, I also notice that . . . I mean, frankly, I’m not sure I can keep up with that rhythm. Second, I find that this approach of going slower, getting more into the posture tends to have that effect of finding peace which is more like what I think I want out of yoga. Has your view in Ashtanga changed that way or you use it . . . on different days you still go for the running and on other days you go for the slow?

Anthony Hall: No, I tend to practice pretty much the same thing all the time now. For a long time, I keep my Friday practice sort of sacred, straight primary. For years, that would stay the same no matter what else I was doing. There was that Friday practice day but that’s changed a little bit now as well. Just a couple of days ago, I read some conference notes from Sharath Jois in Mysore and he was saying that eventually everyone comes back to primary anyway. He was saying basically, don’t dismiss primary series. Primary series is great. Eventually you’re going to come back to it whether through injury, whether through old age, whether through some other reasons. Eventually, you are going to come back to those basic postures anyway. On another thing, with Sharath, although often it seems that modern practitioners of Ashtanga seem to practice very, very quickly, when you see Sharath practice, he never seems rushed to me.

Claudia Azula Altucher: He doesn’t. Yeah.

Anthony Hall: He just seems very relaxed throughout the whole practice. He’ll do it in 60 minutes but he doesn’t look rushed. It’s very strange.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, he is very light and he is like a feather sort of floating through.

Anthony Hall: Yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Nothing’s changed.

Anthony Hall: My jump back changed. I used to do this very dramatic jump back where I kind of pretty much went into sort of half handstand I floated down and through. Then, I saw Sharath’s . . . I think he demonstrated a little jump through once in Mysore. It was the most delicate little thing, almost a little step, a little hop. There was just no energy at all. It was just so efficient. I just completely changed my jump through from that. Now, I do this kind of little Sharath’s little hop through. My whole practice has that aspect where I try to conserve energy more and more and less, less, less. I thought maybe that’s the point. Maybe eventually, we get past that body aspect because for a while it’s cool, right? I mean Ashtanga can be pretty cool and we can get lost in that a little bit. We get lost in all fancy postures but after a while, we stop seeing through that. It’s just fancy postures.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right, right.

Anthony Hall: We just seem to kind of look for something else in the practice because by then we’re addicted to practice anyway so we’re just going to keep it doing, right? You got to find something else in the practice.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, what is that something else you’re finding? Are you finding that through Pranayama, through meditation?

Anthony Hall: Yeah. I was talking about this with a friend, Nick actually today, how . . . see this is the problem I think. It used to be supposedly that you would do Pranayama quiet early on. Then it seemed to come into practice that you don’t need do Pranayama after you achieve second series because a lot of people never achieve second series, whereas with Ramaswami, we would do Pranayama pretty early actually. When you practice Pranayama, that changes a few of your Asana practice straight away. Once you practice Pranayama and you’re practicing meditation, then you can’t help but stop bringing back in to your practice or perhaps noticing that aspect of the practice more.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, that is so true. That is absolutely true. It changes the quality because the focus is different I think. The body serves the purpose of the quietness and the silence I suppose and that peace that comes from the silence rather than maybe just a stretching more or doing more fancy postures. It changes.

Anthony Hall: Yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: I like when you said you have a 33 part post on developing a practice and on part 16, you say, “Anyone who practice six days a week earns the right to determine for themselves what the hell this practice is about.”

Anthony Hall: Is that why you choose yourself yogi?

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah. That’s what I mean by choose yourself yogi but also I mean that you really didn’t fear the police that came after you and they came after me too, “Oh, you shouldn’t be writing, you shouldn’t be doing that,” and you took the positive parts of that. I really welcome comments about how to improve the postures. You kind a use the whole cyber [inaudible 00:46:04] in a way but I like this part because I think eventually when you get in it and you’re like almost nine, ten years into it now, it does become your practice. It does become something very personal and you find what works for you. I think that’s the beauty of it.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, there is a point I think when . . . you know, if you’ve been turning over your mat every day for a period. I don’t know what that period would be. I mean, if you turn over the mat every day for a month, that’s something.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: Get a week. Get a whole week. Turn up every day in the morning and do your practice even if it’s a really short practice for a week and that’s the thing. Then, you do it for months and then, if you got a year of just turning all the time then I think you’ll start earning the right to basically make sense in your own practice. I think once you’ve done that for a couple of years . . . and I think somebody sort of telling you what is the right or wrong practice for you, that just becomes a bit nonsensical really because there is always supposed to be our own practice I think. In the end, you’re supposed to go up to a little hot somewhere and sweep it clean and do your practice.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right. Yeah. I am teaching a little as well myself and I’ve come across this. How do you stay motivated to return? Say that person, say they did a week of practice but then suddenly they feel like they don’t want to do it, what do you answer to that?

