Yoga Los Angeles

Raghunath’s Last Class

The first time I took a class with Raghunath, sometime in 2003 I believe, it was immediately apparent to me that there was something very special about his teaching style. What other yoga teacher shows up with a harmonium and sings Indian devotional songs before launching into an hour and a half of hardcore, sweat-til-you-almost-pass-out asanas? I’ve never met a teacher who does such a good job of combining the most rigorous physical aspects of yoga with a wide and deep understanding of yoga philosophy. In Raghu’s class, you never get the sense that yoga is just about exercise. In fact, you start to learn that the exercise part of yoga is really just incidental to the mental aspects of it, and you begin to learn how the physical challenges in yoga serve as a bridge to the mental/spiritual aspects of the practice.

Tomorrow, Thursday the 24th @ 7:30 PM, Raghunath will be teaching his last class at Yoga  Works Westwood, and, I think, his last public class in Los Angeles. He’s moving to the East Coast to start a new chapter in his life’s journey with his wife and children. We’ll all miss him greatly.


3 thoughts on “Raghunath’s Last Class

  1. How funny, I typed in Raghunath Cappo in Google to show my friend my favorite teacher and wow! small world…anyways, today after my yoga class I was really missing Raghu. Yoga classes even if challenging and make you sweat are not necessarily make one happy, especially if you do not expect yogaworks class to turn into Bikram yoga studio. I think I just would have to quit Yogaworks before getting a heart attack.

  2. One thing that always bugged the shit out of me about Raghunath is his cult guru, a creepy fuck named “Dhanurdhara”. Supposedly, a former amateur boxer. He was at one time a teacher in a Krishna cult school in India, a place where horrors abounded. He did stuff like break a little kid’s ribs. I’m not making this up.

    In the mid-to-late-ish-90s, I remember coming across a fairly-extensive, and genuinely disturbing, website by people who had grown up in, and been abused in, Hare Krishna cult schools. Telling their stories. Really sad stuff. I have a hard time imagining how I would have turned out, had I gone through what they went through. Really heart-stomping and soul-crushing shit. One name that kept coming up repeatedly as one of the abusers was “DDS”. It took me a while to make the connection that DDS was Dhanurdhara Swami.

    Anyway, below is a link to a webpage from the Krishna cult. There’s some HK gobbledygook to wade through, but if you just scroll about half-way down the page, you’ll find a 12-item list of some of what this Dhanurdhara guy did to kids. Throwing kids into marble walls, and kicking them after they hit the ground. Sometimes beating kids until they passed out. Etc. Dude def gives off a psychopathic vibe. Seemingly unrepentant to this day. Apart from a few insincere-sounding and face-saving apologies. All for show. So culty that even the main Krishna cult kicked him out. He now lives on the fringes of the Krishna cult scene, financially supported by disciples, giving talks with Cappo at yoga studios and similar venues. Just blows my mind.

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