govinda kai doing ashtanga splits

#90 – Keen on Yoga Podcast with Govinda Kai

Govinda Kai has studied and dedicated himself to martial arts, meditative disciplines and yoga for over 20 years. At the age of 30, Govinda discovered the practice of Ashtanga yoga and immediately fell in love with the practice. He is one of the select individuals in the world who are Certified to teach the Ashtanga Yoga Method by its founder, Sri K.P. Jois.

In 1995, Govinda made his first trip to Mysore, India to practice with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. From 1995 to 2015, Govinda made over 20 trips to Mysore to practice Ashtanga, with each trip lasting an average of 3-4 months.

He is of Japanese-American descent, born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. From a very young age, Govinda took a passionate interest in meditation, yoga and spiritual philosophy.

Govinda’s father, Edward Yamaguchi, was a highly respected practitioner and teacher of martial arts. He held a high ranking in both Judo and Aikido and like Govinda, nurtured a strong attraction to spirituality and philosophy from a very young age. Govinda’s father died of colon cancer at the age of 49 years old, when Govinda was only 16. The passing of his father affected Govinda deeply. It inspired him to begin reading books on spirituality and meditation at the age of 16.

Govinda began the practice of martial arts while in high school. At 18 he began yoga, meditation, and devotional chanting. He studied with respected teachers such as Swami Muktananda and Sogyal Rimpoche.

Lunatic Monk?

After university, Govinda considered becoming a Buddhist monk. However, he was advised by his teacher Sogyal Rimpoche to enter into a more worldly career. Thus, Govinda became a practicing professional in the area of real estate, all the while still devoting much of his time to spiritual practice.

He is currently teaching in Bellingham, Washington state and you can find him at @govindakai

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