Friday, 22 January 2010


Who IS this guy, anyone know?


  1. How fun! Interesting with the legs flapping out to the side like that. I guess it helps him open!

    Makes me wish I could grab my own ankles. I still haven't tried when I land my feet in the Vrischi flip. It think it's a great idea, but I have enough periodic battles with C over doing that pose exit that way in the first place!

    I've got two more 3rds with C before I get on the plane. I was going to ask him if I can do my 4th poses on Monday also, since I've only got those two days next week for advanced asana. Maybe I should try to sneak that in there...

  2. Isn't it something. the video says Taiwanese, but all those jerky movements remind me of Tibetan yoga.

    Maybe you'll be grabbing them by the time you get back.

  3. He might only be mid 40s or something that guy. He just has gray hair is all. Mine's all gray under all the dye. I really wanna just give up & let it be its own thing, but my friends say no.

    Dunno. I was doing free standing Chakra B once assisted into it and helped up the legs a bit with Greg. Can't do it with Chris though...

    Chris will assist my hands to ankles from the air and then he helps me walk up. But it's a twist from the first hand to the 2nd, and I could NOT do it myself at this point. My back is pretty open but not quite enough for that.

  4. PHWOAARRR! The dude reminds me of Pai Mai in Tarantino's Kill Bill (OK, maybe he's not THAT white). Maybe he can teach us the five-point-palm-exploding-heart technique too! ...interesting how he "swims" his way into mayurasana (like a frog doing the peacock. hehe.)

    Oh, and here we are discussing props like towels on mats, etc. and the dude just has a blanket on the dirt ground. RESPECT.

  5. hi Grimmly
    i like his flourishes- the opening up and closing of the legs at different times. it feels like a bod yawn that warms up the muscles so he can stretch. he's obviously very bendy after years of practicing. but his constant movements make the back bending seem reachable. i should try the hand waving bit. my practice of dropbacks feels stiff. thanks for posting it.

  6. Yeah, pretty cool! I like the way he moves around a lot. I'm like that in my UDs from the floor, all swaying around and stuff. I'm gonna start thinking of the toc as a mere jump to vrshchi.... from there I know I can handle it (on a good day!).

  7. Susan, really? Lots of swaying in UD? Always?

  8. OMG! I lived in Taiwan for 6 months last year, and I've heard of this guy. My previous boss used to practice with him. It's so interesting because the majority of Taiwanese practice yoga in parks vs. yoga studios.

    Btw, always enjoy your blog.


  9. Amazing... love the outdoors thing too. I wonder about his breathing, he goes so fast

  10. Mid40's??? really, with that beard? Come to think of it my beard is pretty white on the chin , maybe I should grow it really long.

    Think Pai Mai could take him.

    I like the swaying too and especially the arm swinging when he grabs hi ankles.

    Thank you PLY. What do you think, is the yoga in Taiwan linked with Tibet or no connection at all. Someting about those jerky movements. If you go to the channel of the guy who posted the video there's something on a Tibetan yogi, would love to see the whol documentary. And of course there's the whole Krishnamacharya going to Tibet thing.
    Would love to practice outdoors, don't think I'd do it perhaps, but when I go move back to Japan, maybe.

  11. I suspect he's younger than he looks (I reckon he looks like he's in his 40s/50s but may be in his 50s/ 60s). Us Chinese have youthful genes. We generally tend to look slightly younger than we are.

  12. I'm not sure what his yoga is linked too, good question. Though, I do believe he has a wife that is just as amazing as he is.

    The yoga culture in the parks there are quite amazing. Many, many, many people commune in their city park and practice ... along with doing Tai chi, and other movement arts.

    This culture was due partly to my former boss's frustration who opened a very upscale yoga studio in Taiwan. His business didn't go quite as well as he had hoped because many still believe yoga should be taught/practiced in the park and freely offered.

    Also, I wouldn't at all be surprised if he's in his 60s, maybe in his 70s. I had students learning Ashtanga in their late 50s and early 60s, and they did extremely well. Aging doesn't seem to get in the way of the Taiwanese. I had a guy in his late 80s kick my ass on a mountainous hiking trail, and I'm in pretty good shape, lol! No joke.


  13. Hello!

    I just found your blog, it's wonderful :)

    Congrats on your progress, and on your weight loss.

    Do you do any other types of exercise? Or just do yoga?

    I can't afford ashtanga classes, so I'm starting a home practise too. I got some books and the David Swenson dvd's.

    Best wishes,

  14. Thanks for that PLY, interesting about the parks and about the age issue too, was just asked about Ashtanga and age in en email from a friend.

    Hi Ariella, thanks for coming by and commenting. Glad you like the blog. there are a number of posts called 'Developing a practice' that reach back before I started the blog to when I first began practicing. I used the Swenson book too. I didn't do any other exercise, just the practice six days a week, although I did become a Vegetarian after a year or so.
    Practicing at home can be difficult, routine is everything. I recommend practicing six days a week even if you do some of the shorter versions in the back of the Swenson book. Good luck with your practice.

