Grad Rosemary recently asked me what my yoga lineage was after attending a workshop with Judith Lasater, who advised student to ‘know your lineage’. It’s a great question, but a bit of a tough one for me (and for many yoga teachers these days) because we don’t necessarily stick with one teacher or one tradition or follow a structured lineage in the manner of the more traditional forms of yoga. For me, I started with Sivananda Yoga, and then explored Bikram for a time, many years of Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow, and have also been strongly influenced by many forms of Yoga Therapy, metaphysics, and meditation. Who are my teachers? That’s even harder to answer these days – my first yoga teacher Gita is always present in my practice, but I haven’t work with her for over a decade. Since then I have practiced with some amazing teachers including Chuck Miller, Maty Ezraty, Danny Paradise, David Robson, Diane Bruni, and many more…but none of these skillful teachers would I call ‘my teacher’. I guess the yoga teacher I work with the most right now is me. I guide my practice each day, hold a space for my meditation, challenge myself to learn new things, and challenge myself to stay true to old things too.
The other important teacher I work with these days is you. In my journey I came to a point where, for me to to learn more about yoga, I needed to teach yoga. Having the opportunity to train people to become yoga instructors has probably been my greatest teacher, practice, and journey so far. To be able to see and experience yoga from so many varied perspectives has taught me more than a lifetime of asana could ever do. To hear the philosophies and practices of yoga lived, experienced, expressed and reflected by my students has been a tremendous learning experience, and one that keeps me continually exploring yoga from so many viewing points that I could not have even conceived of without my students to show me. To see, honour, and learn from each person’s unique experience of Yoga on their mats, in their lives, and in their relationship to Self has been such an amazing gift…
So, I can’t really answer the question simply – my lineage is everyone who has touched my life, and my teacher is Yoga. I am my teacher. You are my teacher. And most of all, life is my teacher.
Thanks for the question Rose, it’s been an awesome thing to reflect on. Now, how about all of you? How would you map out your yoga lineage these days?