This video is taken from the Ashtanga Yoga Vancouver Documentary which you can view in it's entirety at the Ashtanga Yoga Vancouver Youtube Channel here. I wanted to share it with you this week because it really comes through in this video why Fiona and Greg teach yoga day in and day out. I see them both showing up to not only practice everyday but to teach as well. It's really hard work and you don't do it for the money. They explain what motivates them to keep sharing this practice and the only question I think you need to ask is "how can I find a teacher like this?".
Fiona: I remember after my first trip to Mysore, at the end Greg was there, and we said, "Guruji, there's no teachers where we're from and people want to learn Ashtanga yoga." And Guruji said these words that I'll never forget, he said, "You teach a little of what you know," and those words stayed with me forever.
Greg: This was one of those early experiences that Fiona and I shared. Then we go home and started to talk about whether we had a right to teach and what would we do when we went home. And Pattabhi Jois was very generous in his advice and the advice that he offered was just to teach what we knew, in other words stay humble, but that it's okay to share.
Fiona: If you just share a little bit of what you know, you're still connected to that source. You can't really go wrong.
Greg: That to me was probably one of the guiding principles that I've used as a teacher in my life. I think it really saved me because there is this pressure for new teachers to feel like they know it all or that they have the answers and if not then what are they doing in front of the classroom. And to have that position or that permission to stand in front of a class and not know everything and not feel like you have to present yourself as if you know everything was incredibly liberating.
Fiona: You know what you're doing is coming from this incredible tradition of great yogis and you just keep doing what Guruji taught. You keep sharing a little of what you know, and the people come.
Greg: I don't think that it's anyone's job to police the lineage. What I feel is important is that I constantly check myself and my integrity to make sure that in my heart of hearts that I am passing it on to the best of my ability. If anything, the obligation or the responsibility that I feel is to make it available to absolutely anybody who wants to learn.
Fiona: And to share that therapeutic system of Ashtanga yoga, therapeutic for the body, therapeutic for the mind, therapeutic for the spirit. Whatever the person needs, I feel it's my duty to share that and that's what I'll pretty much keep doing.
Greg: Sometimes I go out of my way, I travel distances to go to teach for very little compensation and these types of things, and to me that all sits very comfortably with the fact that I have received so very much from this tradition, from this lineage. It's sort of paying it back. Paying it forward, let's say.
Fiona: I'm just a conduit, and I'm just teeny. I'm teaching a teeny bit of what I know and I have a lot more to learn, but at least the blessing is to teach a little of what you know.
Find out more about Greg Nardi at Ashtanga Yoga Worldwide
Find out more about Fiona Stang at Ashtanga Yoga Vancouver
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