Arup Sen

This is the homepages section if you like. Below is a short history of my career, for want of a better word. And the links on the left will give you some idea of what else I do. If you want to know more about me, then have a look around this section, the ARUP section.

My name is Arup Sen. And I have been teaching yoga since 1993. I was living Spain then, in Barcelona. I had been doing yoga for almost 2 years I suppose and thought I'd try my hand at teaching. Aside from busking on the streets with a friend, there wasn't any other money coming in. And I don't suppose I could have signed on the dole in Spain. So I put up a few ads and eventually got myself some students. The flat where I lived had a roof terrace, and being warm and dry most of the time we would go up there for the session. I used to do my practice up there as well. I learned Spanish pretty quickly as well, but my students would help me out when I didn't know the words. That's how my yoga teaching career began.

Before that, I had been practising yoga from the 300 week course at the back of Light on Yoga, BKS Iyengar's definitive tome on the subject. I used read the instructions out onto cassette and leave pauses for the length of time I was supposed to hold them. When it was time to move on, which was about every four weeks or so, I'd record another cassette. So Mr. Iyengar was my teacher I suppose with his words coming through my voice. I left university in 1991 you see and then didn't really know what to do. So I took to yoga as though it was the only safe water to drink. But that wasn't where it started either.

To be really truthful, I suppose it started when I started stretching. I know yoga isn't all about stretching, but my path if you like, started there. I was 16 and on holiday in India visiting my family. Bored and fed up as teenagers usually are and thinking only about going home, I found myself sitting on the bed with the soles of my feet together trying desperately to place my forehead upon them. No one took any notice, but I could feel the boredom and desperation begin to drift away as the sense of pain or stretch took over. I was nowhere near my feet of course and wondered if it were even possible to accomplish such a feat, but for the next few days I continued my endeavours. Soon to my great relief we left India to return to the UK, but my initial attempts at what I now know to be baddhakonasana had made their mark.

I took up karate and there again found similar stretching exercises. I decided to create my own routine made up of movements that I had learned in my karate classes and also from a friend who did ballet. I added to these other movements that I had seen in a karate magazine and others I simply made up. The routine consisted of about 15 exercises and took me about 10 minutes to complete. I did it every day for the next 5 years or so, adding and subtracting exercises and movements as I saw fit. I did it without fail. Even if I was ill or drunk. During those 10 minutes or so I felt the greatest relief and it gave me the strength and courage to continue.

Toward the end of my university days in the middle of 1991, I gave up on karate because I didn't believe I could give it the commitment it deserved. I couldn't do it just as a hobby, it had to be all or nothing. But I'm a bit like that with everything. Around that time a friend introduced me to yoga and the very next day we each bought a copy of Light on Yoga. And we both began at the beginning of the 300 week course. I got as far as week 72. Then I started the teachers training after I returned from Spain. I wanted to learn how to teach properly.

In 1999 I moved to London. It wasn't to do yoga, it was to learn the electric bass guitar. I was going to do it full time on a very intensive course. I had passed the basic audition to enter the course, but something inside made me hesitate and having arranged my whole life to do this thing, I decided not to. I've never regretted that desicion because in spite of all the good advice, I followed my heart. I was also working full time then and hated it. When I was young I had vowed to myself that I would never work full time. I saw the misery that having a job entailed and vowed to myself that whatever I did with my life, I would avoid doing that. And that was exactly what I was doing and hence I was very miserable. I decided to leave.

I had had a break from teaching and didn't really know what to do except that I had to leave that job. A friend of a friend was teaching yoga and said that he'd give me a few contact numbers and put the word out. Well, the word was certainly out. It wasn't my plan, but over the next few months I went from teaching one class a week to around 16 a week at my peak. Teaching at various health clubs and studios across London. I still thought of it as an interim measure and wondered what it was that I really wanted to do. But teaching the classes brought me to a place where all my worries and cares just drifted away. I was no longer thinking about myself, but about them, about the class. I liked teaching and my teaching was liked. Did I really need anything more?

And so it has continued to the present day with classes and venues fluctuating over the years. I currently teach for Cannons, David Lloyd and the Hyatt Carlton Tower, not to mention the private students who are forever making me cups of tea. I still love it and I still love to see people feeling better for it. But teaching yoga can be a lonely world and so now I'm trying to develop this community as I imagine that others teachers may be feeling the same. I have a new life now, writing code, but I don't think it's ever going rival yoga.

Doing yoga gives one a tremendous sense of energy and motivation. I have so many projects on the go. What happened to all or nothing? Gladly, I seem to have lost it somewhere along the way.