Poetry rises in my heart as I pay tribute to my teachers Linda Munro and Gérald Disse.
The first verses celebrate the first nine years after having opened the doors of Ashtanga Yoga Paris (AYP) but as I continue writing, I stop and discover that for me it is not only poetry to celebrate an anniversary, but poetry for deep personal meditation.
Earlier this morning after my Mysore practice, my eyes were closed, my ears were still vibrating the aum as I began my meditation and flashed back to my nine years exploring the world, up until the magical day life brought me to AYP. It all started in 2004, when I left home to begin painting my global dreams; this, curiously happened the very same same year AYP was founded.
As I concluded my meditation, I travelled back to a rainy May 18th, 2011 when in the Yankee Stadium, keynote speaker President Bill Clinton addressed my graduating class:
“The great challenge of your life will be how to live out your personal story and pursue your personal dream (…) you should strive to find happiness everyday and not believe it that it comes at the end of a journey (…)”
What has been my own personal story?
I was trying to understand how yoga guided my story, a tireless globe-trotter yogini, multi-faceted artist and Colombian dreamer, from Barranquilla-to-New-York-City-to-Paris; seeking to nurture the wisdom of my soul, hungry for yoga teachers, for true mentors of life.
While pursuing my studies and living in a Bhakti yoga ashram in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, I decided it was time to explore the yoga scene in the old world; it was time to continue colouring my personal story in the sparkling City of Lights—one that had always attracted my heart.
After a couple yoga tours from Scandinavia to the Iberian Peninsula, from Dutchlands to the former Yugoslavia, I was ready to move to France and settle my wings.
I left the ashram and arrived to a cozy and traditional 6éme étage 20m2 parisian studio, ready to start a new chapter of life. After doing my research on yoga schools and teachers, I was firstly and warm-heartedly welcomed by Linda Munro at AYP. It was September 2011 when my first Parisian star began to shine and sparkle up my soul. Right away, when I entered the yoga shala I felt at home; I felt I had arrived to the right place.
Today as I attempt to write this piece, I am able to perceive the way in which Linda and Gérald have guided my mind and heart to safely and consciously untangle the complexities of our world, through the principles of Ashtanga Yoga.
Almost two years have passed, and after completing the 200 hour Teacher Training and working towards my 300 hour, I open-heartedly say that under their guidance, I have enlightened the wisdom of my soul and discovered the deep essence of bringing yoga as a priority in life.
After establishing a daily Mysore practice, I continue to paint my own yoga story; I continue to pursue my personal dream—striving to find happiness everyday with honesty, love, compassion and discipline. Each Mysore practice becomes a body canvas of colors and dreams, where I feel fully connected to my own self-essence, to my inner creativity and strength. As I go deeper into their teachings, I feel more and more of a beginner.
Yes, for me studying with Linda and Gérald has been a new yoga revolution.
They are a perfect match for each other, coming from two opposing worlds; the North American versus the Western European way of life, Linda a Canadian, fast-forward thinker, efficient, a beautiful charming go-getter woman; and Gérald, a French explorer living to the enjoyment of life where yoga and travelling became his early passions.
I celebrate their nine years of love, giving birth to the AYP family. I admire how they managed to build with their hearts a perfect structure, how they keep their doors always opened for us students and teachers to continue learning and experiencing the miraculous benefits of Ashtanga yoga.
Two passionate yogis, two Parisian householders with two beautiful little yogis Amaya and Jonathan, the Disse-Munro family drives their lives with honesty, integrity, care, commitment—and most importantly love, pure love; thus, this is the reason why they are my teachers.
I continue delving upon my yoga story and discover that my time at AYP has been a life changing adventure, in which my heart feels overwhelmed with inspirations, happiness and sparkling love.
Like elephant yoga on Facebook.
Ed: Bryonie Wise