Dear Friends & Family,
I hope you’re thriving, safe and well. Above all, you have my best wishes for finding a degree of normalcy in your life despite the tragedies we are currently experiencing. “Normal” these days includes a landscape of extremes everywhere. Greed, injustice, inequality and evil acts permeate the globe. Dis-ease seems to be the order of the day. How do we find a better way? What can we do to remedy these ills? I can’t give you direct answers but I can share what helps me cope. I hang on by looking for the good wherever I can find it. I seek out those whose acts of kindness, generosity and creativity serve to counteract the negativity. This is what anchors me.
Sadhana, Sanskrit for spiritual practice, is another way by which I stay positive. The importance of meditation and staying fit and healthy are paramount. I structure my life around this practice. My monthly themes highlight the necessity of having something on which to focus. I suggest these as ways to help you, too.
As I piece together sections of my memoir, I’ve done a great deal of reflection on both my parents and their influence on my life. Especially my father, relative to my relationships – to the men with whom I’ve been personally involved, as well as those who’ve mentored and taught me on this journey. With Father’s Day around the corner, I want to honor them with respectful recollection. I've learned from all of them.
With the above in mind, I’ve come up with mastery as June’s theme. I’ve always sought the best teachers – masters at what they do. I’ve had many and continue to engage with those whose knowledge, dedication and expertise I aspire to emulate. Although my training in both dance and yoga has been eclectic, I’ve benefitted most from techniques which focus on classical alignment with a therapeutic bent.
In the late seventies I was introduced to the teachings of B.K.S. Iyengar (1918 – 2014), considered one of the foremost yoga gurus in the world. Iyengar is credited with popularizing yoga globally and his method spoke to me.
I had been dancing ballet for years to remedy the asymmetry from the residual effects of polio which I’d contracted as a child. I let go of my ballet training and wholeheartedly embraced Iyengar’s techniques.
I trained with many Iyengar teachers in Los Angeles. Additionally and much to my elation, I attended trainings with Iyengar himself at his institute in Pune, India. This experience served as a turning point in the trajectory of my spiritual path moving forward.
However, I strayed from the Iyengar world for a period of time. I missed dance and I wanted to explore other mind-body practices. Regardless, the connection I felt with the Iyengar work has always been held in my heart.
Subsequently, I rebooted my yoga training with Carolyn Belko, director of Iyengar Yoga Source in San Diego and a senior Iyengar teacher. I’ve been benefitting from her tutelage as well as the expertise of her equally dedicated staff for several years now. I feel as though I’ve come home.
I hope you reflect upon your teachers and masters, the techniques which you’ve learned and those which sustain you – in body, mind and spirit.
“Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame. Do not aim low, you will miss the mark. Aim high and you will be on a threshold of bliss.”
– B.K.S. Iyengar