Story about my dad

Yogacitynyc recently posted an article about the unsung heroes in our life – true teachers who teach by example not by preaching. They are the ones who inspire us, support us,  and make us smile when we need it the most. I was honored to share a story about my best teacher – my father. Here is a piece about him:

My Father by Nadya Andreeva, Strala Yoga

My dad, Andrey Andreev, my sisters, Veronika and Mila, and me

My father Andrey Andreev is the most extraordinary man I have ever met. He is has an incredible sense of easy non-attachment in all his actions like all true yogis do.

He finished a medical academy graduating with honors in the Soviet Union and practiced as an endocrinologist for almost 10 years until the Soviet Union collapsed and his salary became insufficient to support a family.

Looking for the next best option, he finished a Law School and worked as a corporate lawyer for 7 years soon becoming a partner. However, post Soviet Union Russia with its imperfect legal system was full of bureaucracy and endless illegal schemes. As a person of a strong moral character, my dad decided to give up the money for peace of mind. And off he went again looking for the next challenge as a Human Resources director at huge energy company. Soon after that, he decided to retreat from the corporate world to avoid all the internal politics.

Throughout his journey he always had a deep interest in eastern philosophy, spirituality and yoga. When I was 12 he started teaching me yoga that he learned from xeroxed copies of Iyengar’s ‘Light on Yoga’ because during that time in the Soviet Union, yoga was considered a religion and everything religious was frowned upon by the government.

There were no yoga schools, teachers, or books available. Getting a yoga book in Orenburg, a small town 2,000 miles away from Moscow was similar to looking for a sprouted quinoa salad at a diner in the middle of Louisiana. Almost impossible. But where there is passion there is a way. By the time I was 12, my dad accumulated a decent library of articles on yoga, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Bhagavad Gita, and a few yoga books in English, which he taught himself while studying in Medical Academy.

He always believed in the unlimited potential of a human body to heal itself when given a chance. As an endocrinologist he worked mostly with Type 2 diabetes and was the first doctor in Orenburg to use fasting and yoga as part of a treatment. His patients got insulin balancing yoga sequences as a prescription and were encouraged to fast once a week.

It was always easy to learn from my dad because he served as a model. There were no empty rules or guidelines. He lived according to his teachings: daily yoga practice and a weekly water fasting ritual for the last 15 years. His perfect health and young looks only prove the effectiveness of his approach to health. At 18 I started working with Indian yoga teachers and then later met many great teachers in NYC but my dad will always be my true guru with his calm gaze and always ready for a long deep discussion on yoga, diet, life, or life values.

To read about other unsung heroes, click here.

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