John Bultman is one of 30 KPJAYI Certified Ashtanga teachers worldwide and has made 11 trips to India where he continues his studies. Drawing from the variety of contemplative traditions as well as internal insights he has experienced throughout his life, John teaches the Ashtanga vinyasa method of yoga as learned from his teacher, Shri Sharath Jois, Director of KPJAYI, Krisna Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute, in Mysore, India.
John serves as the Ashtanga Yoga Program Director at the Contemplative Sciences Center's (CSC), University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, USA (2012 - Current). He has been lucky enough to study science and spirituality his entire life. He humbly hopes to share this practice with the knowledge, strength, love and humor as his teachers continue to share with him.
In a Mysore style room each student practices only up to the place that is appropriate for their ability and experience. The teacher teaches each student individually and new asanas are given one by one the traditional sequence as the student builds strength, flexibility, concentration and stamina. Hands-on adjustments are often given for correction, to facilitate awareness and to guide a student beyond their perceived limitations. Advanced and beginner students practice together in the same space side by side. Mysore style practice ultimately enables students grow and progress at a pace that is safe and ideal for their unique abilities.
From day one students learn how to practice on their own while being guided and supported by the teacher. A student left to their own devices will often plateau or conversely in a led class will become dependent. Mysore style is self practice under the watchful gaze of the teacher, adjusting when needed, advising as necessary, and advancing when ready. Students ideally learn discipline, concentration and how to practice in a way that is ideal for their unique nature.
The Ashtanga vinyasa method is intended to be a daily practice. The practice takes place every day except for Sundays and Moon Days. If you are planning on coming less, please be respectful and don't expect more.
The best way to learn Ashtanga yoga as a beginner is in a Mysore class. In this context beginners are taught individually and can be guided at a pace that is ideal for each student. In Mysore classes all students receive one to one attention from the teacher. Students are taught new asanas and progress through the series appropriate to their unique condition and abilities. In this way the teacher can facilitate the ideal practice for each student. Usually the first week we will start with Surynamaskara A (sun salutation a) and then we progress at an appropriate pace. For people new to Ashtanga yoga we require a one month commitment of at least 3 times a week. New students are also welcome to come watch a class for before joining the University of Virginia Mysore classes. If you have a regular practice feel free to email me and please come visit!
Asanas are taught usually one by one, and in a fixed sequence. If you have trouble with a particular posture, the teacher can offer you a modification or support that is consistent with the intention of the practice. Students always practice until their last given asana and then wind down with backbends and (if appropriate) finishing sequence. The teacher will give you the next posture in the sequence when they feels you are ready. When in doubt it is ok to ask the teacher.
When did yoga start? Yoga (matter, the self….) is neither created nor destroyed.
· I was born to a loving Lutheran Pastor father and a supermom musician/Secretary in Augusta, Ga.
· I played outdoors. A lot.
· I played soccer, basketball, and football but Fell in love with Skateboarding in 1984 and did so most days till 2004. pure Skateboarding is yoga. Tapas, paradise visualization, vairaghya… there's a lot of similarities.
· I was handed a copy of the Bhagavad Gita I by the Harekrisnas in 1988. I read it. My father said, “what is that junk and where’d you get it” I said these people handed it to me at the airport. I didn't understand much of it then but have been appreciating it more and more through the years.
· There is much more to say about food.. I gave up: Livers 1982 (They induced a vomit reflex), pork chops and bacon in 1986, Hot dogs 1990, hamburger 1993, Beef 1995, Chicken 2001, and fish in 2005. Since then I have tried various diets, fasts, cleanses… and am vegetarian. While I know some of my non-vegan habits are not good for me I for better or worse enjoy a good cheese from time to time!
· Music major with an emphasis in voice and classical guitar 1996-1999; I was also in a few college rock bands. It was fun.
· Went to yoga classes in 1998 at the University of Southern Mississippi.
· 1999-2001 I Took Ceramics classes and dove in completely.
· 1999-2001 BS in Geology. I had 187 credits in music which didn’t transfer. I worked at the Museum of natural history and was involved among other odd jobs painting murals, portraits, and anything I could do to pay the bills.
· 2001-2002 worked as environmental Geologist
· 2003-2005 Awarded Research assistantship and Studied Structural Geology and Tectonics under Distinguished Penrose medal Scientist, Robert Hatcher at the University of Tennessee. Received MS in Geology and received field mapping awards.
· In 2006 Moved back to Western North Carolina and taught Geology at Western Carolina University and Asheville Buncombe Technical Community College. Taught college Intro, Environmental, and Historical Geology for 7 years.
· Started a daily Ashtanga practice 2005, Met R. Sharath Jois in Mysore India in 2007. I have been practicing daily since then and have made 11 trips to study in India. I was authorized level II in 2012 and Certified December 2017.
· In 2006 I began study of Buddhism, Yoga and Sanskrit through FPMT and ACI with whom I Traveled ~3x year for 4 years studying dharma with great exponents.
· Met John Campbell in 2008 at Pure Yoga East, New York City and decided that I wanted to learn from him as a stateside teacher. I assisted him 2010-2011.
· Learned pranayama first from Tim Miller, Then with John Campbell, Then during Kalachakra initiation with His Holiness the 14thDalai lama. I have been taught pranayama from Sharath-ji several times and will practice it regularly.
· I assisted my teacher 4 times in the main Shala from 2012-2016.
I plan to continue to learn from my teachers. I enjoy investigation and hope to always be a student.