Born in Denmark of an Icelandic mother, he went on to live in Denmark, Iceland, England, India, Malaysia, Germany and from 1993 in several French towns. Though he made many return visits to his home country, Peter felt himself felt at home everywhere.
Peter spent the last 9 years of his life in Montpellier where he died following a brief and aggressive illness.
Despite his suffering during this illness, Peter felt an immense joy and peace. He expressed, just hours before his death, that never before had he felt so close to the Life within.
Peter's ashes were scattered on 12th July 2017 during a very moving ceremony in the little port of Grenivik tucked into the end of a fjord in the north of Iceland. In this incredible place, you can feel the strength and intensity of Nature, at once changing and yet so present; a beautiful, welcoming land for this return to the source.
From his initial meeting with T.K.V. Desikachar, with whom he studied in Madras (Chennai) from 1970 to 1975, until the end of his life, Peter continued to pursue his unique explorations of the essence of yoga through his teachings and practice.
He was particularly interested in exploring the states of body and mind that allow us to experience freedom, to be profoundly at home in ourselves, in a true relationship with ‘what is’.
As a teacher and trainer (for IFY, Institut Français de Yoga), Peter left a lasting impression on his many students through his particular ability to “be present with each individual, to hear and see them, to understand their potential.
He applied every aspect of his discipline, through the study of the postures and their sequences, the qualities of breath and the philosophy of yoga. Through the cultivation of profound observation and insightful teaching, Peter trained responsible and respectful yoga teachers of their students, free in their relationship with him and capable of teaching from their own authority.
Peter taught both students and teachers in Germany, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Morocco and most often in France.
He proposed practices in which the postures reveal us to ourselves and to the world, by opening a space for creative dialogue between axis and form.
At the heart of yoga, is the question of Life, of clarity, of freedom, of presence to the life within us and to life in the world. - Peter
When I observe a person practicing, I let go everything I know of that person, everything I know of Yoga; direct observation happens, a possibility is revealed, a proposition arises.
- Peter Hersnack
"To address oneself to the most profound in each person, to see, hear, observe what is vital for them, to recognize their beauty, to guide them towards every potential within themselves, requires of the artist a quality of presence and a quality of listening to the world.” - Peter
Attending a workshop with Peter for the first time is a singular and even unsettling event.
Initially, we don’t notice anything, we don’t really understand. Gradually, however, from what may appear quite insignificant, unclear, the veil moves aside and something, that touches us deeply, anything but insignificant, is be revealed.
Little touches, minute, precise, specific, a modification here, an adjustment there, a proposal to the internal light that he saw, that he felt.
Little touches, no obvious relevance or relationship, bit by bit, sometimes suddenly, the canvas is revealed, living and radiant.
That’s it! The space opens…
Among the possibilities that Peter suggested to us, the word ‘relationship’ and the idea of ‘bringing into relationship’ regularly appeared. He proposed that we could bring into relationship two poles, two postures, two phases of the breath, two aspects of ourselves…
The outcome of practice guided by Peter, initiated by simple but never superficial suggestions, revealed these significant relationships which are led, gently but firmly, from the outside to within, from the superficial to the profound.
Throughout the proposed practice, very quietly and delicately, something changes.
Something happens, a new breath, born from the connection to a deep awareness. A new birth, new possibilities.
The lead starts to change, to transform, and begins to transform into gold.
Date : 06 September 2017
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