Reading the stories on Yoga Lineage has brought back such strong memories of Mike, it’s hard to believe I was at the New Zealand School of Yoga more than 20 years ago.
Students and teachers with essential differences can be challenging to each other.
I didn’t fall into that category. I was typically going to four classes a week, and with Mike guiding, my progress in the poses was rapid.
A Mike class was two hours minimum, and a Sunday might stretch to three. Why not? – it was all good for you.
Slacking was verboten. For example, a flexible young lady rises from five minutes of hip work and heads off to the equipment area –
Where Do You Think You’re Going? … You’re Not Telling Me You’ve Been Sitting Doing That For Five Minutes And You Can Still Walk Properly??
The sharp words would have a grin behind them. Young people, eh … my first dozen Virasanas were all followed by an even-sided limp.
“Now everyone go and get a chair”, was greeted by groans from those who saw Chair as a swear word.
In Mike’s class, the shoulder-opening-back-bend-on-the-chair exercise was a contender for most‑hated, yet the haters kept coming back…
Mike seemed determined that each and every person in the room was going to progress. Yoga was so much his life, it was as if he wanted to bring everyone to where he was – and where he was was impressive, as anyone watching him practise could see.
One time, he put me into easy crossed legs (who makes up these names?) and suggested I had a nice treat coming.
Oh boy, I thought, what interesting posture is he going to show me next?
It turned out to be the same thing again. Twice. And for longer.
Standard dry Mike wit, but he got a thirty-something squash player with pretty stiff hips into Padmasana after only eight months.
It was a real treat to start my yoga journey with you, Mike.
“Five hours a day of shoulderstand can cure any disease”