My path to yoga
I learned about Nath Tradition in 2005 quite by accident. Although, as you know, there are no accidents. At that time I lived in my hometown, Bryansk (Russia), and I was just starting to practice yoga. I immersed myself in the practice with great interest, studied the classical sources that were available at that time: Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, Swatmarama's Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gheranda Samhita and some others. Our yoga-teacher said that he has teacher (living in India), and then one day he came to our city, with a seminar on Sukshma-Vyayama. To my surprise, he turned out to be Russian and he was from my town Bryansk, but at that time he really lived in India for many years.
This is how I met Guru Yogi Matsyendranath from Natha Tradition, who became my first and main Teacher.
I will not say that I immediately asked to be his disciple, at that time I still knew very little about traditional discipleship and who the Guru is. But I was not left with a deep feeling that I knew this person from somewhere, moreover, thinking about him, I touch something Eternal, and those simple but wise things that he shared in communication with me immediately penetrated right into my heart.
Then a few months later I met him again and clearly understood that this is a chance. A chance to become a disciple of a true Guru, to receive spiritual guidance on a difficult path of development. So I came to Tradition, development in which continues to this day.
A lot of time has passed since then, my life has changed quite a lot, and events in it developed very intensively. I studied yoga and tantra in India with different teachers of the Natha and Shri Vidya Traditions, got acquainted with other systems of spiritual development, traveled a lot across the countries of the East. I saw that the Natha Tradition in India is very extensive, as well as yoga knowledge and mystical experience enclosed in it. From a simple hobby yoga has turned into a path, a way of life, into life itself. Seva (service) to the Guru and Tradition began to occupy an important place in yoga sadhana, based on great gratitude to the Teachers of this perfect system of human development, as well as on the desire to make it available to all people, and not only to those who were born and live in India. So I began to help Guruji Matsyendranath in the development of Traditions in Russia and neighboring countries. With Guruji's blessing in 2008, I established magazine about the traditional yoga "Adesh", which is still being published. We founded the "International Natha Yoga Center", which organizes and coordinates the activities of Natha centers in Russia and other countries. Together with the other disciples of my Guru we opened the Natha Yoga School, where we began to teach the basics of Natha-yoga those who wish.
In 2011, when it became clear to me that I would not deviate from the chosen path, that it was totally mine, I decided to completely devote myself to the Tradition and become a sannyasi forever. It means that you dedicate all your life to spiritual growth and you can't live as a social person with family, job etc. It was not easy decision for me, but I felt that it was completely correct. Then, as is customary in our Tradition, I went on a small pilgrimage in order to find a Guru from whom I could take sannyasa. The difficulty was that it had to be a woman, a yogini (in our Tradition only a woman can transmit to women the initiation of this level), and this is rare. Fortunately, by the grace of Gorakshanath, I managed to meet her, infinitely detached and kind, living in the jungle. In the summer of 2011 Guruji Ajabnath Maharaj gave me chira-diksha (highest initiation in the Nath Tradition) and the right to admit disciples. After tapasya in the jungle and staying with Guruji, I returned to Russia as a different person. I felt like I was reborn.
Since that time I greatly deepened my experience and knowledge of yoga and tantra, but I understand: there is no limit to perfection. I will always be a disciple of my great Guru, even if I have disciples too. It is called parampara – the uninterrupted succession of teachers, and it is a wonderful thing because that teachers can always guide and correct you, because you receive experience and protection from the whole parampara.
That, perhaps, is all that was worth telling about my path to yoga. Of course, I did not mention a lot – in order to express in words all my experience and tell about all the successes and failures, I would have to write a book, because so much has happened and is still happening that each lived month can be equated to several years of an ordinary life.