Interview: Hassan Harake

Interview: Hassan Harake

Tell me about your yoga background.

I went to my first Yoga class in 2007; a friend had been taking Ashtanga classes and dragged me along.  I enjoyed it but didn’t go back for a while before then settling into a once-a-week, Sunday evening, routine with a beginners Hatha class.  It wasn’t until I tried a hot vinyasa class at Iam Yoga, a year later, that I became truly hooked and started practising much more regularly.

What are you working on right now in your practice and/or in your life?

Slowing down. Juggling an increasingly demanding job, active social life, frequent travel [for work and pleasure], and maintaining both my practice and teaching schedule is tough.  But I’m learning to slow them both down; not limit them, but instead be present in each to take the most out of each and avoid just rushing through the motions.

Can you tell me about something you’ve learned that changed your practice in a significant way?

Finding the Bandhas.  Specifically Udiyana Bandha.  I’ve by no means mastered them, or it, but it wasn’t until I finally “got it” that I began to be able to create space for folds, find strength in balances, and control my transitions and floats.

What is the most important thing that you want students to learn in your classes?

That the time is held there for them, for their development, both physically and mentally.  The teacher is there to guide, to correct, to protect you but ultimately it’s the students that “do” the work; they decide to step on to the mat and they decide how far to travel down the path.

What one word would you use to describe yourself?

Particular 🙂

If you were on an island and could only bring three things, what would you bring?

A solar powered e-reader with endless books
A utility tool
A boat

(I’m very practical)