What key teachings and styles influenced how you teach?
My answer could be applied to how I practice too. All good teaching comes out of practice, when we get into practice, and what we’re doing it rises out of our direct experiences, within the body.
The First style that really influenced me was Chi gong and tai chi, influenced how I understand yoga and yoga asana, the energy practice of yoga. I spent many years practice martial arts and these styles. From there I got into Iyengar yoga first of all. There where aspects of that that I really appreciated, and some aspects that I found unhelpful. I then met a lady dressed in orange who asked me if I wanted to go deeper into yoga, and I said yes; she then gave me a phone number, which I called and that became my first teachers. Swami Pragyamurti changed my life. The 12 years engagement I had with her was profound in terms of what I learnt and how I understand yoga.
I then went to India and practiced many, many styles, including Japanese Yoga. Another key style of yoga that I got into was Ashtanga Vinyasa, and I worked with Pattabhi Jois and his family in Lakshmipuram in South Mysore, back in the old days, when the Shala was very small. I also worked with other key Ashtanga Vinyasa teachers including John Scott, Richard Freedman, Lino Miele, Danny Paradise was another teacher I worked with quiet a lot, and many many other teachers. There are many styles within the Ashtanga Vinyasa style, and within this I worked with BNS Iyengar in Mysore, and Shushadri, many many teachers. So Ashtanga was a very big part of my experience and my understanding of how to practice. A full vinyasa, was my daily practice for about 12 years.
I’ve worked with the Vajrayna schools of Tibet (Tantric Buddhism), Vipassana meditation and many aspects of tantric practice, from mantra, to working with yantra and neotantra.
More recently Structural bodywork and more therapeutic practices have been a big influence in how I teach. I am a certified structural body worker so I bring in work with fascia. I am trained in hypno-psychotherapy, so I have an understanding from a psychotherapeutic perspective also.
So, many influences shape how I understand what it is to be a human being and all yoga really is is different enquiries into this question. Who are we? What are we doing here? What’s this all about? How it is to be a human being on planet earth? These are the enquiries I bring into my teaching from all these different lineages, and different methods and styles.