I’m a relative newcomer to the practice of yoga. I started with Bikram about a year ago and navigated my way through several different traditions until I discovered ashtanga. In my ongoing search for the “right” practice, I’ve tried a lot of different classes and a lot of different teachers. There was the Iyengar instructor who poked me in the back when I did something incorrectly, and the anusara teacher who never showed up. The Bikram-aholic who clapped with enthusiasm when a student vomitted. (“You’re purging!!”) Currently, I’m studying under two different teachers in Paris. One is a veritable gumby of a fellow who performs meta massages with his didjeredoo. The other, a lighthearted yogi who loves to sing in English. His CD’s always skip.
The other day after a particularly good class, a friend of mine asked me about the teacher. “Do you think he…drinks?” I had to laugh because I’d been wondering the same thing every Sunday. What, exactly, did our limber guru do with himself after each class? Did he have a life outside of the studio? I was determined to find out. A good yoga teacher is a role model, physically and emotionally. Through their actions, they help us develop a better side of ourselves, and heck, we give them a lot! Our sweat, our tears, our stiff and stubborn hamstrings. But what do we know about the voice that hovers above us, this person we look, quite literally up to, for an hour and a half at a time?
In an effort to move closer to the teachers that move us, I’m launching a series of interviews with teachers that rock. Readers, are you ready? Inhale. Exhale. It’s time to meet Mark.