Yoga Suits Her
I've been teaching yoga since 1980. A lot of my identity is tied up with being a yoga teacher. What does that mean? What should that mean? On this site I explore my personal journey and provide commentary on the state of yoga in the twenty-first century. I invite you to have a look and see what may be here for you.
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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.
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.
The Previous 4 Posts
Years ago I had osteoarthritis of both hips. I had hip replacement surgery in 2010 and have gone from strength to strength since then.
However the period when I was first diagnosed was hell for me. My ego felt crushed like a stepped-on grape. I was convinced that the orthopaedic surgeon’s diagnosis spelled career suicide for me as a yoga teacher. The idea of my sporting artificial hips filled me with dread and resistance.
I certainly didn’t want any yoga students to know I was less than perfect. I only wanted to present a healthy, ever-youthful image. […]
I want to address a question raised by one of my readers, Katrina Hinton, about a recent post, Take Care: Self-Reflection and Constructive Feedback. Katrina was a bright and enthusiastic yoga teacher trainee at Nature Care College back when I was part of the yoga training faculty. Now Katrina is an established yoga teacher in the ACT.
Katrina’s comments below were useful in helping me clarify the common idea that another person can hold up a mirror to help you understand yourself.
I love the honesty in your posts Eve. […]
The other night I asked my dear husband, Daniel, to cast his eyes over my draft ‘Yoga Suits Her’ post. He gave me constructive feedback, but, sadly, I became upset when I heard it.
Daniel and I have been married nearly 25 years. That’s plenty of time for marital niceties to have faded just a little. Or, maybe to see there was no need to soften any feedback, especially when he knows I want to keep improving my writing. What he said was honest and incisive, but it just didn’t sit well with me. […]
I’ve been invited to teach at a very special festival at the end of the year called Shambala–Lost Paradise.
Now that I’ve accepted the invitation, I’m wondering what it will be like. From the description below, it sounds like so much more than a yoga festival experience. Here’s how Lost Paradise advertises itself, incorporating some of these elements:
A Hidden Wonderland…Dancing under the Stars. Nurture by Nature. Sparkling Conversations by Water. Yoga in Full Flow. Acoustic Sessions. Inspirational talks. Pop-up Performances. Twinkling Pathways. Rejuvenating Massage. Disco Yurts. Twilight Parades. Electronic Alcoves. Sumptuous Feasts. Four-Poster Day-Beds. Late Night Speakeasys. […]
It's been out of print for 15 or more years but now it's back. It's available as a paperback as well as a range of digital formats for different devices. The design of this edition is modelled as closely as possible on the original release from 1997.
(Note: Book retailers set their own prices that are all different and constantly change. It's worth shopping around for the best price.)
Any bookshop, whether online or bricks and mortar, can order copies of Teach Yourself Yoga. Just ask and quote ISBN: 978-0-6487945-0-9.
Please send me feedback about the book. I'd love to hear about any errors or problems with eBooks on various devices. And please review the book wherever you get it. Reviews will help more people discover the book.
Yoga Basics Pack. $24.95
10-week beginners Yoga course.
Specially designed for beginners, Yoga Basics is an easy to follow program for better health, flexibility and peace of mind. This pack contains 10 beautifully illustrated cards, one for each week of a ten-week course that tie a clear, practical and portable guide to getting started in yoga.
Yoga Tool Kit. $24.95
10 beautifully illustrated cards that give clear, practical and portable programs to meet a variety of needs. The customised sequences help provide holistic healthcare – better health, flexibility and peace of mind – so you can stay on top of your daily requirements with a safe and effective regime. Practices for boosting the immune system, insomnia, menstruation, post travel, low backache, stress and anxiety relief, fatigue, encouraging mental balance, managing menopause and regenerating.
No, I'm not selling yoga mats or clothing. I don't even have a t-shirt... yet. But from time to time I find myself with something that someone may want. Have a look, I'm never sure what you'll find.