When I first considered wanting to be a yoga instructor there wasn't much on offer in New Zealand . The year was 1996 where Auckland only had, to my knowledge, three formal yoga studios and only one offering trainings. I had already been practicing for 6 years before I decided to embark full time on the yogic journey. I started practicing in 1989 with very little direction and guidance and after arriving back to New Zealand from the UK I sought out teachers and schools that would support and evolve my goal. This is when I first encountered Mike and the New Zealand School of Yoga.
My first impressions of Mike were mixed, on one hand he was formidable and scary and then on the other hand he was just scary! Actually all joking aside he was a true teacher showing compassion when needed and being overly direct when his students needed encouragement.
I had discovered through Mike's eyes that yoga wasn't just a practice it was "life". His passion and energy for teaching and sharing was addictive and contagious, I would often attend his early morning self practices which started a 5.45am both out of fear (as at this stage I was working for him) and more importantly wanting to learn as Mike's knowledge on the subject of yoga was immense. I would also attend in the early days his Sunday sessions, a yoga practice that regularly ran for 3 hours. At times after these marathon sessions I did not even have the strength in my legs to cycle home.
Over the years I have witnessed New Zealand yoga grow. The speed it has evolved has been both impressive and slightly disconcerting (this is my purist side talking). Subsequently I have had the privilege of experiencing many styles and teachers since I first set foot into Mike's class. He was a significant influence and I still remember Mike's energy and dry sense of humor that more than once I have tried to emulate without success. I have had the pleasure and pain to have been introduced to yoga in an era when it was still in its infancy. To this day many years after I began l still have a deep sense of gratitude towards Mike. My very first true yoga teacher who started me on my way.
Mike I never did get a chance to thank you for challenging me to grow as a person and as a teacher.
Thank you Mike.
Warmest regards and take good care,