Born from Ashtanga Yoga, Buddhist Martial Arts & Bodywork, Sensei Duncan Wong was one of Pattabhi Jois’s early students and one of Larry Shultz’s (ROCKET YOGA) first students and taught in his school in native San Francisco, California in the early nineties; helping Larry-Ji develop the Rocket system, by combining the primary, intermediate and advanced series of Astanga Vinyasa Yoga, which was first introduced by their common teacher, Tim Miller of Encinitas, Southern California. This was the era when Vinyasa was born from the collective yogi’s desire to explore and express freedom of movement and more therapeutic ways of practicing, and Sensei Duncan was one of the first pioneers to do so and the first to make Warrior Yoga Flow, which was a radical approach in its day to integrate yoga into an interdisciplinary practice; something we appreciate around the world today as the standard.
Several years earlier during the mid-1980s, at 17 years old, Duncan studied for 5 years under Bikram’s top disciple from the 1970s; Tony Sanchez. During this decade of yogic training from the mid-1980’s to the mid-1990’s, Duncan also studied intensive Buddhist martial arts directly with a the Korean master, S.J. Suh, of the Kuk Sool Won lineage; living in the ‘dojang’ training day and night, between yogic practice and teaching in gyms and clubs as yoga was just emerging into the public field.
It was during this time he opened his first Yogic Arts studio, in Oakland, California, nearby Chinatown where Bruce Lee started his studio a few decades before. He found that neighborhood after being introduced to the Siddha Yoga Ashram where he met his life long shaktipat (awakening) guru, Sri Gurumayi Chivalasananda (Gurumayi), who opened his 6th chakra and activated his role as a yogi de force.
He left his California life behind to pursue his yoga academic and philosophy studies with the Jivamukti master’s Tripura Sundari and Deva Das (Sharon Gannon and David Life), who adopted him as their yoga son and heir to the Jivamukti system and took him into their home for direct transmission of esoteric knowledge. Completing their intensive one-year daily teacher training course as one of their first graduate teachers in 1997, and directing the, at the time, Ashtanga Yoga program, and became a top teacher in New York City. However, his Buddhist martial arts roots and deep longing for providing more therapeutic alignment through fine-tuned adjustments, bodywork and esoteric hand and feet mudras, greatly influenced by the Mysore style yoga and deep Buddhist arts, guided him to branch from their care and open the Shiva Yoga Shala in SoHo, NYC, where he taught Mysore style Ashtanga Yoga and developed his first Yogic Arts teacher training program in 2000. Throughout the NYC years, he was training in Advanced Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga with Eddie Stern of the Patanjali Yoga Shala. After being exposed to and globally employed by many top celebrities, supermodels, fashion icons and industry CEO’s, globe-trotting and hob-nobbing, Duncan retreated to Shanghai in search of a connection to his Chinese ancestry (his paternal grandfather was a poet and a scholar from the Guangdong mountains), where he discovered a studio in its infancy, Y+.
Duncan was a teacher director in the mid-2000s and eventually relocated to Shanghai and also opened his own Yogic Arts studio there called Namaste, where he trained many of today’s top Chinese teachers.
His intelligent method and innovative vision of integrating movement and form with healing work helped shape yoga in Asia and the world.
Duncan now resides in the forest of Kyoto, Japan, where he offers trainings at his yoga + zen retreat center, @KyotoYogaZedo.
Duncan was a Yoga Rebel who believed so strongly in his vision of a fluid flow art system that maintained its yogic roots. Thus Yogic Arts was born; a practice for the few to teach to the many.
Now Duncan returns to the European community from his forest retreat in Kyoto, Japan to share 35 years of intuitive training with a concise and comprehensive time tested method designed to improve any athlete, therapist or yogi’s skill set and self understanding.