  15. i like the nickname you made up of PLY, since it implies flexibility, which L. embodies.

    are you actually going to move to Japan? i'm going there in two and a half weeks for the Spring Festival. i'm thinking of hanging out in Tokyo and Kyoto. those two city names use the same letters :)

  16. Hope the following provides the answer you want.
    His name is 洪献宗. I literally translate that as HONG Shen Chung for you. Pls don’t take this English translation of name as 100% perfect or official. Another youtube video which is of slightly longer length is

    There are a few articles on the web with his name on. One is
    This article is dated 2009. The author said she met him 13 years ago when he was over 50 yrs old. So a rough estimate that he is at least 63. I would say he is much older than 63. He came from Kaohsiung, Taiwan. His father was well off. His mother left him after the birth to become nun at monastery. His father died of illness when he was 5. He had some tragic personal life stories. Married twice. His 12 yrs old son committed suicide by breaking his own head. He also was thought of and about to commit suicide himself several times. Luckily yoga helped him and his health.

    You would be pleased to know that his yoga is self-taught – like you!!! Although he went to Taipei, Japan, India,… to observe how other people practice yoga. He can practise yoga as his father was rich and left him inheritance (land, etc) where he derives the rental income.

    He doesn’t accept any cent/penny from teaching yoga. He only teaches the very few “right” people. He was invited to be the overall head teacher of the Japan 冲道瑜珈协会 (I think it is Oki-do yoga, please check yourself) to teach the yoga teachers there.

    He is regarded as the yoga grandmaster in Taiwan. Several middle-aged yoga teachers in Taiwan seek him out to become his students. He has been practised for 30+ years. (May be after 20 years, people may ask who is this Grimmly fellow in the youtube as well and seek you out!!! :-) )

    He got rid of his house and often sleeps by meditating outdoor. Or lives in his students’ houses.

    The youtube above showed him practised in Chiayi, Taiwan. Looks like a beautiful place!

    You mentioned about Tibetan yoga in one of your comments above. His yoga doesn’t look like Tibetan yoga (my two cents). But for examples, there are many different schools of Indian yoga. There are even different schools of ashtanga yoga. There are not doubts many different schools of Tibetan yoga. Some do jerky movements. There are also many different schools of Tibetan Buddhism.

    If Tibetan yoga is of interest, check out the Nine Phase Buddha Wind practice. This is the first exercise commonly practised by several Tibetan schools. It is analogous to Sun Salutation in the asana practice. Ie., Sun Salutation is done in Sivananda, Ashtanga, … etc. If you really want to check it out and understand mandarin, check this out Grandmaster Lian-sheng is regarded the living “Buddha” who has actually practised and achieved the highest state of Samadhi.

    Hope this input is of assistance and this comment is not too long. Pls email if I can help further. Good practice!

  17. hey there, wanted to ask you-but coudn't access yr email address through blogger-- what poses from second series do you think someone like me who has been working on half primary for like 5 years now, should add now that I am doing mainly a home practice? I still like practicing up to Mari c, can bind in mari a,b,c and do standard closing, but would like to add something inspiring and interesting to the mix that might actually help me get through all of primary at some point?

    my reg email is

    thanks in adavance..

  18. Hi Grimmly,

    I sometimes visit here. You always encourage me to plactice yoga by myselef.

    By the way, I know the guy.
    His name is 洪献宗 as Twang wrote.
    I met him in May last year in Japan.
    I'm learning Okido-yoga.
    We had a lucky chance to take his yoga lesson when he visited his Japanese friend who is a teacher of Okido yoga.
    I put his picture in my blog below.

  19. Sorry Arturo i missed your comment. Your going to Japan, excellent, I'm sure you'll love it. So glad your going to Kyoto, I lived there for a couple of years.

    Wow, Tweng, Thank-you so much for your comment, amazing life story. I see I have some homework to do. Self-taught too : ) Tibetan Yoga was just a guess, the guy who posted the video had another on Tibetan Yoga and it was mentioned that only a small amount of tibetan yoga is known about, i was just curious. Thank you again, must have a look at your links now.

    Thank you too Yuji, I must look into okido yoga, this is the first time I've heard about it.

    Maria, I will have a think and send you a mail within a couple of days

  20. Hi Grimmly, a late comment perhaps. My new teacher S, who has been teaching me this last month, She has also practiced with this old guy in her early years of yoga practice. I can see the influence in her, like self practice in the park is one of the things for sure and very good back bending.
    Taiwan yoga people are quite amazing in the way that they are really making it their own, with whatever they have.

  21. never too late Nappper, love it when the dots get connected up like this. Your S, don't suppose she's from the UK, just asking cos we have a couple of nice parks down the road from me.



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from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included. "So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta