To Mike - my wonderful yoga teacher
If it wouldn’t be for you I would never be where I am now. You taught me everything I know, you challenged me and you motivated me and most of all you always believed in me.
I started doing yoga at the NZ School of Yoga in 2010. I was still in the mood of going once a week, as I had a rather busy lifestyle and social life. Mike told me if I wanted to achieve something I’ve got to practice a minimum of 3x times a week. How on earth was I gonna do that? I didn’t have time for practice that often, especially not on a Sunday morning at 10am! Well I got the bug and it didn’t take long until I was there 3x a week including the Sunday mornings and a week after having appendicitis. After about 3 months I moved over to the general practice group and one evening Mike came up to me and asked me, if I’d want to become a teacher. I thought he must talking to someone else. There is no way I was good enough! I think I’ll never forget the moment when I realised he was talking to me. He said it’s not about where you are at with you practice, that’s something that will progress naturally along the way. According to him I had the drive and talent to stand in front of people and to teach them. So even though this is never ever what I dreamed of doing I accepted the challenge. After all, what did I have to lose? Nothing… And I’m so glad he did ask me that evening. He was teaching me for a year to become a teacher and he did it with passion and patience. I’ve learned so much from him especially that can’t do simply does not exist. You might not master something straight away, so you practice until you are able to and learn about your body and your mind along the way. It’s crazy how much of a difference the head makes! One key experience I had withe Mike is now a couple of years ago. I came in at lunchtime to do some practice and as I was sitting in baddha konasana my hip popped. Not just a little bit, it was a huge POP. I thought I couldn’t get up anymore. I finished practice as much as I was able to and went back to the office, limping going up with the lift as the stairs were no option. The meeting I had, I had to attend standing as I was in that much pain. I went back to the studio of course but only did asanas in which I couldn’t feel any pain. Mike was so excited about my hip popping, I think it was the highlight of the year! He said my hip opened and that it was huge progress! Well it didn’t feel that way in that moment. I was willing to do something but not yet to work with the pain. He tried to give me asanas I was supposed to do but I wasn’t ready yet. The pain was just too intense. Anyway, I ended up not going to the studio for about a week, not because I was avoiding it but because ‘life got in the way’ which to be fair, is very unusual for me. Anyway on Tuesday evening I came in early to do a bit of practice before teaching and Mike shows up. I always used to be on my own on Tuesdays, so I was rather surprised to see him. He acted all like, I’ve forgotten something etc and ah yeay haven’t seen you in quite some time, wasn’t sure you were coming... but in actual fact he was checking if I was still practicing. We agreed that I should do the asanas he was wanting to give to me for over a week and surprise surprise they helped and i was better in no time. And yep, the hip was way more open once the pain had gone and believe it or not I wish my other side would do the same!
Well my dear Mike, my knees are still not down in baddha konasana, even though I practice my favourite pose 5x a week but I’ve got my own little yoga studio now, something you always told me to get. I would have never been able to integrate myself so well back into Switzerland, making new friends if it wouldn’t have been for yoga. You don’t know how often I quote you ;-) So I’ll be forever grateful for having been your pupil for nearly five years. You’ll always be my inspiration and you’ll be my teacher forever.