Forty Years of Teaching Yoga and Still Going

Oct 19, 2020 | XTeaching, Yoga teaching  | 12 comments

Forty years ago this year

Time doesn’t always fly. Sometimes it does. Sometimes it plods. I know it’s forty years of teaching yoga because I can add up the students I’ve taught along the way. It’s a lot!

I did my first yoga teacher training in 1980. (I felt obliged to do another one 20 years later to fill in the gaps.)

Afterwards, a teaching ‘opportunity’ opened up in the school where I had studied: The Australian School of Yoga in Bondi Junction.

Not really much of an opportunity––teaching in the 8 am. slot, between the 6am and 10 am classes. But, hey, I was enthusiastic and I was happy my two students kept coming back. By the time I ran out of enthusiasm, I’d built the class up to 4 students. I was ready to move on.

Then my teacher, Martyn Jackson, offered me some real opportunities. I travelled with him to the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, India, at the end of 1980. There I met the renowned B.K.S. Iyengar, Martyn’s teacher. While I didn’t get to attend any classes at the Institute, I was able to enjoy the beautiful hills district of Pune and soak up the exotic atmosphere.

Another opportunity presented as Martyn invited me to travel with him to the U.S. as his teaching assistant. We visited six cities in as many weeks and I got to meet the prominent Iyengar yoga teachers of that time. Some of them are still teaching: Felicity Green, Lolly Font, Elise Browning Miller, Jean Couch and more.

Martyn and I made a good teaching combination and we were invited back to the States the following year. We spent three months in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles, teaching an intensive to students at Gangha White‘s school.

It was all glamour and glitz hanging out with the California yogis. But I was keen to get back to Australia to start teaching under my own banner. In retrospect, this was an audacious aim, but I had put in 3 years of apprenticeship with Martyn. This is a lengthy commitment that is rarely elicited in today’s factory-style yoga teacher trainings.

With help from my partner of this time, Tony Miles, I set up my own studio in McMahon’s Point.

I think I must have a guardian angel looking after me. At every juncture along my zigzagging life path, I seem to have followed a light in a propitious direction. A friend suggested I take over the lease of the East West Centre––city premises next to Paddy’s Market in Sydney. That decision whereby we created Sydney Yoga Centre felt like jumping off a cliff. But it was just a stepping stone to a long and, dare I say, successful period of teaching in Sydney. I taught in the classroom, in teacher trainings, workshops, retreats, and wrote a book and a manual.

When left Sydney Yoga Centre in 1999, I couldn’t help myself. I opened Simply Yoga in Crows Nest.

And now….

Living on a semi-rural property with it’s own Yoga Shed, I’ve feel extremely fortunate as I can continue to teach in the Manning Valley. There’s not a doubt in my mind that forty years of teaching yoga is not quite enough. I will continue until I can’t. But with the continuing glow of yoga good health, that may be a long time into the future.

12 Comments

  1. hi eve
    so lovely to read, very inspirational,
    I think I have crossed paths with you quite often over those 40 years
    kristine Edwards

    Reply
    • Yes, Kristine, kindred spirits, I would say. I hope you are well and happy. Still in Sydney?
      xx Eve

      Reply
  2. I feel so lucky that I was able to do my teacher training with you and Collyn at Sydney Yoga Centre. It was a fantastic year of learning and hard work. 25 years later I’m still loving teaching and attending yoga classes. Thank you for always being so kind and generous with your knowledge. X

    Reply
    • It’s a circle, isn’t it, Ali. You, paying it forward to your students.
      And even though we’re separated by distance, still in each other’s world.
      Hope to meet again in person one day.
      xx Eve

      Reply
  3. As you look back to your inspirational teachers, I look back to you Eve. I am so lucky to have been a trainee teacher with you as a mentor almost 15 years ago! Congratulations on your 40 years – your Manning Valley students are blessed.
    Sue xo

    Reply
    • Thank you so much for your kind words, Sue. Aren’t we fortunate that yoga found us?
      How is your own teaching and practice going?
      Kindly and namaste, Eve

      Reply
  4. Hi Eve, I have such fond memories of training with you at the East West Centre and also just when you took it over and it changed to the Sydney Yoga Centre, I was 21 yrs old, and my passion for Yoga has never diminished, my life, my love, my dharma….. I have always regarded you highly with much respect & love and as one of my first teachers. LOVE to you xxx

    Reply
    • Dear Louisa,
      What a delight to discover your comments on my 40-year celebration!
      Weren’t we lucky to find each other way back then. It meant we could amplify our passion for yoga and teaching.
      Hope to meet with you in person one of these days, sooner than later.
      xx

      Reply
  5. I hope I’m still teaching and as committed as you 40 years on Eve. You are a constant light on yoga yourself. I’m still loving teaching 17 years on after training with you and the other inspiring teachers at Nature Care. And hoping for yoga to become my ‘ day job’ within the next year. X

    Reply
    • Thanks, Katrina, for your kind words. You will undoubtedly be involved in yoga and teaching as it’s our path. Congratulations on being so close to full time devotion to yoga. Please stay in touch and let me know what your next steps will be.
      xx

      Reply
  6. Dearest Eve. You have been such an inspiration to me for almost all of those 40 years. I’ll never forget the first yoga demonstration you did for us in the training you gave us in 1984. You appeared like a goddess -superwoman and took our breath away. My breath is still taken away by you after all these decades. Thank you so much for all you have shared. And all you are still sharing. Love always, Simon

    Reply
    • Oh my goodness, Simon. Think of all the students who have come through our doors. And also, think of all the teachers we’ve trained who went back out the door and then taught more students and more teacher trainees.
      I love that you are part of my world and making the huge contributions that create a better, more peaceful and mindful world.
      Love, E.

      Reply

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