Anthony Hall: I don’t know how people do it with other practices. I know Ashtanga works quite well. That’s one of its strengths. The problem is it has some dangers perhaps but it also has that where it seems to be built almost in a way that encourages you.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Because of six times a week.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, because you get into the habit. It’s very good at building a routine and routine is the mother of discipline. You just have to turn up. Even if you are not going to do your whole practice, even if you just get changed and understand that at the top of your mouth, that’s a start. Once you’re there then say okay, you’re just going to do a couple of Sun Salutations, right? Even if you only do say five Sun Salutations and then, roll up your mat and then leave, then that’s still quite something. You’re still building that routine of actually getting on to your mat in the morning. I am sure you’re saying to me how many times you say, “Okay, I’ll just get on there and just do a few Sun Salutations.”

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: I always end up doing my whole practice.

Claudia Azula Altucher: That happens. That takes you by surprise when it happens. After a year like, “How did I end up doing the whole thing?”

Anthony Hall: Yeah, you think. Like this morning, it’s cold and I said, “Okay, I’ll just maybe do a little bit of standing and a couple of series postures.” Then, I end up doing the whole thing.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: Because they link into each other as well. That’s the beauty of a relatively fixed sequence is that you get used to one posture following the other posture. It feels really strange to stop somewhere.

Claudia Azula Altucher: It does.

Anthony Hall: I’ll just do the next one. I’ll just do the next and then you’re half way through it.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Anthony I’ve seen a photograph of you teaching. There is a slide behind you and there is Krishnamacharya sitting down. I was curious. Do you talk about the history of Krishnamacharya in your courses? That looked very interesting to me.

Anthony Hall: The slides I basically ripped them off from the Transformation Exhibition New York. I took little screenshots of some of the pictures from that and I just tried to use it to just try and put Krishnamacharya in context really. I just have this slideshow of these pictures of old yoga figures and heroes and super heroes because a lot of those old stages there were all these stories behind them.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: Those were the superheroes I figure that Krishnamacharya grew up with, so that’s what I do. I just wanted to put Krishnamacharya in context a little bit. Then, I talked about the myth and the legend of Krishnamacharya and then afterwards, we just basically kind of question that. We have some questions of some of those aspects of the myths and the legend and see how we want to [inaudible 00:51:14] some of the story. I’m just trying to get more of an idea of the person who actually wrote those books and developed that practice.

Claudia Azula Altucher: That’s very interesting. I can’t wait to take your work. I really like it. I’m pretty sure. Let me ask you. Has it happened to you to get people come to you who are complete beginners or people who are a little out of shape? How do you accommodate for that?

Anthony Hall: Not really, because I don’t really teach. I don’t think I teach. I mean, I never really wanted to teach. I wasn’t planning on teaching at all.

Claudia Azula Altucher: But it’s happening.

Anthony Hall: I know but when I went to Rama Swami’s, it was a teacher training but I don’t think anyone would say, “I’m going to teach training.” We just wanted to spend five weeks with Rama Swami but there was that feeling that afterwards you probably should teach, that you all must oblige. And so it was the case. Well, if somebody asks me, then I’ll do it but I didn’t particularly want to become yoga teacher necessarily.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: A couple of times, I’ve had a few people who got in touch but they’re usually people who either teaches themselves or have been practicing a while and wanted to maybe find out some more about Vinyasa Krama or some of Krishnamacharya’s work; not so many beginners. Again, on the workshops, it’s usually Ashtangas who want to know a little bit more about the history or it’s about people who are curious about Vinyasa Krama and want to know anything about that.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, yeah.

Anthony Hall: I mean I have people on the blog obviously. The blog people get in touch all the time saying they’re just starting a practice and we get a lot of questions there but that’s perhaps a bit different.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right. I’m going to ask a kind of a deep type of question that I ask but you always have such a different view that always surprises me so let’s see. Here’s the thing. What would you say is one thing within the yoga worlds in all of these years of practice and studying, what is that one thing that took you a very long time to understand?

