Yoga Suits Her
Photo by: Julie Slavin Photography, Old Bar
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.
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.
The Previous 3 Posts
This was the first week of Corona Time when I was not teaching yoga. Not because of holidays or my being ill, but as a community service. I didn’t want to stop, but by talking it over with my dear husband, I arrived at, ‘this is the right thing to do.’
I wasn’t the first yoga studio to close, but I think I was a week ahead of most of the ones I know. I couldn’t quite stop, though. What’s the harm of a pop-up class on the beach? I did end up running a morning session on Sunday at Main Beach, Old Bar.
I feel quite affectionate about this book. I believe it does deliver on its promise of inspiring the reader to do yoga, to follow the simple programs and to reap the many benefits of this ancient discipline. It is written in an accessible, inclusive style to reach a wide audience of young and old, male and female and people from all walks of life.
Recently I’ve been thinking about healthy ageing yet again because I’ve been included as a photographic subject in the NSW Government’s ‘Art of Ageing’ exhibition. It was launched at Parliament House in Sydney this week and will be featured prominently there for a month. Then, the exhibition will go on the road for two years, showing in 46 locations across the State.
The stated aim of the exhibition is to improve respect for and social inclusion of older people and to recognise older people’s contributions to their communities.
I know, I know. Yoga teachers all want to teach remotely. I’ve been no exception. Here are some video and audio productions that I’ve made. Not many – it’s something that I alway mean to get around to.
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.