Living in New Zealand has its perks but the downside is that we don't have too many yoga rock stars Down Under. Floating around the house in suburban bliss, I like to seek out captivating orators who teach me what it is to 'do yoga'.
These teachers have all guided me in the philosophy of Dharma destiny or path, and through their word, I am constantly reminded to keep doing what I am doing, to be the best that I can and to never give up.
1. Seane Corne
What a storyteller! (Frankly she makes me jealous!) She can weave her words and bring you to your knees on just about any topic: relationships, commitment, yoga asana and practice, work on and off the mat, child prostitution ... it all makes my life feel a little feeble and makes me want to do service.
She has made me realize that yes, there are bad things in the world, but your job as a yogi is do your best to help heal without being attached to the results. We need to have hope or the world's troubles will eat us up. Besides all this there she can bang out a pretty honest salutation; if you haven't seen it then please take a look.
He is trained as an Ayurvedic practitioner, and has been doing yoga since the age of seven with Iyengar. He's also a neuropath, a body work therapist, and the founder of Purna yoga.
He has gently reminded me to move away from blinkered vision and stand in diversification of my practice, of my teaching, of my viewpoints; because my view point is not THE truth, it is just my truth.
Has been a key player in the integrative health movement. He is the author of Waking, which tells the story of how he has adapted his paraplegia of 28 years into a mind-body approach towards rehabilitation, taking yoga literally beyond the mat. His life story is humbling and he makes you think about what yoga really is once you take away the body. His story helps you believe in the subtle, what you can't see or feel in your yoga practice. He makes me believe that anything is possible. When his Mother was told it was time for her to 'pull the plug' on her very ill son after the tragic car crash, she refused. Why? Because she believed this has all happened for a purpose. This resolute faith encouraged Matthew emerge as a giant.
You can listen to the yoga teachers above and others here.
4. Steve Jobs.
Well, he's not classically a teacher, but he gave a speech I return to time and time again. I admire how he reframed the notion of "we just don't know where our life is heading or why things are happening to us." He's a saviour for me if things are not going quite as I expected. In his speech, he reminds us that if you haven't found what you want to do, keep looking until you discover your purpose, don't settle for anything less.