I started learning Hatha Yoga at a time when I thought I was getting older and wanted to stay young: I was only 30 years old. That Christmas Day 1976 B.K.S. Iyengar delivered an address to the International Yoga Teachers Association meeting in India. Now, my truly older self is much stronger, flexible, balanced. With yoga as our "teacher", I want to help other older adults to find better health than they ever expected to have … I have!
Overall, I have come to see how our physical characteristics and shapes mirror what goes on mentally and emotionally, as well as in/on the body. Whether we know it or not, the habits of a lifetime are still with us. Just as we learned to walk, or toddle, learning to balance in defiance of gravity at age one or two years old, watching our parents and others & imitating their stance and gait, this is still going on. When I was very young, say around 7, my father recognized in me a rhythmic ability & from that age & for about the next 7 years, I took dance instruction in all its forms. I loved it, although I was very shy and did not like "performing" as we did every year giving a dance recital for our parents. What I did not understand at the time, however, that I eventually did develop because of the practice of yoga, was good posture and the missing self confidence that made my shyness show on the outside. It was my dance teacher in San Mateo, California that first introduced to our acrobatics class the wonder of yoga stretching... I was only 11 years old and I still relish the memory of that first feeling of what yoga can be.
When I turned 30 years of age, looking for a way to stay youthful, my friend from age 9, Gina & I began a search for some form of exercise that we liked enough to stick with. My dance training as a kid did not have much kick left in it, so after we'd taken a number of classes in modern dance, ballet, folk dancing, etc., we stumbled upon a yoga class with a young man who had just returned from an extended stay in India. He & many others from the West Coast had discovered the genius of B.K.S. Iyengar who was revolutionizing the practice of Hatha Yoga from the university town of Pune. Bill M, our teacher, was a carpenter by trade & was making some of the wooden props that are used in Iyengar-style yoga and he & others in San Francisco like Judith Lasater, Manuso Manos and Richard Rosen were beginning to publish the YOGA JOURNAL under the auspices of the CYTA (California Yoga Teachers Association). That would have been around 1976 or so and I had just begun a business career after having graduated from the University of California at Davis with a BA in French, wanting to go into international business. I remember how my yoga teacher, Bill M, had spoken of his disenchantment with the politics of the yoga community & the business of yoga, but never did I imagine that after 20 years of my own successful business career that I would drop out of that stream and enter into teaching yoga as a means of making a living and serving as a restorative to my soul.