A new super market has opened on the route Eri and I take on our way home from the studio. I went in for the first time the other week and rediscovered Ben & Jerry`s ice cream and a whole treasure box of memories…
When I moved to San Francisco in 2002 I was soon guided to my first long-term yoga teacher. His name was Jamie Lindsay. I took his classes twice a week at Yoga Loft. One class was called Vinyasa, composed of flowing sequences of poses where-in alignment was emphasized, and we often did abdominal work and balancing of both the leg and hand types. I cannot recall the day. However, the other class was every Wednesday evening, 7:30-9:30pm. That class was an Iyengar level 3-5 class. Though I enjoyed the Vinyasa classes, I loved the Wednesday evening classes. The practices were always creative, methodical and challenging. I think that was the only class I ever attended where we did inversions of various types in every practice.
Jamie also taught shatkarma and pranayama practices in that Iyengar class. It was during those practices that I first experienced a palpable connection with the chakras of the throat and the eyebrow center. In Jamie`s classes I was able to ask tons of questions and he was always patient and thorough in his answering of those questions. His easeful mannerism, depth of knowledge, depth of experience and directness were qualities I sought to discover and refine within myself as both a teacher and as a practitioner of Yoga.
So what does this have to do with Ben & Jerry`s?
After each Wednesday class he and I would often talk because of course I had even more questions. Very naturally we began to have that talk as we walked to a nearby convenience market to purchase a pint of Ben & Jerry`s each. Often my choice would be the Chunky Monkey.
I have very fond memories of Jamie`s teaching, the great group of practitioners I met in his class and, of course, the Chunky Monkey.
Though my Japan-sized Chunky Monkey is one-third the size of the pint of ice cream I used to consume, it still elicits huge feelings of happiness and gratitude for those two years of amazing classes under Jamie`s guidance. There are still many things I received from Jamie that I teach in my more advanced classes, workshops and Teacher Transformation courses.
Jamie and my paths diverged a few years after my time studying so intensely with him. We crossed paths for the last time at a mutual friend`s party, a couple who I met in his class, a few months prior to my departure for Japan.
When we met that last time I was very happy to see him again. We talked a little bit about our personal lives, but of course talk turned to Yoga. At that time I had begun studying meditation and Shaiva Tantra with Paul Muller-Ortega. In our mutual friend`s kitchen Jamie excitedly spoke of a text that had recently caught his attention and ignited his passion for study. In his words a most interesting book called the Shiva Sutras. This was a book Paul had mentioned, a text I would find myself undertaking an immersive ongoing study that still continues today.
On the walk home after the party, I recall feeling even more enthusiastic about my study with Paul because of my conversation with Jamie. The teacher still had the power to profoundly affect the student in a beneficial way long after formal study had ceased.
I aspire to be that kind of teacher.
Jamie, wherever you are in this world, I wish You many blessings for a life that is filled with the wonder and delight that your classes imbued in me.
Namaste, my Dear Teacher.