Teacher Feature: Michael Harris

 Don’t miss Michael’s workshop September 22nd and 23rd!

 

Name: Michael Harris

 

Age: 58

 

Occupation: Yoga Teacher / Business Coach

 

How long have been practicing yoga? 30 years – since 1987

 

How often do you practice? 3 to 5 times a week

 

What changes have you noticed in your practice?  Everything.  When I first started practicing yoga I could barely walk 20 feet – I was on a cane. Then slowly with regular practice I got stronger and healthier. Yoga really brought me back to life after vascular disease and the prediction of having my legs amputated. When I went to teacher training in 1998 – I still had pain in my legs and body. Within two weeks of practicing two to three times a day – yes a day – the pain was gone.

 

What is one main reason why you practice? To stay healthy in mind and body.

 

What daily activities has yoga made a difference in? After my vascular disease and surgeries, I was unable to walk, hike and ski.

 

How is your yoga practice contributing to the rest of your life?  Yoga helps to keep me centered and calm in the mind and healthy and strong in my body.

 

What is one main reason why you teach?  To help others find their own transformation and peace in their lives.

 

Do you have a “favorite posture?”   “Least favorite?”  I don’t really have a favorite or least favorite posture anymore. There are just some postures that I am able to go “deeper” into.

 

What is your most memorable experience with yoga, either practicing or teaching?  Ah.. so many. One of the most memorable experiences was in teacher training in 1998. I had been angry at Bikram for a couple weeks because he wouldn’t let me “modify” the postures due to the pain in my body. He would just say “don’t worry about it, forget about it, just do the yoga.” I was pretty pissed. Then one day in class – I was in standing head to knee – and I had no pain in my legs. NO PAIN. I literally started crying in joy as I stood in the posture with my head on my knee. Bikram’s comment about “don’t worry about it…” is one of the biggest lessons and aha moments that I have had in 30 years of practice.

 

What has been your most difficult experience with your yoga practice?  Even with all the incredible changes that yoga has brought to my life – I can still be a bit lazy. I tend to rest on my laurels and take it for granted. So I have made a commitment to a life time of practice of three to five times a week – or more – for the rest of my life.

 

Do you have any other additional comments that you would like to mention?  Yoga is truly my life.  It has shown me so much about the world, other people and myself.  Yoga has brought me back to life and continues to show me new aspects of myself.  I am eternally grateful for all that it has shown me.

 

 

 

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