About me

Hatha Yoga ZürichMy active spiritual journey started 35 years ago, in 1984. It started with dynamic yoga and a special form of Martial art aimed at spiritual and meditative goals and not the sport competition. The years that followed up until today have been filled with practice, study and teaching of different forms of yoga, various forms of sitting meditation and meditation in movement, and extensive studies and initiations in related Buddhist, Indian and Christian spiritual traditions.

Meeting with renowned and well known teachers – and some lesser known but deeply authentic ones, going to retreats, conferences, workshops, courses and most of all my daily practice, was my defining inner quest and challenge during these decades. It was the solid and stable inner flame in sometimes diverse life choices, occupations and countries where I lived for shorter or longer periods of time.

Everyone who started in those early days in Europe can remember how different it was then. Revealing that you practised yoga, meditation and related arts expressly labeled you as a strange, weird, unstable and shady sectarian character and you were looked upon with suspicion – including from friends and family. It was far, far away from the mainstream position that yoga is enjoying today and there was no money or glory in it. Even talking about healthy food and eating, macrobiotics, vegetarianism, was uncommon and rare.

Six years after the beginning of my dedicated learning and practice, I started teaching publicly and privately and, in one form or another, have continued to do so for roughly three decades.

Meeting with teachers was difficult, written materials in English or other European languages were scarce and sometimes outdated and of dubious quality. And of course there was no Internet, Youtube, and abundance of books, videos, movies and styles of teaching offered today.

Yoga Unterricht - Yoga classes in ZürichThere was, on the other hand, great enthusiasm, honesty, faith and energy of most of us who started back then and before. It is also great now, when with one or two clicks, one can see videos, photographs and texts of great teachers that for a long time in the beginnings of my practice were just mysterious figures fueling inspiration and endless imagination. This is a great help and opportunity for all earnest yoga students of the present time.

I believe that any true spiritual path, yogic path, path of meditation, Tai chi practice, Karate-do practice and similar ones, are lifelong studies – or even extend to other lives. Or perhaps even started in previous lives?

Back to my experiences in this life, I can firstly emphasize that I am still learning – from life, from teachers, from students, from family, from friends and foes and from the universe itself. No super-calm, always balanced Zen state of being here. I get upset, angry sometimes, disappointed in self and others, depressive sometimes but also happy, joyful, hopeful, confident, peaceful and loving at other times.

There is, though, a certain hardly describable quality in all these experiences that illuminates and gives a wholly different sense and perspective to all these passing states. This is something that is the product of insights, study and most of all will power and discipline, to just do your sadhana over and over again, day after day, year after year and so on for decades. For me this is a worthy reward for all the sacrifices and sweat throughout these years, aware that some people would maybe call it just a waste of time. To me it is the time best spent.

In addition, through learning these various subjects, I have acquired the skill of therapeutic massage, chiropractic, shiatsu and other healing treatments that help with spine problems and energy imbalance in general. It has been a true blessing to have been able to help many people through these skills.

It is my wish to offer some of these skills and knowledge to people interested in improving their health, enhancing the quality of life and experience self transformation.

I am presently doing that through group or individual yoga sessions/courses and also through IST – Integral Spine Treatment – manual massage therapy that I have developed over the years.

I will also try to present on this website articles about Yoga, Buddhist, Hindu and Christian philosophies and practices, and spiritual subjects in general. These articles will not be an official view of any existing school, tradition or religion but will be the result of my experiences and opinion, sometimes positive – sometimes critical, of the present situation in the ongoing transfer of the deep spiritual heritage from the East to the West.

Likewise, I warmly welcome all feedback, be it positive or critical.

Namaste,

Joseph Puharich