Interview with Aadil Palkhivala, founder of Purna Yoga

We interviewed Aadil Palkhivala
The founder of Purna Yoga and 'teacher of teachers'

Aadil Palkhivala is one of the world’s top yoga teachers and, for over thirty years, he has had the reputation as the “teacher of teachers.” We interviewed him on his views on Inner Peace.

Let’s pretend that we’re thoroughly unfamiliar with contemporary spiritual vocabularies. How would you describe your teaching to us?
My teaching of Purna Yoga is the teaching of how to take responsibility for your life. This includes making your body more supple and strong, making your mind more focused and open, bringing meaning into your life and living your day-to-day life in a manner consistent with your innermost beliefs. It is living a life of integrity.

Was there a turning point in your life when you felt you connected to your inner peace?
Since I started in 1966 at the age of seven, I have been blessed with the ability to find the inner peace at any time I choose. Using the techniques of Heartfull™ Meditation given by Savitri, I can, at any moment, make my mind peaceful. This is what I teach all my students as well.

What does inner peace mean to you? 
Inner peace is knowing that I am living the life that my spirit wants me to live. It is not about calmness, it is about living truth. It is not about having a blank mind. It is about cultivating a focused mind, a mind that can choose peace.

When do you experience Inner peace? And when do you loose that inner peace? 
I experience inner peace whenever I choose to. I lose that inner peace whenever I do not choose. Whenever I take responsibility, I am able to connect with my inner self. Whenever I blame anyone else, I am a victim and therefore I lose my inner connection.

What would you advise people as a practical tool to (re)connect to their inner? What is your tip to find inner peace? 
There are two factors that take us away from inner peace. The first is an agitated mind. The second is agitated passions in the pelvis. I would advise students to do mental centering , a technique from Heartfull™ Meditation taught in Purna Yoga, once every hour as the solution.

Do you think inner peace influences outer peace? If yes, in what way? If no, why not?
For the most part, outer peace is a façade. People have tremendous torment inside but outside appear peaceful because they want to appear spiritual. Therefore, they build a horrible shadow. This is what has caused so many problems in the yoga world. The pretense of peace. It is only when there is true inner equanimity that our world will have outer peace.

Do you have a ritual?
Yes, Heartfull™ Meditation as done in Purna Yoga is the magic ritual. When it is done on a regular basis every day, the mind develops focus and only a focused mind can be peaceful. A mind that is not focused lives in the illusion of peace.

And then, for people who visit Amsterdam for the conference: Do you have a spot in Amsterdam where you always feel peaceful?
Everywhere in Amsterdam, when I shut my eyes and touched my heart center, I felt peace. Yet, I do feel extra peace in Purna Yoga studios since the commitment to sincere teaching and excellence is so high.

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world.
Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.