Today is Guru Purnima, the day in the Hindu culture to honor our teachers.
Teachers come in many different forms. They may have a formal role as a teacher, or they may present themselves as a teacher simply in the way they guide you.
In the opening chant in Ashtanga, we reference the sage Patanjali. I was told that the opening chant is a way to honor the teachers of Ashtanga who have come before us and who have passed down the practice.
In the spirit of Guru Purnima, I recognize the teachers who have shown me the Ashtanga path:
- Maria, my first Ashtanga teacher. I showed up to Ashtanga at SunMoon back in 2002 or 2003 without any idea of what it was. I instantly felt welcomed by Maria and the community of Ashtangis.
- Mona, owner of SunMoon who had the wisdom to bring Ashtanga to Mankato. She has lovingly supported this practice in Mankato for nearly two decades.
- Mel, the teacher with whom I practiced the longest. She was encouraging both physically and mentally. She could spot resistance in the body and knew that the practitioner had to work on more than the physical before the asana could open.
- David Rogers. I only practiced Mysore with him last summer a few times, but I so appreciated his knowledge and style of teaching. He was the one to help me break some of the bad habits I had developed over the years, lol 🙂
- Angela Jamison. I met Angela in 2018 at a workshop held at Ashtanga Yoga Minneapolis. I was hungry for knowledge, having just dedicated myself to a regular Ashtanga practice. I will never forget Angela’s entrance into my life right when I needed it. I just spent another weekend with her and will see her any chance I get.
- David Swenson. David has been a teacher to me for years, albeit only in book form. His practice manual has been my Ashtanga bible for years. It was an honor to take a weekend workshop with him last September.
- Lynn Thomasberg. I first met Lynn in March at an assist workshop at OneYoga. I felt comfortable with her and learned that she and Mel were friends, so of course I liked her right away! I have agreed to do an Ashtanga teaching apprentice program with her this fall and I just started to take Mysore classes with her this summer.