She Brings Me Water

An aeclectic look at the nearby world

Master Adam Nguyen and Raja Yoga

When I was still working at the Post Office on Knotts Island, in early 2011, a man came in and walked up to the counter and requested information on getting his mailing address changed. I nearly fell off my postal perch for two reasons; but before I tell them to you, let me tell you a little about Knotts Island, North Carolina., population at last census approximately 1800-2000. It’s a small island, and despite the past years’ influx of folks who work in Virginia Beach and Norfolk and Chesapeake, but sleep on the island and therefore need to build houses here to sleep in, the island retains its rural character and its complement of rural “characters”. Folks here are overwhelmingly white and Christian, many still fish or crab in the spring and summer and hunt deer and ducks in the fall and winter. Non-whites who show up in the Post Office are usually tourists on their way to the Outer Banks, which is sad because 1) they are lost, and 2) we could use some diversity here.

Grand Master Adam Nguyen

Grand Master Adam Nguyen

Which brings me back to my two reasons: First, this man who turns up in the Post Office is dressed like the Ninjas you see in karate movies, or like Mr. Miyagi in the movie The Karate Kid. All in black, with the wide-legged pants, barefoot with sandals and short kimono-style wrap top tied with what looks like the belt you get when you have completed a level of your karate training. And second, he is Asian, and like I said before, on this island, that’s pretty unusual. So of course, he must be lost, but no, he has bought a house here, and seventy acres on the bay, and oh, by the way, he’s going to be starting yoga classes HERE on the island, and do I want to come? Wait, give me a minute to…YES.

Side Crow Pose

Side Crow Pose

So in May of 2012, I began taking classes in Raja Yoga with Master Adam, every Thursday afternoon at 4pm, here on Knotts Island. Over time, I learned things about Master Adam: he is Vietnamese, he’s been doing Raja yoga for 56 years, he also teaches classes at Wareing’s Gym in Virginia Beach (he actually began their yoga program there), he has taught yoga to Navy SEALS and to Hollywood film makers…I could go on, but if you want to know more, click here.

Raja (or Royal, or King) yoga is not as well known as some forms of yoga, and it is very different,

“Raja Yoga is very intense; it is rigorous and strenuous, yet it is also very balanced, with invigoration done the right way and a lot of rejuvenation. Done correctly, as taught by a Master, there would be no stress or strain involved or pressure. The Master encourages the student to pace themselves, to do the poses with ease and to slow down or take a break when needed. To stop if you have any doubts or perceive that what you are doing is posing a danger to your body.”

Raja Yoga class

Raja Yoga class

“Do all good. Do not do bad. Cleanse your mind, purify your heart. Practice wisdom and compassion. This is the Way. “

The words seem easy, but the practice is hard, as is the practice of this intense form of yoga. But for me, at least, it has been worth the effort. I’m more peaceful, more accepting and less judgmental, more able to deal with the vicissitudes of life…and I’m stronger, thinner, and more disciplined. And Knotts Island has a little more diversity.



  Yoga and Karate wrote @

[…] Master Adam Nguyen and Raja Yoga | She Brings Me Water […]

  Eat Your Turmeric | She Brings Me Water wrote @

[…] recently wrote of how my year and a half of doing Raja Yoga has made significant changes in my life, not the least of which has been in my physical body. […]

  Master Adam Karate-Do Movie | She Brings Me Water wrote @

[…] back I posted about Master Adam Nguyen beginning yoga classes here on Knotts Island (read that post here). A couple of months after I began training with him, after he learned that I was a writer with one […]

  Reesie wrote @

Mari I can not wait to meet you in person. I do want to try the yoga classes. And I would love to see if they can help me and my daughter. When I was 22 I was in a bad car accident and crushed the most of my right lower body on the left side. They told me I would never problem walk again. I have had many surgies at Duke by the best dr’s that were there. I have been in and out of a wheel chair and body cast many times. I have a total right hip and my right leg is just a little shorter so at times due to the pain I have as all limp. I had a special trainer that helped me get stronger for over a year. And he prove that if I try I can do things I think I am not able to do. Since all the stress of taking care of my Mom and Dad till their death as well as other trauma in my family. I had to stop training. I love it and I felt like I was 15 again. I am now starting to have more pain in my back since it has been awhile that I was working out. I want to get back into it because I know it does help. I have never tried yoga because I didn’t think I could do it. I want to prove to my self I can do anything. I am a fighter and I will not give up. Please give me your thoughts about my condition and tell me if you think I can do yoga to help me.
Sin, Teresa L Shackleford ( Reesie)

  Reesie wrote @

P.S. Sorry for some of the mis printed words. Bad headache today.

  marimann wrote @

Reesie, you sure do sound like a fighter! When you do get here to the island, and when we get out from under this snow and ice, you and your daughter should come to my yoga class at least just to try it out and see if you think it will help you. I think it would, and because my classes are small, we can work within your capabilities. Master Adam would be able to help you even more, he has so much more experience than I do, but he won’t be teaching down here on the island again until after the movie is finished. But you could go to his classes at Wareing’s and he does private lessons as well. But we’ll meet up soon and hopefully, under warmer conditions.

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