When I decided to try yoga in 1986 I was living in Chicago. Although there were a number of studios there wasn’t the plethora that now exists and I quickly realized that the long travel times to many studios would lead to skipping lots of classes. As soon as I decided I wanted to find someplace closer I parked across the alley from my apartment building and when I stepped up on the curb I found myself staring at a sign on the door in front of me: “Hatha Yoga, Tuesdays 6:30 p.m.”
Well, that was close enough! I didn’t know enough about yoga to know that there are different styles (less then than now) or how to distinguish whether one might suit me more than another and it didn’t occur to me to research the teacher (for you young ones, I couldn’t have googled it, most people didn’t even have a computer then and the internet barely existed). It just felt right and I showed up the next Tuesday and began my love affair with yoga.
The teacher was Bill Hunt, who’d practiced for about a dozen years at the time and taught on the side from another job. He was studying with Goswami Kriyananda (Temple of Kriya Yoga) and became a swami while I studied with him. I’ve taken other classes—including a then-famous Yoga Journal teacher (my least favorite ever)–and followed various TV teachers like Lilias and picked up many tapes and DVDs. Bill Hunt has remained the best yoga teacher I ever encountered.
I attended his classes faithfully for five years, even twice a week whenever he offered a second class, including through the nine months of teacher training at the Temple of Kriya Yoga (he taught some of that too). If I hadn’t moved away I’d still be taking his classes. Bill is now the director of Oak Park Yoga in Oak Park, IL.
I feel the universe sent me the perfect teacher at the perfect time and place and it changed my life. My instinct, when I saw that sign on the door was that I’d found the right class. If I’d second-guessed myself and searched for more classes or hesitated I might have turned off to yoga or have never started. When instinct and all the elements come together, magic happens if you pay attention and say yes.
- Yoga Journal Magazine: $3.99 per Year! (livingrichwithcoupons.com)
- Kriya Yoga: Supercharge Your Spirituality. ~ Auren Kaplan (elephantjournal.com)
- An Introduction to Kriya Yoga (moonladyyoga.wordpress.com)