Nobbys Yoga - Life Story continued...2015
Since I shared my yoga story back in 2012, there have been some Ah-Ha moments worth sharing. I just want to remind readers that this is simply my take not necessarily following the conventional yoga teachings.
Nobbys Yoga - Life Story 2012
As I remember it, this is my account of my yoga journey that started back in 1981 in Dayton, Ohio.
I was introduced to yoga because my small circle of friends was involved with yoga. My first encounter with a nationally-known teacher was with Sam Dworkis at the Holiday Inn in Springfield, Ohio in 1982. To this day, I remember him with his overflowing energy, smiling from ear to ear, in a squatting position, wearing a black tank shirt. I did not know anything about yoga except for doing various poses, but he got me hooked on yoga. From the get go, I felt deep inside of me that yoga was more than doing poses. For the next several years, I attended his workshops as often as I was able, while having my career as a system analyst for a large corporation.
Shortly after I met Sam, I was introduced to yoga activities in Yellow Springs, Ohio. Through Yellow Springs, in the early 1980s, I started attending Judith Lasater’s workshops. I have the utmost respect for her teaching and, as long as she continues to hold her workshops, I plan to attend. Though I now reside in Missouri, I make frequent visits to Yellow Springs for workshops sponsored by Patricia Schneider – my homecoming trips.
As fortune would have it, in the fall of 1989, I was asked to take over a yoga class in Yellow Springs. Then my main yoga teacher, Sam Dworkis, encouraged me to take on the challenge. I called my yoga class, “Nobby’s Kindergarten of Yoga”. Today, it is still called the same, and I have learned many reasons why we want to be kindergarten students. For one, in my yoga practice, I remind myself to be a beginner with an empty mind to receive whatever I am ready to receive.
In the late 1980s, I embarked on a new training for Trager Technique. However, during my third level of the certification process, I decided to suspend my training and instead, realizing I needed to improve my body awareness, focused on yoga. From the Trager Technique experience, however, I chose to take with me to my yoga practice Milton Trager’s quote, “What could be even lighter, softer and freer”. I made it my mission to search for a lighter, softer and freer way in my yoga practice – I am still on this mission.
In the summer of 1991, I spent a month at the Kripalu Yoga Center in teacher’s training. How fortunate I was to have a manager who allowed me to take time off from work providing I spent a limited time on the phone each day supporting the system for which I was responsible. I suppose it was the beginning of virtual office which is so common today. Kripalu was a dream place to submerge in yoga life. When we completed the training, there were many tearful eyes not wanting to leave that ideal place to do yoga. But I was ready to return to the world to begin sharing my experience as a certified yoga teacher. Near the completion of certification, we were asked to write a letter to our self, and this is what I wrote:
Together, let’s have the journey of our lives.
We’ll travel toward lighter ourselves.
We’ll travel carrying the LIGHT shining through us, so that,
the rest of the world can see us.
Simply, let the world see who we are.
Together, we’ll make all things our new experience.
We’ll live for new experience each moment of our lives.
We’ll have so much to live for – won’t we?
Let’s HAVE FUN with what we do.
Let’s SHINE like nobody’s business.
Let’s LIVE each moment of our lives to the fullest.
We, Nobby, will have the time of our lives together.
Throughout my teaching experience, I have tried my best to live up to this letter I wrote. My intention has been, and always will be, to make the yoga experience available to all.
Not long after I returned from teacher’s training, one of my yoga students introduced me to the Alexander Technique. She said to me, “watching how you teach, you might be interested in this technique.” Without any prior knowledge, I dove into the technique. Today, I call myself a big fan of the Alexander Technique. Since 1992, I have continued my study by attending a workshop each summer.
Around 1992, again through Yellow Springs in Ohio, I was introduced to Angela Farmer and Victor Van Kooten from Greece. Ever since, at every opportunity, I have attended their workshops in Yellow Springs. Among other things, they helped open my eyes through their program called, “Teacher’s Un-training”.
In the spring of 2000, our family moved to a little town, Owensville, Missouri with a population of 2500 plus. Needless to say, in order to spread the practice of yoga, I had to reach out to nearby communities. As it turned out, I received the unexpected blessing of meeting varying students from all backgrounds and different social makeup. Also, here in Owensville, I have started weekly chair yoga for people unable to get up and down from the floor. In one respect, it is nothing like yoga, but on the other hand, it is everything about yoga. I have learned so much about the hidden meaning of yoga from this class; as an example, yoga is all about getting connected.
Pursuing a lighter, softer, and freer approach to yoga practice brought me to Tai Chi practice. Because I just started taking class in September of 2012, I don’t claim to know anything yet, but again, something deep inside of me tells me that I am on the right path. I am finding out that this ancient practice naturally brings mindfulness to my practice. I am just scratching the surface, but I am becoming aware of the richness and depth of this work.
It seems as though I have found three practices that are completely compatible. By deepening my practice in all three areas and by doing my best to integrate these three practices, I feel I can offer a very unique yoga class.
Many students have came and gone ending up pursuing other modalities. My dream is that one day I am able to refine my teaching skills such that I can meet each student’s need no matter what they bring to my yoga class. I realize I have a long way to go to reach my goal, and for now I live the questions trusting that the answer will come in the future.
Live the Questions Now:
I would like to beg you dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.
By Rainer Maria Rilke -
Through my practice of yoga, I have been blessed to meet countless number of teachers, yoga teachers, Alexander Technique teachers, Tai Chi teachers, and many others. Most of all, throughout the years, I have been blessed to have shared my yoga experience with numerous students, and they have taught me so much. I am very grateful for the opportunity – they are indeed my true teachers. In the years to come, my wish is to continue expressing my gratitude in the class. For my students, I don’t have all the answers, but I invite you to practice yoga with me and sometime in the future will be an answer you have been looking for.