MEGGINGS – “JANE FONDASANA” – YOGI ROCKSTAR
Introducing the quirky Adam Whiting. A passionate and inspired yogi, Adam teaches across Sydney for Power Living Australia Yoga. Coming from Charlotte, North Carolina, he brings with him a playful energy, which the P.L.A.Y community has quickly come to know and love. Adam credits his 10-year personal yoga and meditation practice with alleviating the debilitating symptoms of his post 9/11 PTSD and anxiety disorder. His hope is to share this transformational practice with as many students as possible.
As a voracious student of yogic theory and practice, Adam has studied and practiced with Rod Stryker, Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Tiffany Cruikshank, Dice Iida-Klein, Briohny Smyth and Baron Baptiste. The resulting culmination of his diverse yoga study is a teaching style that artfully blends anatomical precision with powerful, energetic emotion and yogic tradition.
Adam loves the playfulness and creative freedom found in crafting an intelligently sequenced vinyasa flow class. When he’s not leading a meditation, you can find him cracking jokes and calling poses to the soundtrack of an upbeat, energetic playlist in his challenging but empowering vinyasa flow classes. Adam is also partial to breaking down and inverting the flow with a focus on advanced arm balances and inversions. A talented musician, you will often find Adam in class with his guitar, a blissful experience bringing the power of raw, acoustic energy into the classroom.
What does the word yoga mean to you?
This could easily be a novel. Let’s move past the academic definition of yoga meaning to yolk, to unite. On a personal level, yoga means peace. My yoga practice (including asana, meditation and pranayama) has changed my life so profoundly that I can’t come close to putting it into words. It has tamed my depression. It has tempered my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It has shown me the path to joy and fulfillment. Staying on that path is another story, which is why I get on my mat everyday.
Is there any difference between the Ozzy and American yogis, if so what?
At the heart of it, I don’t think there is much difference at all. For sure, there are different trends in the practice that flow around the world at different times. Yin is exploding as a practice here in Australia, and it is still a couple years behind in the states. America is exploding with unbelievably creative focused sequencing. But it’s all yoga, and it is all one big community. As a whole, I see this recent explosion of yoga around the world starting to mature and deepen a bit. Anatomy, movement, philosophy and spirituality are all finding their way deeper into this modern yoga practice.
Favourite pose to teach and why?
There is a bit of a yin and a yang in my answer. My favorite practice to teach is meditation, without a doubt. Whether it is a guided meditation or a workshop on differing techniques, this is where I see rapid and undeniable changes in the lives of my students. For the yang answer, I love teaching arm balances. I love seeing the look on students faces when they realize that they can pick themselves up with their own two hands. Such joy in the realization of how strong we truly are.
Favourite pose to practice and why?
I am in love with inversions. When I’m upside down, the sometimes deafening hum of the world quiets to a whisper. For me. Being inverted is like a mini meditation. There is no ego or pride, just balance and breath.
Do you live what you teach?
Yes. As best I can. I won’t teach a practice, belief, or message if it hasn’t touched me deeply in my own practice. I am human, and I get into as much trouble as the next person, but seeing that spark of divinity in everything is where my teaching stems from. I teach from that space, and do my best to live in that space.
What can we expect in one of your classes?
I like my classes to be fun. That sounds super cheesy, I know. I find that in a vinyasa class there is a seriousness that is counter productive. A drive to look good and do the poses well overtakes the desire for joy in some. So I try to bring joy and lightness to my teaching. Sometimes a bit of laughter softens the armor just enough for the deeper message of the practice to soak through.
Least favourite pose and why? My least favorite pose has always been urdva prasarita eka padasana. Standing Splits. I have always felt stuck and rigid in this pose. I struggle to find the grace and the softness of it. For me, taking my standing split into a handstand is an escape hatch that lets me sneak away from that voice in my heads that tells me how inflexible I am and how little this pose has changed throughout the years. My practice now is staying in the pose and bringing myself closer to a state of acceptance and love for where I am.
What is your guilty pleasure? Although I am a musician and a yoga teacher, I am an extreme introvert. I am completely awkward and uncomfortable in most social settings. Over the years I have figured out how to somewhat disguise my discomfort, but there is still a little part of me that is dying inside. My guilty pleasure is falling asleep on my couch with an awful mindless movie playing. Probably after eating takeaway Thai food.
So, Farting, it happens! What’s the best way to handle an in class fart?
There are so many potentially embarrassing things that happen in then yoga studio: farts, see through tights, tone deaf Oms, tumbles, stumbles, nip slips and ball bearing. As a teacher my job is to make the studio a safe space. We are allowing ourselves to be completely open and vulnerable. When those events occur, I do my best to move seamlessly on with the class without skipping a beat. I don’t want to draw more attention to someone who is already probably embarrassed enough.
What’s next for Adam Whiting?
Well, I’ve only been in Sydney for 3 months, so I don’t feel like I’ve settled in here enough to plan the next big adventure. I just want to continue to share yoga with whoever wants to hang out and practice. I am beyond lucky to be able to travel and teach, and I hope this ride continues for a long long time.