Sunday, October 28, 2012

Great Souls live among us

I returned home early this morning from a two-day Yoga Alliance Leadership Conference in Palm Springs.  What stands out the most for me as I reflect upon the weekend were all the amazing and wonderful people who I met. People that are so dedicated to the practice and business of yoga in the United States. These are people who are yogi's in all areas of their life.  They are flowing with integrity and with the joy of living.  They are alive and vibrant.  The prana moves forcefully through them all and it shines through their eyes and smiles.  They are yogi's in how they run their businesses, how they develop relationships in their lives, and how they interact with the world at large.  Oh, and they're pretty good at practicing poses on the mat too!

There are 6 people in particular that I want to share with you.  Two of these people I knew before I went - but now I know better.  One person I knew of - a facebook friend, but we never met until this weekend.  And three people who were unknown to me before the weekend, but now are destined to be intertwined in my dharmic journey

Two I knew - but now know better:

Baxter Bell, MD - Many people know Baxter as he is a nationally recognized yoga authority, teacher, author, blogger and wonderful musician.  I truly saw Baxter's joy for living and child-like energy when the after-lunch cookies came out and he grabbed three.  Baxter continues to travel throughout the country and to local studios offering solid yoga to a hungry community.

Diane Valentine -  Diane is a loving, caring yogi.  A cancer-survior, studio owner and daily practitioner she quietly goes about her practice.  She knows that constant practice will bring the results.  Diane has a wonderful story which I hope all can read about some day.  Diane??  That's you're hint to get the outline on the book done this week (hint, hint).

One I sort of knew - but finally met:

Cora Wen-  Cora is an international yoga teacher who offers 500-hour yoga trainings among other yogic services.  Cora, orginally born and raised in Hong Kong, became a very high-powered commercial banker prior to turning to yoga to heal.  Cora is driven and passionate and is committed in the deepest recesses of her heart to insure that the purest yogic traditions and practices are preserved for future generations.  Soon she'll be off to Asia including the countries of Malasia and Bhutan.

Three I never knew but know now:

Bhava Ram is a former war correspondent who after a broken-back, failed surgery and stage-4 cancer dove deep into the abyss where many never return.  Yet, Bhava Ram found yoga and has truly been reborn.  I am honored to call him my brother and my new found friend.

Joan Dwyer - Joan understands.  Those two words say so much to me.  Joan lives in Rhode Island and started her yoga business and healing center "All that Matters" in 1995 and in 17 years has become the spiritual, economic and community hub of her Downtown in Wakefield, RI.   She understands the practical application of spiritual principles in a way I've never seen.  She realizes that each person's vision is the seed to their creation and joy.  She is a mother of five grown children and she's seen it all in operating a healing business.

Scott Klienfield - Scott exemplifies the yogic tradition of discernment combined with ananda (bliss).  He is a sharp, insightful business man who deeply examines truth.  That could be the truth in what your students are telling you, the truth about what your numbers and trends tell you about your business - or the truth about whether your practice is honest or not.   Scott completed his "Life of a Yogi" training with Sri Dharma Mittra.  Scott is a very smart young man with a very solid yoga practice. I'm looking forward to get to know Scott more in the future.

Each of these 6 people moved me deeply and have already had a profound impact on my life.  They make me realize that great souls live among us - and are us.  We share a common joy and we all face our demons and challenges - but as yogi's - we face them with grace, dignity and with the practice and incredible power of yoga.

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