June 2009, Mysore, India.
In June 2009, forty practitioners from around the world met for the first teacher intensive held in Mysore, India. As we gathered at our introductory meeting, Sharath told us that Guruji should have been teaching this course. It was just a few weeks since Guruji had passed on to another life. I expected an emotional, tear filled trip in Mysore. As I practiced that first day in the Shala, the smell of jasmine flowers filled each inhalation. In front of me on the altar was a huge version of the Guruji picture we have at the shala where I teach and practice in Vancouver. This photo was adorned with garlands of jasmine. And there were Guruji's eyes, staring at me. When I turned to the right, another Guruji photo gazed at me. He was everywhere in the Shala, hanging from the walls. Every day during those six weeks began with offerings of jasmine garlands for Guruji. The month spent with Sharath and the other forty Ashtanga Yoga teachers was a beautiful journey down memory lane, a look at Guruji's timeless teachings, and a reminder to continue to spread his knowledge. The smell of jasmine now ignites another beautiful reminder of Guruji in my mind. Sharath urged us that we now must share Guruji's knowledge for he is no longer with us to teach. For all of us who have been transformed by Guruji or by the threads of Guruji's knowledge handed down through lineage and tradition from teachers and students, we must share these teachings with others. Many years back, Guruji told me, "you teach a little of what you know." So when I show up in wee hours of the Vancouver mornings, I show up to share some of what Guruji gave me. His teachings will remain alive through communities sharing his teachings with each other.