Australia has in her midst practitioners who have been teaching and doing their art for nearly forty years. What a wealth of experience they bring!
The Yoga Centre would like to honour this work, by hosting two of these foundational teachers in 2016. I welcome them as colleagues and people who have journeyed on the road.
Australia was one of the earliest countries to host BKS Iyengar. Martin Jackson, and John Leebold and others were in India studying with Iyengar before he came to Australia in 1983.
As you can imagine the spirit that makes Australia particular: its free spiritedness; mavericks maybe; but true blueness are the qualities that many of early teachers brought to the yoga mat.
It is because they have forged their own path, that they became self reliant and resilient, bringing life and meaning to their practice. Why would you do it every day if it does not show a way of living and thinking that decides and animates your life?
Most travelled to India yearly, started their small schools, tried to support families as they oriented themselves and their students into the strange and countercultural world of yoga.
Our community in Australia has been built on the work of these early teachers.
Australians have a habit of not recognising what is their own. Iyengar said we were ‘chippy’, that we came from a convict culture and that we still behaved in this way, defensively. We do not recognise our own.
Teachers are now being invited from around the world to shed light. But what has always been particular to Australia and her teachers is that we are a practicing culture. We did it on our mat and we noticed that this is not how other countries worked. They had a workshop culture, and students went more to workshops to learn than to their mat. But we felt a practice was the core of a yoga life.
I think this closed-door culture is what gave us faith. We had to work our various problems through, on all levels and this gave us a belief in the power of yoga and in the practice as a way of life. I do not mean this in an unrealistic way, that we will not age, or get ill. We go to a place each day and learn about life and ourselves. Nothing special, our bodies get sick and maybe recover, our relationships strain and sometimes they recover. There is a way through and we learn slowly to clean our own windscreens so we can see more clearly. That is all.
Come and enjoy and learn from my colleagues as they share their live times work with you.
Alan Goode has been practicing Yoga for 40 years and teaching for more than 30 years. He lives and teaches in Canberra, Australia where his school Yoga Mandir provides a progressive learning environment for the study of asana, pranayama and Yoga philosophy.
Alan will be teaching a Weekend Workshop, Professional Development and give a free lecture at The Yoga Centre in May 20 – 22.
Read more and register here