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The Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco

After 10 yrs. of laughing at others yoga students; debating over the pros and cons of Iyengar, Bikram, Rodney Yee, and Pattabhi Jois; parading into various yoga studios; critiquing the knowledge of yoga teachers; and gloating at my glorious posture in the mirror; I committed myself to the 2yr Advanced Teacher Training Program of the Iyengar Yoga Institute of San Francisco.

Well, a small part of my commitment was attending (for the next two years) a yoga class which would focus on “my posture.”

  • First Class: Friday night from 6 – 9:00pm.
  • Iyengar Yoga Institute
  • 27th Ave & Taraval
  • San Francisco, CA.
As I entered the Iyengar Yoga Institute, I was very unsure & nervous. “Can I do this?” “Two years of devoting myself to one thing?” And being that I had not glanced at the curriculum, I pondered over “who is the teacher?”

As I entered the yoga studio, I nervously set in Virasana. And as I awaited the arrival of the teacher, I glanced around the room. I felt fortunate that there were 6 men in the room. Yet being the only Afro American in the room, I felt insecure. And after viewing the various warm up sequences of the 34 other teachers in training, I realized that my well scripted movie had changed its plot. Things weren’t running as I had planned. And, I contemplated running for the door.

Yet as my 1st quarter yoga teacher appeared. I was assured that I wasn’t the only Afro American Male practicing yoga. Then, for some reason, I felt my well scripted movie was back on course.

But it was the 2nd quarter that brought my greatest awakening . . . . .

16 weeks later, I attended the first day of the 2nd quarter. I had read the curriculum. I understood the protocols. I knew my next yoga teacher’s name. And, I set patiently in Virasana (gloating at my glorious posture).

Soon following, the 2nd quarter asana teacher appeared & we began the yoga sequence. Upon hearing “utthita trikonasana,” I smiled. Finally, a pose that I could do “perfectly.” A pose that would allow me to shine in my own glory. So, I struck a triangle pose. Yet, as the teacher walked around the room, I knew it. I could feel it. She was coming to “speak with me.” And then, it came out. She said, “What are you doing in the Advanced Teacher Training Program?”

The room went silent. My breathing stopped. And, as I stood in utthita trikonasana, tears began to roll from my eyes. So quickly, I ran to the bathroom to cry. And as I sat hyperventilating in the bathroom, I yelled out terrible things. At that particular moment, I felt this yoga teacher had ruined my perfectly scripted movie; insulted my glorious yoga pose; and she embarrassed me in front of 34 of my yoga peers. Therefore, I contemplated tiptoeing out of the bathroom and out the backdoor of the yoga studio, Yet, I needed my shoes – the shoes that were in the yoga studio.

After 10 minutes of hiding, crying, screaming, and crying again, I returned to the yoga studio. I finished the yoga class. And for the next week, I contemplated, “what am I doing in the Advanced Teacher training program?”

And then came my awakening ..

I realized that by asking a simple question, my 2nd quarter teacher stopped the filming of my perfect movie. And for a moment, she had removed “my glorious ego” and had restored humility to my life.
I realized, I was in the advanced teacher training program to learn to stand with integrity and acquire a deeper knowledge of the meaning of Yoga. And in order to stand with integrity and/or practice hatha yoga
  1. I had to quit debating over the pros and cons of various yoga styles;
  2. I had to quit critiquing the knowledge of various yoga teachers.
  3. I had to quit gloating at my self claimed glorious postures.
  4. I had to sit quietly and listen closely.
Well, of the 34 students in the 2yr advanced teacher training program, 7 of us graduated. And now. 6 years later, I still remember that yoga class. I have developed great respect for my second quarter yoga teacher.

Also, I’ve learned that regardless of which practice of Yoga . . . Laya, Mantra, Nada, Raja, Tantra, Bhakti, Hatha, Jnana, or Karma – Yoga begins with the removal of the perfectly scripted movie – allowing the possibility to see clearly – allowing the possibility to learn.

Wishing the best of all possible worlds,
Graduate of the Iyengar Yoga Institute, Yoga Teacher, Tony Eason

Iyengar Yoga Classes with Tony Eason

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