Maria Kirsten: A Yoga Star Gone Out

Apr 21, 2021 | Obituary | 4 comments

Portrait photo of yoga teacher Maria Kirsten.

Maria would have hated the title of this post. She was as humble a yoga teacher as she was a star.

One area of enormous influence was in her specialty, ‘Yoga For Grownups’. We old people weren’t seniors in her way of teaching, or elders, or even old. We were treated as grownups, deserving of yoga thoughtfully and respectfully taught.

Her credentials included the whole breadth of yoga taught these days. According to Maria’s bio, she could teach in these domains: classical, corporate, gentle, hatha, intellectually-challenged, mental health, viniyoga, yogalates, dynamic, postnatal, general, teacher training, therapy and meditation.

I remember Maria fondly as she was particularly deferential to me…maybe because I was much older than she, or had more teaching years under my belt. But in fact, I would always defer to her supreme communication skills, as well as possibly the best sense of humour of almost anyone I know. My husband Daniel remembers verbatim many of the verbal instructions Maria gave in the class she conducted at the Ekam Festival a few years ago–simply because of her concision and humour.

Maria died yesterday after her battle with cancer, and she died too young. She had so much more to give to our yoga community. She was never going to be a guru because Maria was too egalitarian. Students, trainee yoga teachers and old veterans like me stood as equals with her, perhaps not in terms of knowledge and skills, but in deserving of respect and goodwill. If you look for images of Maria on-line, many of them will be standing shoulder to shoulder with one or more of her students.

I am so very very sad about Maria’s death. Sorry that I won’t feel her physical presence in another class or workshop. And yet, Maria was enough of a bright star in the yoga firmament that we will carry her special brilliance in our hearts always.

There will be a ceremony to celebrate Maria’s life Friday morning April 30th in Bangalow.


  1. A lovely tribute Eve.

  2. Hi Eve, I didn’t have the fortune to experience Maria’s yoga wisdom or sense of humour. Your lovely tribute has made me wish I did! My heart goes out to you Eve & all others who are feeling this loss so intensely.

  3. I met Maria only once, she taught in a retreat (New Year’s at Byron Bays’ Yoga). I thought if I was living closer to her I would seek her out to attend her classes.
    Died so too young.

  4. Lovely words Eve and so true.
    I did not know her well but was she memorable! That amazing sense of humour and full of life. So, so sad. x


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