Yoga for every body
John Abraham Moser – Organic farmer
With an exceptionally calm demeanour, Swedish-born, Ibiza-based organic farmer John Abraham Moser – known on the island as ‘Farmer Abraham’ – considers his thoughts very carefully before crafting his answers throughout his interview. Crediting the mental clarity that his practice has given him with dramatically changing his lifestyle over the years, he believes yoga is about much more than the physical postures. Self-love, inner observation and positive reactions to life’s situations and circumstances are just some of the elements he continues to strive for. “The yoga practice will lead you onto a path that will present an opportunity that makes you grow,” he wisely says.
What first attracted you to yoga?
It was in 2006. There was always something… in the background for me, but I couldn’t exactly pinpoint what it was. Something I wasn’t completely happy with, a disturbance, something under my skin. So I started Googling and I found everything led me towards yoga and meditation and so I thought I’d give it a try. I started in a Bikram studio – it was the only type of yoga on offer to me then, so I didn’t know the difference between that and anything else.
Did you feel an instant connection with the practice?
No – I felt terrible! I didn’t want to be there because it was torture! It really took me many, many classes – maybe around 30 – until I started to get some benefits from it. I could feel it working. Then it took another few years to really get deeper into the practice. Since then I’ve tried a lot of other styles of yoga, but I always find myself coming back to the hot room.
Why do you think that is?
I keep coming back because there are immediate, strong benefits. I feel that it really makes a difference in my life. I do like a challenge, and the hot room is a challenge.
What kind of physical benefits have you seen?
I feel now that my body is very solid, strong, grounded. I was also going to the gym simultaneously with my yoga practice for many years and only very lately have a stopped this and since then I have really been developing more into yoga.
Have you noticed changes in the mind?
With many years of practice, I noticed my mind started to resolve. I have more self-confidence. More constructive thinking, more happiness, more calm. Now I’m very happy to be by myself. As they say, it’s better to walk alone than in bad company. I’m not saying my life prior to yoga had bad company, but I have changed my list of priorities. I don’t feel the need to go out to nightclubs every night – yoga gives you the mental clarity to respect yourself and stop falling into old patterns and programming. It helps you break the conditioning. Also your relationships become more sincere, as you develop a more sincere relationship with yourself.
How does your practice affect your day-to-day life?
It really changes your whole lifestyle. Everything from how you eat to how you generate thoughts, and how you are responsible to act on those thoughts, hence changing your life in a constructive way. The practice leads you to make these changes in your life. But the physical practice is only a small part – it’s all the other parts of your life that start changing with it. Yoga has been very beneficial for me in many aspects. It gives you the clarity to make decisions that will change your life.
Tell us about your personal practice style.
I practice anywhere between three and six times a week. I do all the classes on offer at Hot Yoga Ibiza but I really connect with the new Hot Yoga class. I like it because it goes more into observing your breath and deeper into concentration, leading to meditation – the core objective of yoga. My objective is to deepen my breathwork and my inner observation of my body – not just to do the posture correctly, but also to start moving energy in my body. Let’s see what happens. I also practice at home depending on the season. In the summer I have an outdoor yoga deck, but in the winter it’s so nice to come to the hot studio. I like to combine the two.
How do you feel if you miss a class?
I simply remain calm and go the next time. If I can’t go, I can’t go. There’s not much more to it. That’s part of the practice, to be able to allow and accept, and not react with a negative response to life. You need to have a positive response to whatever happens. You choose to make the best of it.
How much do you know about the yogic philosophies?
Not that much. I am more interested in the practicalities, putting it into action and then the philosophy follows. It becomes one with me. If you practice yoga sufficiently, the philosophy will come with it. I don’t think you need to study unless you want to become a yoga teacher. I think it’s really about self-love. You give love to yourself by coming to yoga and by disciplining yourself. When you can love yourself, you can love others around you too.
How do you describe Sebastien’s teaching style?
He’s possibly the best Bikram and Hot Yoga teacher I have ever tried in the world, and I’ve been to many studios. He will push you, and push you hard, every time.
What is your relationship with him like?
We have a great relationship. Very friendly, allowing, accepting and easy. I am very grateful for what he does, and all the energy he puts into his work because it benefits me and so many people.
Where do you see your practice going in the future?
I don’t. I stay in the now. In every single moment, every decision is influenced by your practice. That’s how you create your future. Each and every thought in your mind will create your future. When you have mental clarity, you will create a future. You don’t know the path but your decisions will be more constructive, giving you the opportunity to learn to be honest with yourself. When you are honest, your decisions will benefit you. If you fall into addictive patterns or habits, which you can avoid by practicing yoga, you can avoid them when your mind is aware.