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As a youth, Australian born Jim Harrington followed the philosophy that “If you are not living on the edge, you are taking up too much space” As a rebellious youth, he shunned conventional life, left Australia after completing University and wandered extensively partaking adventures.
After his first foray into Papua New Guinea, there was no turning back, he knew he had to go the whole way and wander the globe. It would be 7 years before he settled down.
In the days before email, where long distance phone calls were prohibitively expensive, he found freedom from conformity by reading the Tao De Chin, and “following his Tao”. Disappearing into the rural areas of South East Asia to surf waves on remote coral reefs and islands or to trek in the high Himalayas through the – off limits to Foreigners – backwoods of China. He made a policy of learning the basics of language or dialect wherever he went and embodying the local culture as much as possible.
During these experiences, he came across the ancient practices of the Indian holy men (saddhu) and was greatly intrigued. Through encounters with teachers, he began to learn and practice yoga asana, breath work and mediation.
In the Early Nineties following a health crisis and a severe injury, he began to study meditation formally with the Theravada Monks in Thailand. His first impressions of the monks were of their untainted happiness and it led him to a more contemplative journey of meditation in action. This experience formed the core of his practice.
In the mid to late1990s he began intensive study with Simon Borg- Olivier and Bianca Machliss in Sydney Australia and eventually became a teacher in the Yoga Synergy system. Jim feels great gratitude for Simon and Bianca in providing the “missing link’ to his journey with yoga.
Looking more for the scientific and medical reasons behind the yoga and meditation practices, he had returned to Nature Care College in Australia to study Natural Medicine to better integrate this knowledge into his teachings.
Jim constantly explores the common ground that exists between yoga and the other activities that have a mental as well as a physical component. His passion for extreme sports like rock climbing and big wave surfing, have become an integral part of his life.
He feels the common ground between Yoga and the extreme sports is the focussed concentration. This “peak” mental state is where perceptions are expanded, through moments of “thoughtless awareness”.
JIm is the official yoga trainer for the world champion Indian National cricket team and travels with them extensively.
Jim is the director of Karma Shala Yoga in Cape Town, South Africa, is a teacher trainer and holds retreats and workshops around the world.