Anthony Hall: Well, everything. I mean everything really. Should we just change our view on it all the time constantly? Yoga is radically inquiring. That’s what it’s about. It’s supposed to be questioning everything. I mean, really, really everything. Everything we think, we see, experience, every . . . who we think is experiencing the experience. It’s radically inquiring. Looking at the practice again and looking what we think yoga is and what it means to us, that’s changing a lot. It’s embarrassing sometimes looking back at some of the old posts; sometimes I come across an old post about developing a yoga practice that sometimes I keep thinking about rewriting those and I look at them and say, “Oh, my God. I can’t believe I wrote that.” There are all these things I am [inaudible 00:54:41] this is nonsense. I’ll pretty much dismiss every aspect of yoga that I’ve ended up two years, four years later in writing posts. What was the question again?

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right. For you, it’s a constant understanding and coming back and revisiting. It’s a work in progress what’s taking you so long.

Anthony Hall: Yes, because you have to do that. That’s part of the problem. This practice becomes very personal, especially if you practice every day.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yes.

Anthony Hall: It becomes very, very personal. I mean, you get an idea on what it’s about, what it means to you and people can get quite defensive about it.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Oh, yeah.

Anthony Hall: They’re almost constantly wanting to reinforce that if you like. Actually, you need to question that. You need to keep questioning it all the time. I think in my own practice, I can see myself constantly going back and questioning again stuff that I kind of come up with. That’s the nice thing about a blog is you can see it there [inaudible 00:55:51] when you read it [inaudible 00:55:52] twice you’ll think that. Often, I’ll write a post and it will kind of come out and I’ll actually post it because I want to think about whether I actually agree with what I’ve written few days later. Sometimes, I’m always almost annoyed that people don’t challenge me on some of these things because . . .

Claudia Azula Altucher: Really?

Anthony Hall: I write something, I know how I respond. I know what I question. I wrote one recently on [inaudible 00:56:18] Origin of the . . .

Claudia Azula Altucher: I saw that. That was very interesting.

Anthony Hall: You know, I liked that post but as soon I’ve finished writing it, I had so many questions about it. Do I really think that? Where are the examples of this? Where is the evidence?

Claudia Azula Altucher: You were saying, “Where did Krishnamacharya get the idea for the jumping back and jumping through in between each pose?” You were trying to sort of figure out where did that come from. Was that Pattabhi Jois? Was that Krishnamacharya? Was it a teacher?

Anthony Hall: There’s the idea that . . . I guess this came from [inaudible 00:56:55] and such. It seems that if you stop with the Asana and then you try and figure out where did the Vinyasa come from so then you’re adding on postures if you like around it and you think, “Where did he get those posture from?” You look around and you see there’s this wrestling example. There’s this gymnastics movement going on and all these things. You bring those things in.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: Then that’s your way of explaining it and if you’re starting from an idea of the dynamic practice, a very athletic Ashtanga practice, then you’re looking for those aspects to explain that practice, right?

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: For me, I was practicing a much slower Ashtanga. I was looking at Krishnamacharya’s early work and I was looking at the Sun Salutations with mantras where you would do one of the first postures of Sun Salutations and the breath would be held in a Kumbhaka and then you would chant mentally a mantra and then you would fold into the next stage of the Sun Salutation and there would be another mantra on the Kumbhaka and so on through the Sun Salutation. In the middle, you would prostrate to the sound if you like. Then, you move back through the Sun Salutation back to standing. It seems to me that everything was there and all we needed to do was just take that prostration out and put any of the Asana in there, put Paschimottanasana in there, put Janu Sirsasana, put Marjariasana in the middle. Everything else is the same.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: The Kumbhaka is there already and all those different aspects: the meditative practice, the breathing is there. Everything becomes explained in a more elegant way it seemed to me. Depending on where you’re coming from, if you’re coming from a modern idea where practice is being very dynamic and then trying to explain a practice from a long time ago or if you’re starting from how that practice was a long time ago or it was much calmer and then trying to explain it from there, that seems to make a difference.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, and I didn’t challenge that post at all because I had a little bit of an “Aha!” moment. “He’s right”, is what I thought. All the elements of Sun Salutations with the postures in the middle, it kind of makes complete sense to me.

Anthony Hall: Yeah. I mean I’m still questioning even if it’s a series. You still need to tidy up and you still need more examples to kind of nail it down but it’s nice. It does not really explain whether Krishnamacharya developed that himself, whether his teacher developed it, or whether it was something that went back a long way. I don’t really know.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: Either way, it explains many aspects of a slower practice, of the slower Ashtanga.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, and it’s fascinating to follow you because I find you to be kind of like the gossip magazine of the 1940’s yoga. Yeah, you’re looking for all the details, “Where did this come from? Was it Krishnamacharya? Was it his teacher?” It’s fascinating how you present it and how you’re constantly exploring it. Also not just gossip but fact checking with history and reading books and doing research, it’s fascinating. I highly recommend your blog to anyone. It’s a rabbit hole. You’ll go down and you can get trapped in there for hours.

