AUTHORIZED TEACHER OF
NEELAKANTHA MEDITATION
E-RYT 500

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Mark’s method integrates Over two decades of study and practice + 19 years of teaching into a potent system of yogasana, pranayama, mudra, bandha, mantra and meditation practice.

My Story

As a child, I loved to read.

Every day I read for the joy of encountering new places and new people. My favorite stories have often been the stories of heroes and heroines.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a hero. I wanted to have special powers, like the characters in the Greek myths, or exhibit extraordinarily honed physical and mental abilities, like the heroes and heroines of modern literature and comic books.

I began to see how my own life and the lives of friends, family and strangers, were stories. We each create a narrative, and we embody that narrative. We become the central character – the Superman or Wonder Woman.

But throughout my teenage years and even in adulthood, there have been plenty of times I have felt not so super, nor so wonderful. I have felt that my story was meandering, boring, uninspired, and/or not “cool” enough to merit attention. I have even had moments when I thought, “Would it be better if my story ended?”

Then I encountered Yoga. I stepped on to the yoga mat and into my own personal power. I honed my physical and mental abilities. This led to greater ease in my body and more restfulness in my mind. I discovered the extraordinary power of conscious breath. That discovery led to a daily exploration of my very consciousness itself, via an ancient tradition of meditation.

And there have also been the books.

Books of physical postures that increased my flexibility, my strength and my focus. Books of yogic breath techniques that settled or stimulated my mind. Books of the nature of Reality and Consciousness that describe how they interconnect and interact with one another to create life and give us purpose.

And books of heroes and heroines, and gods and goddesses.

Yoga has given me the capacity to recognize that not only is my story important and unique, so is everyone else`s. At times I will take center stage in the play of life. Other times I will serve as a minor character to assist another person in attaining and displaying their own super powers.

Yes, super powers.
I have super powers.
And so do you.

Not the capacity to leap tall buildings in a single bound – though I still think that would be pretty darn cool – but that you and I have untapped potential within us. A veritable wellspring of extraordinary power is right there, waiting to be re-discovered. Even though we may already be doing some super wonderful work in the world, or we may feel we have already found our life`s purpose and are humming along quite nicely, there is always a way to become even more brilliant at what we do, even more compassionate and kind in the way we do it, and even more efficient at getting it done.

Being a human being can be a pretty heroic role to take on in this world.

It took me a bit of a journey to get here, but I now do experience myself as super and wonderful with greater consistency, though I can`t say I live from that place always. But my daily practice helps me maintain and grow that experience into more and more of a permanent state of body, mind and heart.

I would be honored and delighted to become a part of your story, to take up the role as one of your guides, and to assist you in attaining and displaying the vast wealth of extraordinary power that you hold within.

I look forward to meeting you.

I take Mark’s classes and workshops at every opportunity because I am so challenged, motivated and inspired by the true teacher I find in him. Mark’s devotion means that he puts 100 per cent of his tremendous energy into teaching yoga.

John

Qualifications

1996 – 2002: My Yoga journey begins in and around Philadelphia studying with pioneering senior level Iyengar teachers Marian Garfinkel and Joan White. In addition, I study Vinyasa style Yoga with Ellen Greenberg.

2002 – 2004: I move to San Francisco, and begin intensive weekly study under Jamie Lindsay, a well-respected teacher of both the Iyengar and Ashtanga-Vinyasa systems, to which he brought his knowledge of breath-centered Kuṇḍalini practices. I learn a wealth of Iyengar-based alignment principles from him, as well as my foundational understanding of pranayama and the Crossed Mat practice developed by Andrey Lappa, a profound teacher of Tibetan Yoga.

2003 – 2005: Intensive weekly study with Betty Roi, a teacher par excellence. Betty drew on two decades of practice and study with many of the foremost teachers of both the Iyengar and Ashtanga-Vinyasa systems, from which she created highly effective therapeutic applications of Yoga. 

2004 – 2012: I am introduced to Anusara Yoga, and fully immerse myself in this practice and study. I studied extensively with founder John Friend, accruing over 500 hours with him in workshops, master immersions, teacher and therapy trainings and advanced intensives, as well as assisting him several times in America and Japan. In addition, I accrued another 500 hours of study with Desiree Rumbaugh, Katchie Ananda and Sianna Sherman, all internationally recognized teachers of Anusara at that time. In 2009 I became a Certified Anusara Teacher. I let go of that certification in 2012.

2007 – present: I meet Paul Muller-Ortega, the founder of Blue Throat Yoga. On October 19, 2007, I am initiated into the sublimely simple but powerfully life-changing practice of Neelakantha Meditation. Paul is internationally recognized as one of the leading teachers of the non-dual Shaiva Tantra path of practice and study, as well as a profoundly astute teacher of world religion and philosophy. I have engaged in an ongoing immersive path of practice and study with Paul since my initiation. On July 31, 2016, I became an Authorized Teacher of Neelakantha Meditation. In 2017, I, and my fellow authorized teacher David Kutruff, with Paul co-taught Paul`s signature course, Entering the Heart of Shiva, January to June. Then, from July to December, David and I were given the privilege to each a brand new course called Indra Dhanu.

2016 – 2017: I take up a daily investigative practice of Shadow Yoga. It begins with a series of workshops with founder Shandor Remete, and senior teacher Emma Balnaves. I continue study under the guidance of Akiko Ueda.

2017 – present: I am introduced to White Tiger Qigong, via Certified Instructor Kamau Abayomi. I shift my daily investigative practice to Qigong. In February of 2018, I attend a three-week training with founder Tevia Feng. In May I become a Certified Instructor of White Tiger Qigong. 

Present Teaching Methodology & Investigations

From 2012, I took on an axiom of my first philosophy teacher, Bruce Lee, who said, “My style is no style.”  From that decision, I turned my attention to synthesizing all that I have learned in two decades of study and practice of various styles of Hatha Yoga, and tempered this with the fire of my own insights and discoveries from that practice and study. My practice and teaching are further refined from my present immersive practice and study of Qigong and Chinese Medicine. All of this is then gathered around and grounded into a solid pillar of a decade of Neelakantha Meditation and the philosophical wisdom teachings I have digested and assimilated from my studies with Paul, thus far.

Of course, this is not the final word. I remain, at heart, a curious student, open to be reshaped by new avenues of practice and study that will not only enhance my own life, but as well the life of the sincere student who offers me the opportunity to guide. In fact, there is a new trajectory of practice and study I have entered. The reshaping continues…stay tuned!