Story of a Jamaican Yogi who knows Sanskrit and teaches in China


His name is Sasi, a Yogi, well versed in Sanskrit and he was born in Jamaica (a West Indian country with the influence of Indo-Caribbean culture). He follows Rastafari faith, teaches Yoga and lives in China. Well, let us meet an interesting globetrotter: Sasi Mair.

A divorcee and a language enthusiast who calls himself “a citizen of the world”, said “I still attract the same attention today as I did upon arrival a decade ago. There are not many black people in China. Certainly, not others who have hair looking like mine,” he laughs.

He was named Sasi by his Sanskrit master, Dr Ram Karam Sharma. “SASI” means: rabbit in the full moon’, reflecting the majestic and brilliant qualities of the lunar cycle.

Mair lives in one of the most famous cities of Chinese culture and history, Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.

Telling about his move to China he says, “I was recruited to teach yoga in China after a fellow yogi and friend also moved there to teach. I seized the moment because of my lifelong love affair with Eastern philosophies, culture and history. I also find the Chinese language a very fascinating aspect of their culture.”

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Mair has been studying Sanskrit past 10 years and has been teaching for three. Explaining about his love towards yoga he said, “The opportunity to teach yoga in China gave me the opportunity to verbalize Sanskrit in Chinese. Sanskrit is the language of yoga and it goes a long way back. It is an ancient spoken word.

Years after my initial interest in Sanskrit, I began to learn Sanskrit is also the root to many other Indo-European languages. My desire to study the yogic ancient text and exploring life and different approaches to speech all became a part of the influence on my life’s journey which led me to China.”

“Many people have wondered how I have learnt to master this language as a Jamaican,” said Mair, who also speaks French and Spanish. “I really wouldn’t say I have mastered any language, including English. I just have a passion to communicate and learn, so if learning another language gives me access to knowledge or allows me to arrive at a deeper understanding that is the path I will pursue. Learning the naked language is sometimes not the most acceptable way, but I find it’s the most effective way to get an understanding of culture.”

Having taught yoga for more than 20 years, he revealed, “I started yoga at age 15, growing up in rural Jamaica, so I guess you could say yoga found me, and since our introduction, we have never separated.”

“Everything goes back to the self, and yoga is about self-discovery. Ultimately, the older I get, the wiser I become. When I was a teenager, I wanted to save the world, but you soon realise that if you work hard on yourself, you can really make a difference. Self-awareness is a constant journey. Yoga is about transformation and a spiritual journey.”

Referencing the similarities of Rastafari and yoga, Mair concludes, “I have an inter-relationship and interconnection between my understanding of Rastafari and yoga. There is no clash, they complement each other. I embrace Rastafari as a constant evolution, a constant journey into self-discovery. An ongoing of creation, it’s not something that was created and then put down; it is a constant engagement, which is evolving, so there is no need for any dogma or any ‘isms’. Yoga and Rastafari are both focused on finding inner peace, and I have peace practicing both spiritual lifestyles.”

Telling about his 2016 resolutions, he said he has no time for monkey business.(

Interested in learning Yoga? You might like this DVD on Yoga.