About Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor
Biographies of Richard Freeman and Mary Taylor
As teachers we have a tremendous responsibility to show up fully and honestly, letting go of formulas and preconceptions while simultaneously observing patterns and drawing new conclusions. Trusting the process. Beneath it all we always remain students: practicing, studying, experimenting, inquiring, relearning, and then practicing some more.
It is truly a great honor to teach yoga. With deep gratitude we bow to our teachers and fellow students.
Richard Freeman has been a student of yoga since 1968, beginning with one simple sitting posture in the Zen tradition. He spent nine years in Asia studying yoga asana, Sufism, Sanskrit language, and Indian philosophical texts, contextualizing them within the turbulent political times of that period in history. In 1974 Richard began working with B.K.S. Iyengar, with whom he studied precise alignment principles, applying them to his own internally rooted experience of the forms. Drawing from this variety of contemplative traditions, and from Buddhism, in which he cultivates a deep interest, Richard teaches the Ashtanga Vinyasa method of yoga as taught by his principal teacher, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India.
Richard’s metaphorical, often humorous, teaching style appeals to students of many backgrounds and nationalities. He teaches workshops and trainings throughout the world, and remains an avid student fascinated by the linking points between different traditions and cultures. He is the co-founder, with Mary, of the Yoga Workshop in Boulder, Colorado; has produced a number of highly regarded yoga audio and video recordings; and is the author of The Mirror of Yoga and co-author of The Art of Vinyasa (Shambhala Publications).
Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971, soon after she came home from France with a grande diplôme from Julia Child’s cooking school, L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes. She found yoga at first a means of finding equanimity during the stress of University, and it was that thread of balance that got her hooked. It was not until 1988 and finding her primary teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and the Ashtanga Vinyasa system that she experienced the profound and transformative impact that a dedicated and daily practice can have on all aspects of life. She continues to study and practice yoga and Buddhist teachings with great enthusiasm and inquisitiveness, with an eye on how the residue that is produced on the mat (and cushion) through these teachings informs and supports all aspects of everyday life.
Mary travels and teaches with Richard and also within the caregiver and hospital setting as part of the core faculty of the Being with Dying program (Upaya Zen Center) and the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Trainings. In 1988 she co-founded with Richard the Yoga Workshop. Mary is also the author of three cookbooks and the co-author of What Are You Hungry For? Women Food and Spirituality (St. Martins Press) and The Art of Vinyasa (Shambhala Publications).
Garuda, the eagle, is one of the principal animal deities in Hindu and Buddhist mythology. His body is composed of the interpenetrating rhythms of Vedic meters and these are said to be the core patterns of the entire universe. So Vishnu, as pure consciousness, rides around on the eagle of creative rhythms. Garuda and other eagles are known for their ability to tame snakes, so he is often depicted as having a snake, Kundalini, in his mouth or talons.