David Sye

David has been practicing Yoga for over 25 years. He is of Russian descent, the son of a scientist mother and an international Artiste/Performer father. He began his practice of Yoga as a direct result and in response to suffering from ulcerated colitis and a spastic colon. He tried Tibetan Yoga and after ten sessions the doctors could find no tumours. He felt better than he could ever remember and this completely changed the course of his life. From then on yoga became his life’s focus.

In 1990 he moved to Yugoslavia to work as a Radio journalist on a non-political radio station, whilst also teaching Yoga to classes in Belgrade. Circumstances conspired to the point where he found himself caught up in the middle of the Bosnian war. This resulted in the emergence of his own unique practice, a style of Yoga, born out of an environment where the possibilities of death and (the stress of this) were always close at hand. He began teaching Yoga and in his classes he used music to drown out the conflict. All of his classes used music which he initiated primarlity to drown out the sound of the conflict, both “overt” and “covert”.

David arrived bck in the UK in 1995 and for the longest time his famous Sunday Yoga sessions in Finsbury Park were “jammed” by clubbers who qued up to catch the unique Cuban Rap music that drove all his classes – but it took some perseverance before the London Yoga community started to appreciate and accept his radical approach to Yoga.

In 1997 he was personally invited by P. Jois to come to his ashram in Mysore, but at that time he met his late teacher Clara Buck and instead stayed and studied with her to the end of her life in 2004. She was a student of Krishnamacharya BKS Iyengar and a close friend of Vanda Scaraveli, Angela Farmer and Shandor Remete.

David’s unconventional approach to Yoga allowed him great success in bringing Yoga to ‘ferral’ kids in Brixton at the famous “409 Project” as well as “Kids Company” a similar group working with urban ‘asbo’ youth.

He is internationally known for his work with Palestinians in the West Bank and was responsible for bringing together for the first time, both sides of the Middle East conflict for a Yoga class in 2006, “without which ” as David says, ” a single politician or member of the U.N. was needed to be present. It was just pure humanity inspired by the ancient practice of Yoga”.

His life is now divided by an extremely intensive global teaching schedule alongside his groundbreaking “urban” Yogabeats work, noteably with Glasgow street youth in the infamous Easterhouse district – alongside his work with the International Group ‘Youth at Risk’, an extraordinary and effective combination of Yogabeats working in tandem with psychologists and social workers, which has initiated a unique six month project for 2010 with thirty nine (mostly asbo) boys between the ages of ten and eighteen in Southend, Essex. David’s excitement at this work arises out of the fact that what is being created here is not only a model for transfomation through yoga, but a system where these youngmen and women are given the tools to maintain the transformation, so they can go on to realise their life’s full potentiality and the implications of this model for urban centres worldwide are all to obvious!

His work in the Community is developing a life of its own and is now being recognised and acknowledged by peace makers at governmental level.