Gregor Maehle

Podcast: Lonely Guru’s Ryan Spielman interviews Gregor

I really enjoyed this hour-long interview with Ryan Spielman. I felt he had really tuned into my work and asked great questions. It is called “From Disappointment to Samadhi”. Here it is:

LG33 – Gregor Maehle – From Disappointment to Samadhi



About Gregor Maehle

Gregor Maehle began his practice of Raja Yoga in 1978 and added Hatha Yoga a few years later. For almost two decades he yearly travelled to India where he studied with various yogic and tantric masters. Since then he has branched out into research of the anatomical alignment of postures and the higher limbs of Yoga. He obtained his anatomical knowledge through a Health Practitioner degree and has also studied History, Philosophy and Comparative Religion. Gregor lived many years as a recluse, studying Sanskrit, yogic scripture and practising yogic techniques. He has published a series of textbooks on all major aspects of yoga. His mission is to re-integrate ashtanga vinyasa practice into the larger framework of Patanjali’s eight-limbed yoga in the spirit of T. Krishnamacharya. He offers trainings, retreats and workshops worldwide.
Posted in Ashtanga Yoga, Audio/Video, Meditation and Samadhi.


  1. Hi Gregor
    Firstly I want to mention what an incredible book Pranayama ,The Breath of Yoga was
    I enjoyed reading it immensely and have gained a real insight to the magic
    Secondly of like to ask your advise regarding the historical aspects of pranayama
    I am currently embarking on my 2nd and final year of my Masters on Traditions of Yoga and Meditation at SOAS uni
    I am privilege to be amonst the professors of Jim Mallinsin , Jason Birch and Mark Singletin
    My chosen subject for my dissertation is on the subject of Pranayama with the emphasis on Kumbhaka , writing about the ancient side ( only as far back as HYP verses modern
    I won’t be writing about the scientific aspects but more about the reasons why the practiced verses why we practice today.
    I have a wide source of books available to me but I’m struggling past the brief explanation of siddis and tapas.
    You were recommended to me which is why I’m emailing you.
    Could you recommended any gem of books or your own personal view as to what really was the purpose of pranayama then. What was it that they knew that we didn’t or don’t. ?
    Did it happen accidentally ? How was it they were so wise and knowledgable then
    I seem to be going round in circles and feel I need to seek advice and help outside the walls of the library
    My website has been hacked and is undergoing new changes
    I have been a yoga practitioner for 10 years
    Previously I was an art teacher London born and breed.

    Are you intending on coming to London at any time ?
    Many Thanks
    Dania Stavrou

  2. Hello Dania,

    Thanks for expressing your appreciation. To your questions:

    Q: Could you recommended any gem of books or your own personal view as to what really was the purpose of pranayama then.
    Please note that in my Pranayama book I wrote an extensive section called “The purpose of Pranayama”. You will find a detailed answer there.
    Also in the beginning of the book there is a page called, “List of shastras quoted”. Contained in it you fill mind my gems. I recommend primarily
    – Raghuvira’s Kumbhaka Paddhati
    – Somedeva’s Hatha Tatva Kaumudi
    – 10-chapter edition of Hatha Yoga Pradipika
    But the other shastras in the list are also great.

    Q: Did it happen accidentally ?
    I have to tell you that seeing that you are writing a university dissertation you shouldn’t take my advise as the university will penalize such views. Universities are temples of the Church of Western Science. It’s belief system is that life is a purposeless accident.
    My answer to your question is that an infinitely intelligent being is in the process of re-creating itself as and through life on Earth. Yoga, Pranayama and kumbhaka are nothing but parts of that process. Pranayama particularly is part of of preparing humanity to become fit to be a vessel for this process. Honestly, I think if you write that they’d fail you but you asked me.

    Q: How was it they were so wise and knowledgeable then? The scriptures state that we were wise then because we were closer to the source of all life. In modern language we call this process entropy, that is a system gets corrupted and eventually breaks down as it moves away from its origin and on the timeline further to the right. My personal opinion is that we do have a choice, i.e. the process is not entire mechanical. However, our choices as a collective seem to draw us more and more on a materialistic-reductionist trajectory. This trajectory makes us loose many of our ancient and indigenous ways of arriving at knowledge. That’s why texts from back then appear to wise and knowledgeable. They relied on a much wider set of methods to arrive at knowing.

    PS No plans to coming to London at this point but looks as if I’m teaching in Paris in August 2017. I’ve spent a lot of the 80’s and 90’s decade on the road and stay as much off traveling as is feasible.

    Please don’t hesitate to ask further if anything is unclear.

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