David Sye, Yoga Elder, is the name behind the famous Yogabeats ? brand. He is of Russian descent, the son of a scientist mother and artist father. He began his practice of yoga as a direct result and in response to suffering from ulcerated colitis and a spastic colon. He tried Tibetan Yoga and after ten sessions the doctors could find no tumours.
He felt better than he could ever remember and this completely changed the course of his life. From then on yoga has become his life’s focus. He has been doing yoga in all its forms for over 24 years and has been teaching his special kind of yoga for many of those years. He is acknowledged as being one of the top ten teachers in the country. His style is that of quiet contemplation to start with, working up to high energy and fun. It combines traditional yoga postures, world music and “micro movements” focusing on spontaneous movement throughout the body (because Yogabeats recognises that life itself occurs spontaneously) and by recognizing this, one finds one?s own physicality and innate way. This way the body does not lock itself into a position so the body and the personality remains flexible and open.
Always challenging convention, his events – complete with DJ, percussion and visuals – are well known throughout the country and abroad. His love of using yoga as a method of conflict resolution in areas of war and social unrest found their roots in the Bosnian war in the former Yugoslavia. Never being afraid of war zones, David has, for the fourth year running, visited Israel at the invitation of the Israeli Teachers Association where he taught hundreds of teachers his methodology and philosophy.
He also completed a tour of the West Bank and completed 64 hours of training of Palestinians, classes of both men and women along with a great period in war-torn Jenin at the Freedom Theatre training ?the infamous bad boys?. At one point on the last Yogabeats session 300 Palestinian authority police were shooting and rounding up insurgents in the streets as the session was in full swing. This was filmed and was probably one of the most bizarre situations David ever found himself teaching in. A taster can be seen at www.brickwallfilms.co.uk/davidsye.html
Further plans are being formulated in order for David to teach both Israeli and Palestinian teachers his style in order for Yogabeats to exist in both communities. This will allow both sides to regularly come together under the umbrella of yoga rather than politics, following David’s dream that yoga should be viewed as a powerful sociological tool for long term conflict resolution in all areas of the world.
He is looking to funding for this project, which will act as a model and will be rolled out in other beleaguered communities worldwide. You can see the full report on the Yogabeats? website under the ‘In the Community’ page