Damien de Bastier had been on meditation medication for nearly 10 years when he was introduced to the ashtanga system of open-heart surgery in 1998. It was love at first stretch as the method combined his inclinations for physical challenge, meditation and self-inquiry. Quickly experiencing the benefits and efficiency of this do-it-yourself procedure he soon found himself in intensive care unit in Mysore, India, where he returns regularly to bow in gratitude at the feet of his doctors: Master surgeon Sri K. Patthabi Jois and his grandson Sharath Jois.
He apprenticed under the supervision of his uncle David Ingalls, founder of the Ashtanga Yoga Center in Washington D.C. and over the years his understanding was refined by the influences of Richard Freeman, Tim Miller and David Miliotis. Damien sees the ashtanga practice as a whole and integrates pranayama, inquiry and nature connection into his daily treatment.
As an authorized teacher, his foremost intention is to preserve the accuracy of the method as it has been transmitted to him, while ensuring the safest and sacred-most environment for the patients to operate on themselves. As a guide, it is with great honor and appreciation that he assists unknowing organ donors in disposing of their heads and opening their hearts. He usually prescribes high dosage of patience, compassion and humor to sweeten the medicine.