I 'discovered' yoga when I was twenty years old, and back then (in 1990) yoga was not the mainstream pseudo-spiritual fitness industry it has become today. Yoga was and is a spiritual tradition of which asana is a small, but important, aspect. Yoga is at the heart of the world's great religions including hinduism, buddhism, jainism and is referenced in their sacred texts.
Over more than two decades I have travelled to India and around the country and world to seek out, study and learn from contemporary masters of yoga. Each of these teachers offered an intelligent and meaningful system, or interpretation of the classical hatha, raja, bhakti or tantra systems, and conveyed immense personal power and charisma even in their humility and commitment to service to others.
Each of these teachers had the capacity to awaken a yearning for yoga and truth in the hearts and minds of their students. I respect each of these teachers and honour the knowledge and teachings they cultivated in their lifetime - through the gradual assimilation into my life and work as a teacher. Even those teachings and practice I chose to let go of have shaped my understanding of what yoga is (or perhaps what it is not!).
I am grateful for their gentle (sometimes harsh) lessons and wisdom and today on this day, Guru Purnima, honour these great masters of yoga, especially those of the Sivananda lineage. Guru Purnima is the full moon day in the month of Ashadha (July) and is a Hindu Festival, honouring this ancient lineage of enlightened masters.
I can honestly say that one of the purest, greatest, yet most unassuming teachers of yoga I know of, is right here in Perth at Kookaburra Creek and is the great soul I am blessed to share my life and spiritual journey with.
Robert lives his life in complete service to others and has been a faithful and true student, practitioner and teacher of yoga his whole life. His knowledge is immense and I see him apply this wisdom, not only in the context of running our yoga school and sharing generously with students, but in every aspect of life.
In another lifetime he may have been a yogic ascetic meditating in a Himalayan cave at the feet of his Guru - such is his immersion in and commitment to sadhana. In this lifetime it his dharma to live a worldly life, as a father, husband, social worker and teacher, fully understanding and appreciating human nature in the context of the modern world, to convey yogic truths in a way which is assessable, meaningful, kind and relevant.
His heart truly overflows with love and care for everyone who walks through our doors. After all these years my respect and awe at his wisdom and capacity to give and share increases. I am eternally grateful for the life we share.