Anthony Hall: I keep trying to stop it. I think the last post — I forgot when that was — and I was thinking, “Well, that would be a good last post.” [inaudible 01:00:27] I thought, “Yeah, that would be a good last post.” Then, next month, “Yeah, that would be a good last post. That would be a good one to end up.” Every time I think about it, I end up coming up with another ten posts.

Claudia Azula Altucher: I think I heard you saying that a couple of years ago too.

Anthony Hall: Loads of time, yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah, loads of time.

Anthony Hall: Every time I think about it, I end up coming up with some more things.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah. Anthony Hall, do you have any more books coming out? Are you working on anything that you may be publishing soon?

Anthony Hall: No, I don’t really. I keep coming up with ideas of things. I keep saying, “I want to do something on this, something on that.”

Claudia Azula Altucher: Okay, so it could be happening. If people want to hear about your upcoming workshops, you may have one coming it the United States, I hear?

Anthony Hall: Yeah. That was talked about. I was asked if I’d do one. I think sometime last year, I was asked if I’d do one next year, so it’s quite a long way ahead. It was in theory. I haven’t heard any more about whether anyone still wants me or if the person still wants me to do it. If they want me to do it, I guess I’ll do it.

Claudia Azula Altucher: I hope so. I certainly hope so.

Anthony Hall: I enjoy it. I mean the nice thing now is I have no more workshops sort of in the diary. There’s nothing. It’s kind of nice. It’s like, “Okay, I can just worry about my own practice now.”

Claudia Azula Altucher: Yeah.

Anthony Hall: It’s disruptive doing workshops but then again, when you do them, it’s just so rewarding and I enjoy doing it.

Claudia Azula Altucher: I agree with that. For me, I just gave recently a workshop and it was exhausting but coming back to the mat, I couldn’t believe how much I got out of the workshop myself.

Anthony Hall: Yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Even though I was a facilitator or teacher of kinds, it’s interesting.

Anthony Hall: Because you are explaining things. All these things are kind of coming out. Then, you’re like, “Yeah, yeah.” Then, in your own practice, you want to kind of come back to that. When somebody was asking what the Kumbhaka about, what was the Kumbhaka for Krishnamacharya and I was like, “Okay.” I explained my understanding of what it was and I don’t think I said it out loud before. It was like, “Ah, so then in my own practice. . .” I was quite powerful when I started practicing afterwards. It was like, “Ah, that’s interesting.”

Claudia Azula Altucher: Right.

Anthony Hall: Yeah. It’s rewarding, I enjoy doing them. Yeah.

Claudia Azula Altucher: I hope I see you soon. Can you tell us your blog for people to find you?

Anthony Hall: Oh, I don’t know. What is it now? Kind of the nickname I was using is Grimmly. Usually, you just type in Grimmly and pretty much anything to do with Ashtanga, it will come up. At the moment, it’s called . . .

Claudia Azula Altucher: grimmly2007.blogspot.co.

Anthony Hall: blogspot.co.uk.

Claudia Azula Altucher: Oh, .co.uk? Oh, I go to .com and it takes me there too.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, yeah. It does. Basically, you just write Grimmly Ashtanga or Grimmly Krishnamacharya, Grimmly anything.

Claudia Azula Altucher: It’s just Grimmly. I think just Grimmly, that’s it. Perhaps, we can close on that note. What is the Grimmly being about?

Anthony Hall: Oh. Years ago, I spent bunch of years in the 80’s travelling and I had a big beard and a lot of hair. We were hitchhiking. I think we hadn’t had a bath for two weeks until we hit the sea. I was looking pretty grim. Then, we got some work building a house in Switzerland. Then, my friend spoke better French than I did so he introduced me. He said I was called the Grimmly and introduced me as that. Then I kind of stopped because everywhere I go and get a job, there was somebody else with another [inaudible 01:04:27].

Claudia Azula Altucher: That’s right. Grimmly Anthony Hall, thank you very much for joining me today. I really appreciate this. I am sure everyone else will too and you can also find Grimmly on Twitter. He is grimmly2007, as well as in his blog and we hope to have you in the US soon.

Anthony Hall: Yeah, pleasure [inaudible 01:04:46].

Claudia Azula Altucher: Okay, bye-bye.

Anthony Hall: All right. Bye.

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