New York Teachers Talk, by Donna Amrita Davidge
Recently I attended an evening for Yoga teachers in New York City with Rod Stryker. I had heard his name and had seen his mentions in yoga magazines for years. When well-known yoga instructors like Ana Forest and Rodney Yee have come to NY to teach NY teachers I have eagerly attended to see what more I could learn about Yoga and teaching.
That evening proved to be interesting and a surprise. Rod came in wearing blue jeans and an Indian looking dress shirt. He certainly did not look dressed to demonstrate or lead us into a vigorous physical practice of Yoga. Instead he spent the evening speaking with us about what Yoga was, why we had all gotten involved in it and how our involvement, and that of the millions of others practicing yoga in the United States today, could be a collective chance to shift the consciousness of our planet and our country.
He also shared with us his own personal story of how his physical body had expressed itself to him when he was working too hard, teaching too hard and going through a shift that was causing a lot of stress in his life, that being gaining full custody of his young twin boys. With them he had continued to travel the globe teaching and the result was that his adrenals and life force became exhausted. This acclaimed teacher had been humbled from an active athletic yoga practice to doing something he had never imagined, beginning a therapeutic slow restorative yoga practice to heal himself and this life back on track. It was an insightful and inspiring evening.
When Rod asked the group why we had started Yoga, many of the teachers said it had started as a physical practice that then led them to meditation (mental) and spiritual practice. Rod’s experience pointed out again to me how Yoga can help refine and even define our own Art of Living, which is constantly changing, growing and in flux.
We live in a time, as Rod Stryker suggested, where the collective human consciousness can be shifted by use of all these tools which are so available to us.
Donna Amrita Davidge has been teaching Kundalini Yoga in NY City since 1985. www.sewallhouse.com