About the Teacher
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 have practiced daily since 2001 : often on a rock at the river in the warmest weather; and in the cold weather, at Richmond City Yoga studio.
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 relaxation; 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 and emotional state is vastly improved.
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 practices on their own between periodic lessons, than it will have on a person who takes a lesson every week for a year but never practices. However, not everyone has a schedule (or inclination) that allows immediate adoption of a new self-practice discipline. My aim is to encourage such exploration, but never mandate it, and approach each session with a desire to help my student exactly according to their present state. Some people may even have health conditions that require my assistance in order to 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 the late Eve C. Painter, who showed 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 many thanks to my darling daughter, Rebecca Norris, for setting up this website.