We first heard about Tony Sanchez while reading the book Hellbent by Benjamin Lorr—which is a fascinating story about competitive yoga and the Bikram yoga scene. In the book, Tony stood out as a truly genuine and compassionate teacher and we knew we would love to train with him.
We also spent years staring at a large poster of Tony—hanging on a wall in the hot yoga studio we frequent—executing all of the most advanced postures flawlessly. We just weren’t aware of the fact it was Tony back then. So when we finally found ourselves in the same room as the legend, it was an astonishing and surreal feeling at first.
But Tony is shockingly down-to-earth. There is nothing otherworldly or guru-ish about him. He never presents himself as anything other than a regular guy, who just happens to have over 40 years experience of practicing and teaching yoga.
On yoga gurus:
Tony was quick to emphasis a smarter yoga practice based on alignment and awareness and avoiding extremes like practicing in intense heat, pushing too hard, or over-focusing on performance.
On a smart yoga practice:
Tony Spent a lot of time engaging us in conversation, and encouraging us to ask questions and express ourselves and the ideas we may have about yoga and our practices. These discussions could range from interesting and profound, to distracting and absurd. There is a saying that goes “a good leader doesn’t take you to the destination, he simply shows the way.” Our class conversations, while not always leading to a clear insight or answer, seemed to be Tony’s method of showing us the way.