Cole Dano is a yoga teacher currently living in Helsinki, Finland.
I have been practicing yoga for a long time. I try to remember when i took my first yoga class, i must have been 17 or 18. It was during one of the phases of my life when i was looking for some kind of meaning, and hoped to find it in the fusion of movement and meditation.
I stuck with it in my own way for the rest of my life.
After i hit my 30’s came the second period of searching, and i got more serious about my yoga. Started taking lots of workshops etc, taking in raw knowledge, some good, some not so good, and it was often accompanied with a lot of yoga speak and baggage.
I pushed on, got very into Ashtanga, and managed to work pretty far through the system of asanas, to the end of the fourth series. All the while trying to find a way to deal with the yoga speak, mind games and plain silliness that went hand in hand.
After i finished the fourth, i realized that was done, i did the ‘traditional’ thing, there was nothing left to prove. It was finally time to just explore the possibilities of movement, awareness, and dump the baggage.
Now as a teacher, i teach the path of no path. In other words, there is no one best way. I just try to help students find their best way as it is now, without any head games.
Yoga started as a pure exercise for me, then it became political, now its back to pure, no rules, no games.
I almost prefer to call myself a ‘physical culturist’ for the simple fact that it implies an unfettered more balanced approach. Perhaps a yoga synthesist, as the many tools available are blended, strength, flexibility, grace, power being some of the outward goals. A yoga historian, digging into past methods of working, finding the interconnectedness of the methods and their application in a holistic way.
Yet yoga always has that one magic meaning, the idea, or ideal of union, that the goal is not the end, but merely a means to self exploration, and higher awareness.