I first met Andrey in 2006 in my studio in Charlotte NC. I remember he had some extra time, so my dear friend Mara asked me if I would be willing to host him for an afternoon. I agreed. It was a funny thing, it was a last minute workshop – but I had no hesitations, it was like the universe was just putting me in this place and I knew it would all fall into place. Little did I know – my life would change forever during that 4 hour workshop back in December 2006.
I didn’t have time to analyze, get nervous or have any expectations of what was to come. He walked into my quaint little studio tucked away in a small corner of Charlotte NC and I knew something special was about to happen. His mere presence was overwhelming, you just knew you were in the company of someone truly special.
Andrey will push you physically, emotionally and spiritually. He will ask you to look at your life through a micro-scope – whether you want to or not. He does it all with charm, a soft heart but the discipline and the demand of a great yoga master. Like any of the great teachers (B.K.S. Iyengar, Pattahbi Jois.) studying with Andrey is no joke. You must be completely AWAKE, PRESENT and READY to absorb and take in all he has to offer.
This fall we will welcome him back. I could go on and on about how amazing he is, but I thought for you to hear from some other’s who spent time with him previously is better – I mean, I’m biased, he’s my teacher – I adore him.
Here’s what a few others had to say about their time with Andrey:
Dianne Howard, Flow Yoga Student: I had many hesitations when I signed up for Andre Lappa’s training last fall. But, it was truly an honor to sit in front of this man and just listen to him. He is so intelligent and so knowledgable about this ‘frontier’ of yoga that I have come to love. To hear about some of the things he has done, witnessed or other stories that he has been told by his guru, is an unbelievable experience. Something I wouldn’t have been able to experience any other way. The whole experience took my yoga practice to a new level. And I made improvements in my asana practice during those two weeks, that would have taken me months otherwise.
Coleen Clement, Flow Teacher: It is a rare treat to have the opportunity to study from such an amazingly intelligent teacher as Andrey Lappa. I had the fortunate opportunity to study with him for a total of 12 days when he came to visit Flow last year and the beginning of this year. I have to say that undergoing study with Andrey was challenging at times; however, that intensity was complimented by his warmth and overall desire to help one learn and grow. Andrey created the Universal Yoga system, which is an intelligent, creative, and systematic approach to help one study yoga as a whole. I can honestly say that I will never practice or teach yoga the same as I once did. I have gained such an abundance of knowledge to apply to my personal study and teaching. For that, I am so humbly grateful to Andrey for opening the door!
Tori Lundock, Flow Teacher: I remember being very nervous when I first learned that Andrey Lappa himself was coming to our humble studio in Leesburg. I was also very excited. His was a name I had been hearing since I first started teaching and seriously taking yoga. My very first teacher in Florida mentioned him along with a wish to one day train with him and that alone piqued my interest. When I heard he was coming to Flow last year, I did no hesitate – I signed up for everything he was offering.
I remember how he first walked into the room -I have this memory of energy entering the space and a vibrancy around him. He radiated kindness and quiet humor and we immediately got down to the business of yoga. Serious yoga. I can say honestly, that through him, I gained a different perspective on the practice and teaching of yoga as not just a form of exercise, but as an actual practice and lifestyle. He is very serious about his mission to educate and guide the world towards a form of yoga that leads to spiritual liberation.
Andrey can be many things to many people: to some, he is a mentor, their teacher, a guru. To others, he is unconventional and challenging. For me, he was a kind-hearted kick in the pants. He was my wake-up call that told me that my practice could and should be more. My teaching could be more. He awakened me to the possibilities of being able to not just open and stretch bodies, but to give the gift of opening and stretching hearts and minds. Practicing with him was exhausting, but so worthwhile. I encourage anyone who is serious about their practice to take the leap, make the commitment, and be prepared to be rocked to your core.