teacher focus: Jill Satterfield

Jill turned to yoga over 30 years ago as a successful effort to heal from a debilitating physical condition coupled with acute chronic pain. In 1992, she extended her exploration of the integral relationship of the mind and body through the study of Buddhism. Through combining the two disciplines – yoga and Buddhism – she healed beyond all medical prognoses. For the past 25 years, Jill has been travelling and teaching Vajra Yoga (a synthesis of yoga and Buddhism combining meditation, yoga, visualisation and contemplation practices) making it a pioneer system in the Mind Body field.

We are excited to welcome Jill back for a weekend of workshops focused on inner awareness and somatic exploration from 22nd – 23rd June at triyoga Chelsea and Soho. We asked her a few questions ahead of her visit…

Jill, if you could be remembered for one thing what would it be?

Kindness.

What’s your favourite quote?

“Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial. That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality – your soul, if you will – is as bright and shining as any that has ever been.  Bright as Shakespeare’s, bright as Gandhi’s, bright as Mother Theresa’s. Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, share its fruits tirelessly.” – George Saunders

What do you attribute the biggest successes in your life to? 

Fearlessness, resilience and the refusal to give up.

What do you think your future self will remember about you now?

How doggedly I pursue the truth of things.

What one book would you recommend reading?

The Wind – Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.

Who would you most want to be on a desert island with?

The person I love the most, and a book of the Buddha’s teachings and my health.

What is the secret to a happy and fulfilled life?

Knowing that the choice to be happy and fulfilled is entirely ours.

Where is your happy place?

Within this very moment.

If you could teach everyone in the world one concept, what concept would have the biggest impact on humanity?

That kindness and compassion can be developed and it has immense impact on us as individuals and as collective humanity.

Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

Wisdom because we can learn and even recite almost anything from reading or hearing from others, but that’s not wisdom. Thinking is different from knowing. Wisdom is cultivated and developed from direct knowing —  of experiencing the way things are, and that has to be experienced. Living from wisdom includes compassion which intelligence and thinking doesn’t always invite.

What life-altering things should every human ideally get to experience at least once in their lives?

Unconditional love.

What two questions would you ask to get the most information about who a person truly is?

What are your passions?
How do you spend your time alone?

What is the biggest waste of human potential?

War

How do you define consciousness?

It’s everywhere, infinite and ineffable.

What causes the most harm in the world, but is completely avoidable?

Hatred, racism, killing, abusing others.

Has social media been a net positive or a net negative for our society? Why?

Net positive because it opens worlds that most of us didn’t have access to before it existed. But, it needs to be handled with care like everything else.

To what extent do you shape your own destiny and how much is down to fate?

I believe I shape and re-shape my own destiny with every moment I am awake, conscious and intentional.

Join Jill Satterfield at triyoga Chelsea and Soho from the 22nd – 23rd June. To find out more and book, please click here.

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