About The Teacher
Photo: Todd Hale
In the school of Ashtanga Yoga, daily practice really means 5-6 days a week; traditionally, one practices every day except Saturday, new moon and full moon. I’m not very traditional, but I do practice daily: mainly outdoors in the warm weather; and in the cold weather, usually at the local Ashtanga studio, on their traditional early morning schedule.
I expect that my status should naturally evolve from yoga teacher into that of yoga-practice facilitator, and then simply to that of a yoga friend. People who invite me to their homes I refer to as my yoga students, only because it seems more appropriate than calling them clients. My goal is to help students learn the detailed practice, as specifically as their bodies and minds will allow, and in ways that are pleasant for learning and practicing. The discipline of yoga is practiced with equal parts effort and surrender; the process and the results are inherently both uplifting and grounding, inspiring and pleasing. Consistent practice naturally promotes flexibility, strength, balance, detoxification, clarity, patience, and a sense of connectedness to nature: one’s overall physical state is vastly improved.
Photo: Todd Hale
My intention, from the very first Introductory Lesson and Demonstration, is to convey the practice as I have learned it: from many great teachers, from my own consistently sustained practice, and from my experience of observing others. You can begin your own daily practice immediately after the first lesson, just ten minutes per day initially, but growing over time as energy and inclination admit.
The yoga will have a greater effect on a person who takes one lesson with me and then begins doing a ten-minute daily practice (and maybe never sees me again!), than it will have on a person who takes three lessons a week for a year but never practices. With the exception of health conditions that require my assistance in order to practice, I am available to teach only people who want to experiment with a schedule of daily practice.
I am deeply thankful for the opportunity to practice and teach yoga – to Sri T Krishnamacharya and Pattabhi Jois for devoting their lives to spreading this yoga, and to all the teachers with whom I have studied. I am grateful to each of my private-lesson students – these are the people who make it possible for me to teach yoga as my occupation, as well as to teach yoga at the jail. I am grateful to Sheriff Woody and Chaplain Pruitt for giving me in the inmates a steady supply of interesting people in great need of helping themselves by learning this practice. And I am grateful for the spirited support over the years of my family and friends, who with their love make my life beautiful. Special thanks to Eve C. Painter, who has shown great enthusiasm for my work and took many of the photographs used in this site, and to Walter Coppedge, for his valuable help editing my text. Thanks to photographer and artist Todd Hale for taking all of the solo photos of me practicing. And thanks to Jere Kittle for building this site.