A Yogi in the Midwest

I read found this wonderful post from the lovely Heather over at “the view from my mat” and it got me thinking.  (Go read the article, I’ll wait! Cracking The Cliche: What Yogis Aren’t.)

I have been practicing yoga for almost ten years at this point and it’s carried me through a lot of stages in my life.

For a lot of years, I did yoga because it felt good, it was fun, it was something I seemed to have a natural inclination for, it got me out of the house…etc.  I’ve met a lot of cool teachers, found some really great styles (if only Bikram the man wasn’t such a poor role model….I love his yoga) and definitely crashed through some barriers both mentally and physically.

It wasn’t until recently, however, when I met my current yoga teacher, Bernie, that I really started to “get” why I do yoga.

He is one of the warmest, most trustworthy and solid yoga instructors I’ve ever had.  He challenges you spiritually and physically but he doesn’t feel the need to intimidate or punish you for taking a break, getting a drink or being 30 seconds late to class.  He holds you to a certain level of expectation and motivates you to do your personal best.  The true magic of Bernie and of all good teachers, though, is that he makes you want to do your best.

So, if you’re in Kansas City or passing through and you get a chance, come to one of his classes.  You can find him in one of the last places people expect–at a gym.  He doesn’t teach in a patchouli scented, buddha adorned Studio…instead he teaches in a retro, 70’s decorated, bright orange and shag-carpeted gym called Scott Fitness off of 20th and Washington in KCMO.  It’s brilliant.  He shares amazing playlists off of his iPod and we rock out to Krishna Das and The Beatles while we work our yogi butts off.

So, cheers to Heather for laying down what yogis and yoginis are and are not and cheers to Bernie for showing that good yoga doesn’t need all the fluff to be good!

Who’s your favorite teacher?




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