In 1997, plans for the future really weren’t on my mind at all. A comfortable part-time office job working with lovely people, allowed me to pursue my passion with all my focus and energy – Yoga. Back then at Yoga Moves, Eileen Hall gradually introduced me to the Ashtanga Yoga second series, and I still remember days in the office where I could just about keep my eyes open after having given all I had in my early morning yoga practice.
I had no clue what an important year in my life this was about to be.
During that time, on my day off, I was teaching the only Ashtanga classes available at North Sydney Yoga & Natural Therapy Centre, then run by Rosie McCaffrey. When Rosie travelled back to the UK for six months to introduce her family to her newborn baby, I eagerly took on a few replacement classes she needed cover for.
In the same year I left a long-term relationship, to later in the same year, meet my beautiful life partner.
I also went to Mysore – for a couple of months of yoga of course! – and despite being pretty broke, I also went to my first of many ten-day yoga retreats in Bali with Dena Kingsberg.
When Rosie came back from the UK, she wanted to meet up with me with some urgency. To my great surprise, she encouraged me to take over the Yoga Shala, as she was pregnant with her second child. It had never at all crossed my mind to run a Yoga school!
Once I had gotten over the shock of having been made such an offer, I gladly accepted, feeling deep down that this was the right thing to do.
My parents generously granted me the much-needed loan for the acquisition of the yoga studio, despite hoping for my return to my German home country, to pursue the computer science career I had left behind.
And so it began…
Practicing yoga, teaching, eventually training teachers, and running a yoga school has been, and still is, the most enriching and rewarding occupation I could have ever dreamed of.
It is forever fascinating, riveting, and always a new endeavour. There is never an end to the exploration of all within Yoga – apart from the state of ecstasy and bliss of course.
We continuously go deeper, we progress on all levels, be it physically, emotionally or mentally. Aiming to master the mind will never be boring; we learn to be in the present moment by becoming flexible and strong, disciplined and skilled, focused and emotionally mature; we fully enjoy what we are doing with a true sense of fun and openheartedness.
I am always looking forward to entering my next decade, and in preparation I set myself a physical goal of mastering a particular set of postures by then. There is a mind-set that thinks of slowing down and limiting oneselves, once past a certain age. But through our love of yoga, we are embracing the ageing process, and looking forward to greeting all challenges with the help of this beautiful art.
Yoga is about consistency, continuous wise effort (abhyasa), and in equal measure, the ability to let go of wished-for outcomes (vairagyam). Our Yoga school is a testament to this.
North Sydney Yoga was founded 16 December 1985. I took over in December 1997, 18 years ago, throughout which we had the good fortune to be visited every single year by leading senior guest teachers, Graeme & Leonie Northfield, and Dena Kingsberg & Jack Wiseman. We are also honoured to have hosted several times, Michael de Manincor and Gregor Maehle.
Now in its adult years, the Yoga school is a dynamic, explorative youth, sometimes a little wobbly, and then growing a little wiser by the year.
Thanks to all of our beautiful students, teachers, and supporters from near and far. You make it such a wonderful space of learning and growth. We love your company!
Here’s to another 30 years of North Sydney Yoga!