Yoga and Meditation with Serge Bandura
Finding Light + Space in Ojai, California
Christine McMahon Tumpson
November 20, 2020
Serge Bandura likes to laugh, and it is contagious. The owner of the yoga and meditation studio, Light + Space in Ojai, California has been living the yogic lifestyle for many years, and it reflects in his lightness of being.
Serge entered residential training in a tantric yoga school as a homeless 19-year old , completing a 1,000 hour training program in traditional lineage-based Hatha Yoga. There, he studied, practiced, and completed intensive retreats in Kundalini Yoga, Taoist Yoga, Tibetan Yoga, and Sufism. Upon completing his training and being initiated as a teacher, Serge moved on to complete more than 20 retreats with Pema Khandro Rimpoche, wisdom holder and Lama in the Nyingma school of Tibetain Buddhism.
Serge studied Sanksrit mantra, Ayurvedic medicine, ancient sacred texts, Yin Yoga, Vedic Yoga, Atma Yoga and advanced vinyasa architecture with the leading heart-teachers and guide in the world. He is certified to teach Tantric Asana practices and studies the system of Sri Vidya in a remote complex of Goddess Temples. He is also extremely trained in meditation, having studied with many Swamis throughout the Indian subcontinent. In addition, he studied Yoga Sutras, the Upanishads, and other scared texts and philosophies at Loyola Marymount University.
With such expansive knowledge and universal training, Serge’s classes are unique, liberating, and enlivening. When asked what motivated him to open his own studio in the artful village of Ojai, he responds with great care. “I wanted to create a beautiful environment for people to come together, share in sacred space, and find peace in their hearts.”
Yoga and meditation is deeply important to those seeking a healthy lifestyle, and Serge is the embodiment of that goal. When advising his students, he says, “be patient, listen to yourself more than your teachers, and keep moving until you find a teacher you connect with.” As a teacher, he understands what is required from the instructors to keep themselves motivated. “Teach with the benefit of all being. Maintain sound ethics. Teach from the heart.”
Listening to studio owners brings about great wisdom as they are committed to bringing a healthy routine to the forefront. Light + Space brings that same enlightenment as Serge talks about what interests him now. “Bodhicitta, music, art, activism, creativity, and loving-kindness.” As a leader in the yoga community, Serge understands the need for bringing calm and serenity to one’s world, especially when things get overwhelming. His techniques for a peaceful existence include “deep breathing, yoga asana, meditation, and swimming. And stopping everything to rest when I don’t think I should/can.” Also, he says with a smile, eating “lots of fresh greens!”
In addition to being a guide for those yearning for a meaningful existence, Serge is a musician. He explains, “I create music daily, DJ. Collect records, produce musical events, and listen.” Listening is a lost art, a way of connecting with one’s soul and the music of other beings, as well as the earth sounds. Serge connects it all to make a beautiful universe.
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