joan ruvinsky

After encountering numerous dead-ends in the path-finding project, and having collected the regular approbations from various yoga lineage explorations, Joan Ruvinsky was drawn back to the solitude of the mountains. There, in the mountains of the southwest, what was recognised led to her to meeting Jean Klein in 1989. Klein, having never taken himself to be a teacher, eliminated the need to be a student, to have a path, a method or a goal. Finally at home in the non-dual wisdom teachings, Joan offered satsang, Pathless Yoga body and breath sensing, and text study groups at her center in Montreal as well as at retreats and seminars in Canada and the US, both in French and English. She is the author of The Recognition of Our Own Heart: Pratyabhijñahrdayam and a collection of poetry, This Wind.

interview with joan ruvinsky

This interview with Joan was conducted in Montreal by Jean-Claude Leblond for Yoga Mondo, a French Quebec yoga magazine.

YM: Where did you study yoga and how did you come to teach ?

JR : Ultimately, there is only one place to study yoga, and that is in oneself.

The notion of “studying” yoga risks leading us in a false direction. Yoga is not fundamentally something one can know. One can know the history of yoga. One can know the texts of yoga. One can know the philosophies of yoga. One can know the practices of yoga. But yoga ultimately is not something one knows, but rather something that one is.

Certainly one of the three pillars of Kriya Yoga, according to Patañjali is study, svadyaya, the study of oneself, the study of the scriptures. But the knowledge gained from study does not culminate in the knowledge of an object, of an entity in space/time, or of a set of principles, but rather culminates in the knowledge of the knower itself. In all the ancient venerable traditions, some form of study is basic, but the ultimate the recommendation obtains: “Know thyself.”

Joan's Words on her illness

“Life is full of surprises!

We are always living in the unknown but we do not always know it. We only know it when something takes us by surprise. We may be pleasantly surprised or we may object vigorously, but ultimately, Life prevails.

This time, Life is prevailing in the form of this physical body dancing its way through incurable cancer. The details are irrelevant; any prognosis is pure fantasy.

The “I” called Joan is perfectly at ease with this latest version of the unknown, as the body, having passed the three score and ten mark, is looking for the exit door. No surprise. No protest. No problem.

This afternoon is a beautiful afternoon, as I watch sunlight gliding across the mountain peaks toward sunset.”