Oct 24, 2020
#020: Prem & Radha Carlisi
Scott talks to Prem and Radha Carlisi (and their lovely
dogs) about their friendship since 2008 and
how they've evolved over an incredibly close, and tender, twelve
years of knowing each other.
We'd like to invite you to join our growing
Stillpoint Online Ashtanga Yoga and Mindfulness community. We
live stream Ashtanga Yoga assisted self practice and guided classes
with evening mindfulness sessions over 6 days with Scott Johnson
and the Stillpoint teaching faculty. It's a beautiful way to
navigate these times...
Anthony ‘Prem’ Carlisi and Heather ‘Radha’
Carlisi first came together as a teaching team in Sri
Lanka in 2007. They felt a powerful synergy between their combined
energy as teachers, which led them to continue to teach together
internationally. They were married in 2013.
In December 2008 they travelled to Bali, where in November 2009
they established the Ashtanga Yoga Bali Research Center (AYBRC). In
their shala they teach in the tradition of K. Pattabhi Jois, with
whom they both studied for many years. Prem first travelled to
Mysore to study in 1978, and Radha in 1995 having begun her study
of Ashtanga yoga with Chuck Miller in 1990.
Following the example set by Krishnamacharya, they adapt their
teaching to the individual needs of each student. They also apply
their knowledge Ayurveda to their unique teaching style, blending
the elements of Ashtanga yoga and Ayurveda to help students to
achieve a balanced lifestyle well beyond their asana practise.
Prem and Radha have many shared at AYBRC. You can find out more
about their teaching schedule here.
Finding Humility Together - Prem and Radha Carlisi
In this moving conversation Scott, Prem and
Radha share intimate and tender memories of
their friendship over the past 12 years. Prem and Radha are deeply
open and honest about how their relationship managed the passing of
Prem's daughter Shanti in 2012 and how they navigated people coming
to their Yoga Shala in Bali and their own yoga practices. We are
left with hope....
In this deeply moving conversation Prem &
- The challenges they’ve faced running a Mysore shala from Bali
during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- How Scott contacted Prem in 2008 after reading ‘The Only Way
Out is In’, and ended up hosting both Prem and Radha for a London
- Prem’s motivation for writing his book - to share his
perspective as a ‘regular guy’ so that people would know that yoga
is accessible to anyone.
- That after Radha’s first yoga class - which she found in the
Yellow Pages - she told the teacher (Chuck Miller) that she was
going to be a yoga teacher.
- About the incredible support Radha has given Prem in his work
and in his personal life.
- About how they set up Ashtanga Yoga Bali together, and how it
felt like everything was falling into place for them.
- That everything collapsed in 2013 with the death of Prem’s
- How they managed to keep the shala open, with crowds coming to
see them, while struggling to come to terms with this tragic
- The thoughtless comments that Prem received about how, as a
long term yogi, he should be able to deal with grief.
- How grief forces a deeper perspective to Ashtanga yoga practise
beyond the physical.
- That teaching - being able to give to others - can be a solace,
and that suffering can bring empathy.
- The sense of humbling humiliation that Prem felt, in the face
of such grief after this life-changing loss, despite external
- Their intentions around organising Ashtanga yoga conferences,
hoping to keep the community connected after K. Pattabhi Jois
- The responsibility that senior teachers have to pass on the
subtler layers of practise that move beyond the physical.
- About why Ashtanga yoga is a constant process of discovery,
rather than a static set of rules.
- How important it is to meet all students as individuals, and
that teaching this way becomes a dance.
- That an ‘advanced’ practise isn’t necessary to experience the
principles of Ashtanga yoga practise: breath, bandha, and
- The relationship between the ethereal aspects of practise and
how they relate to our physical being.
- Learning to dance with the people in our lives and with
ourselves: Nataraja, Shiva, the aspect of life and
- How Prem’s practise has become more contemplative over time,
spending hours in meditation.
- How Radha has become more forgiving of herself, and that in
finding more freedom in her practise she has a better understanding
of who she is, rather than who she thinks she’s supposed to
‘'I've been wanting to have this conversation
with my dear friends Prem and Radha since I started the
Stillpoints Podcast. It is one of the tenderest and most open
conversations I have had and I loved the candid honesty that
both Prem and Radha bring. They share how they have navigated grief
together and that this is now the foundation of their
relationship. We're left with a sense of hope. That it's a
Scott Johnson - September
If you enjoyed this podcast then you might also enjoy
Scott’s conversations with
Dr Matthew Clark and