In about 2 weeks I’ll have the honor to lead another group of aspiring yoga teachers and can’t help but remember the love I have for my teachers. Whether we are still practicing with them or not, we all remember our very first teacher. This person is nothing short of amazing because they were there in the very beginning, the first child’s pose, the first down dog, all the way through to savasana when they whispered into our ears that it’s ok to close our eyes and relax.
I remember how my very first yoga teacher was, although her name slips my memory. I think it was Sandy. She was tall, blonde, and super fit and I couldn’t believe she had a 16 year old cause she looked like a 16 year old. She was super patient, zen, and gave the best adjustments. Oh I could still feel the down dog assist that took the pain out of my wrist and she knew just how to challenge us enough without breaking us.
Then came Baron. He ruined my life…. that is the life that I knew. He was the opposite of Sandy. He definitely wasn’t blonde and wasn’t patient per se because he keep saying things like “if not now then when?” and he was far from “zen” as we typically know it because he was in your face, tell you like it is, and spat the truth in your face with your own spit. Yea. Baron was my wake up call in such a tough love, be in action, face the fear kinda way… right now. Yep. He laid my foundation, invited me to see who I was and to find who I really am, challenge my body in so many ways that I never thought possible and helped me separate illusion from reality and lead me to walk on this path of teaching.
Then came Deb. She’s in your face with a smile and a laugh. She tamed my emotions, my doubts, and believed in me. Only a phone call away, I knew Deb got my back. She took me around the world to places I would’ve never gone to and gave me challenges that I thought I couldn’t overcome.
Then came Tim. Ahhhh Timji. He was nothing like the other two either. My experience with Tim is more of a spiritual path. The time I spent with him was very soft, although the asthanga practice is nothing close to “soft.” He opened my mind deep into meditation, helped me to connect to my breath like never before, and opened my heart to devotion and most importantly modeled for me that the best teachers are the ones who are still human.
Then came Jill. And no, she is not related to Tim. Jill rounded off my yoga teacher education and taught me how to connect deeply into my physical body. I never even heard of fascia before I met Jill, let alone knew how the body actually worked. The concept of “everything is connected” and “we are one” finally made sense. She also taught me that spirit without body is just fluff and body without spirit is just poses.
It’s so interesting that my journey led me to these teachers in the exact time that I needed to learn what they were giving. So it must be true that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear or is it vice versa… when the teacher is ready, the students will appear. In either case, I feel very lucky to have had training in all three realms of yoga: mind, body, and spirit with some incredible teachers.
There are other teachers with whom I’ve studied with but these four badasses are my teachers. Thank you for sharing your experiences, your knowledge, and of yourselves so generously with me. I’m a lucky yogini… and I will do my best to pass this on to others. Together we will change lives.