August 21, 2017
“Here in the West, many of us regard yoga as a form of exercise. If we are fortunate, an inner “sense” harkens our higher self to seek and explore the deeper values of yoga..at that moment. Yoga is a pathway that will add great sustenance and benefit to your life.”
1) What inspired you to become a yoga instructor?
Well, like most people who begin yoga, I was experiencing suffering. It was in the form of a physical illness that caused great disruption in my life. The need for something to feel or be more steady than my health was at the time was evident. I began to meditate and that was something that began to not only bring me more mental stability to deal with the crisis but also introduced me into a new community. The people I began to meet were healers and seekers, and being in their presence was a type of embrace. That was also assuring at a time when the illness that had confronted me, had created within me a feeling of isolation. So, shortly after my meditation practice began, Yoga asana soon followed. I tried as many styles as there were, the only one that felt while was what I have been fortunate enough to share for the last 20 years as a teacher. I would never expected to be teaching yoga for that long.
2) What is one of the most important things you learned from your yoga instructor?
While there are many valuable teachings one may gain from a great teacher, (which finally I had been guided to) perhaps that is best answered by referring to what I needed at the time. In other words, the most important teaching I needed at the time was being so genuinely welcome and cared for by my teacher.It wasn't any one thing my teacher said, but rather, he saw in me maybe what I couldn't see at the time. My teacher fostered something within me to arise, and in this way supported me to gain some equilibrium in my life. I have always a profound depth of love and appreciation for him. The ability he had to hold and guide me, yet allow me to find my way, was healing. I attempt to create this as a teacher as well, and hope the students experience this so they too may feel supported yet empowered to live with greater appreciation for who they are and what they may offer.
3) Relate to the community you have built through classes/retreats/trainings at yoga sakti
The challenge as a yoga instructor, especially these days with so much "branding" and social media is to sustain the steady aim that makes teaching yoga about the student, the student's comprehension of the practice, and their ability to articulate it within their bodies, and so hopefully to, what awareness they learn through the practice, may expand into their lives. It should. Or really ever be about the teacher's personality or instagram account. This is the challenge that many yoga teachers face today. While we all love in this world, it's important not to get caught up too much in what takes us away from supporting our students.
4) What are your hobbies/interests?
Most activities I seem to enjoy are essentially about transformation of some kind.Whether it's supporting my students in their practice, doing a "fixer upper"House project, an old car restoration, being an actor in a play, or even directing a play, all these involve a type of alchemy, a shifting of materials. Those materials may be physical or mental/emotional, or all of the above.It's ridiculous or comical to me sometimes that this is a through-line. In yogic terms, the best way to define it would be that I try to create "Sri," which means beauty. That beauty may appear not just only as we typically define beauty, but also as a deeper and more raw truth about what it means to be alive and live in this challenging, fierce, wild and marvelous existence.