MEDITATOR . ICE CREAM LOVER . MAN IN THE MIRROR . YOGI
Name: JONNI POLLARD
Hometown: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Current town: MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Yoga practice style: NISHKAM KARMA YOGA - VEDIC MEDITATION
What is your story? I’m a simple guy with a deep sense of purpose to awaken the full potential of my awareness of what it means to be a human. I travel the world sharing the knowledge I’ve gained from great masters about how to become embodied. I take great pleasure in all things creative, elegant, and expressive of our higher nature. I’m very passionate and fascinated by the process of human awakening and see the last 22 years of studying and teaching as the foundation for at least another 60yrs + discovering new frontiers of our humanness.
What did you want to be when you were growing up? A priest, or a stuntmen, or an artist
How would you describe yourself? Surrendered, accepting, inclusive, loving, present, insightful, capable, silly
How would other people describe you? Fun (hopefully...)
How would your mother describe? Hahaha…that’s funny, She would say there are no words….put it this way, if I screwed up a piece of paper and threw it in the corner, she would call it art, take a picture of it and post it on Instagram…if you get my drift.
This is an ongoing joke between us....
What do you most value in others? Why? I value people’s sincere heart felt present attention more than anything. This is the only place we ever get to meet each other and connect with the fullness of our hearts and make meaning of our humanity.
When did you last cry? What was it over? Independence day (movie), they saved humanity!
Is there anything you preach but don’t practice? Nope!
We’ve all done a few things we aren’t too proud of, care to share one? There loads of things that I have done in the past that I had carried some shame or guilt around. These days I’m resolved with everything I’ve ever done to date, this is very much a foundation part of my yoga practice, find resolve on the level of the heart which has required fierce self love and compassion.
Favourite meal? Avocado with a squeeze of lime and pinch of chilli flakes straight from the shell. Can eat em all day long!
Favourite book? The Bhagavad Gita… it’s the crown jewel of the veda’s. It contains a 5 minute dialogue between 2 characters that unveils the function of Dharma and Karma. Its extraordinarily profound. I recommend the copy by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi – translation and commentary. Pre 1969.
You can get it on amazon. For reals.
Ok, let’s talk about yoga, how’d you get into it? I was spontaneously meditating as a kid and it naturally developed into my teen years until I realised I was actually doing something that was having a huge effect on my consciousness. I then began a long romance with India and some of its great masters.
What was the biggest challenge when you first started practicing? Ceasing to control, letting go.
Why do you keep coming back? I don’t, but I keep moving forward ; )
What would make you skip practice? (e.g. a girl? A hangover?) If God made the request I’d consider it.
Do you teach? Yes, I teach Vedic Meditation and am a teacher of the ancient Vedic wisdom. This knowledge is foundational to our existence and offers a completely inclusive perspective on everything that correlates with our yearning to unify with each other and all of nature. Its simple, effortless and gratifying.
Other than yoga, what keeps you busy? Ice cream, friends, surfing, painting, music, movies, travelling and meeting new peeps.
What advice would you give to someone stepping onto the mat for the first time? Have fun, let go of expectations and enjoy the ride and after each session, sit and meditate for 20 minutes. The whole point of asana is to prep the mind and body to transcend who we think we are to experience what we are, unbounded awareness with the unending propensity to love and be compassionate in the face of fear and defensiveness. We are immeasurably powerful…this practice can unfold this power very quickly.
Tell us about a time your yoga practice came into play off the mat? I’ll take this as the asana part of my yoga practice…This weekend I went snowboarding. My knee strength was really noticeable. My ability to really connect with my turns was much deeper and I could go a lot faster and remain very comfortable and adaptable to unseen bumps.
What challenges or issues have you experienced being a guy who teaches/practices yoga? Letting go of fear and overcoming defensiveness.
What does the BOYS OF YOGA project mean to you? Boys becoming men! We are in desperate need of them.
If you could spend some time hanging out with some of the other BOYS, who would it be, and why? I just read through all of the interview's that are up and I would like to hang with them all. I mean it…Boys, hit me up! Let's hang.
What’s your favourite pose? Why? Can you cue us into it? Savasana… its rest time! Lay down let go.
What pose do you fucking hate? Why? The poses where I contort my face or body in some way looking in the mirror just before I walk out the door or when I’m trying something new on, to create the image of what I think I look like, instead of just standing there naturally and just being me #killthepout. My practice is to stand in front of the mirror and smile at myself. Its very effective in establishing a deep connection with myself as the world might see me. Even if you have to fake it…do it! it will reveal where your heart is at in an instant. Connect with that, good or bad, and be that in front of the mirror. It’s some powerful shit fellas.
Yoga is... the sculptor and I am the clay.
Your quote or mantra: Surrender to your nature….be nature's art.
Interviewed: May 14th, 2016
Photos by @michaeljameswong and property of BOYS OF YOGA LLC