I had some time this morning – quite a lot of it, actually – to wander around Bondi Junction, my old stomping grounds. Here’s a photo of the entrance to the Australian School of Yoga on Oxford Street.
I was mentally winding back the clock to 1979 when I had my first experience of Iyengar Yoga taught by this man:
It’s fair to say that Martyn Jackson, Iyengar Yoga and the time I spent at the Australian School of Yoga changed the course of my life. After doing a 6-month teacher training course with about 25 other trainees led by Martyn, I started teaching. And never stopped.
Meandering around the Junction, eating breakfast at the whole foods cafe, I found myself looking out for the old crowd. I know some of them are still around the neighbourhood – Kay Parry, Carole Hart, Trevor Tangye, Anna Pryor – but, no, there was only the new crowd.
I saw the Ashtanga Vinyasa youngsters with well-defined chaturanga dandasana triceps leaving their Mysore-style class. And then, there were mums who had just dropped off their school kids, showing up for their hatha yoga work outs.
I used to travel to my classes on a bicycle, but the Junction garages are now full of every make and model of luxury cars which are parked by valets. The Bondi Junction bus terminal, railway station and malls all still look down-at-the heel, but enter Westfield shopping centre, and you would think you were in Beverly Hills.
Yoga’s been good for me. As I get older, my tastes have become simpler. I really don’t want for anything materially. The training I got way back then set me up in a profession that shaped me for a lifestyle that is uncomplicated, wholesome and gratifying. It was really only natural for us to leave all the crowds and congestion behind and find our way to the peace and beauty of Mitchells Island.
And, for me to find a new crowd to teach….
Hi Eve, I’ve been wandering around Bondi Junction musing on quite similar themes. I trained with Martyn in 1984. Often when I visit Sydney (from Perth), I attend a yoga class in Bondi Junction and cast a yearning eye over that venue previously the home of the Australian School of Yoga. I’m rather keen to get it touch with Anna Pryor or Robyn Bolin (the physiotherapist that taught us anatomy) if you know how to contact them. Kind regards, Ilona
I remember you so well that I can see your face right now 🙂
I haven’t been in touch with Anna for years but you can probably
find her through the Australian School of Yoga…if it’s still
Thanks for the reply! I’m sure all our faces have changed. I did try the Australian School of Yoga without success. PS I recently connected with Ashlea Wilken from Yoga West here in Perth who trained with Martyn in 1981 and remembers you. Kind regards, 🙂 Ilona
Oh, goodness, Ilona. That period in Perth was probably 1980? Are you living in WA now?
You were way ahead of the times in moving to Qld. xo E
Eve, I think you’re mistaking me for the OTHER Ilona who I believe moved to warmer climates for health reasons. I was mostly known by my middle name which is “Eva” around the school. I spoke to Anna this morning and she finished the school in January this year. Kind regards 🙂
You’re right, Eva. Now I remember! Wow! Anna only just finished up the school. She was so devoted to Martyn. I think she
wanted the school to be a memorial to him. Do you still do Iyengar yoga?
Greetings from New Zealand – lovely to find your post – I was one of Martyn’s 6am-8am students through the late 70s to mid 80s and treasure that time in my life. I was probably one of the people making you a juice smoothie down the road afterwards! I still hear Martyn’s voice in my ear on a daily basis
best wishes Susy Pointon
I remember you so well! Isn’t that funny about Martyn’s voice. We of Spring Street Yoga all have that 🙂
Now, I think, my student’s have these little Eve microchips in their brains, saying some Martyn-isms.
Hope you are well and happy!