Since 1971 when I began seriously taking formal Yoga classes, I have had many great yoga teachers. I consider myself very lucky to have had an unfolding succession of creative and inspiring teachers. But in 1981 I was graced with meeting Martyn Jackson. He was a magical teacher full of intensity, sincerity, great humor, laughter, originality and honest teaching.
He was the first Western teacher to start an Iyengar school in Sydney Australia.
In every student’s practice there is that one teacher that makes an impression, which ripples from that moment on to change, grow, and expand his or her experience. For me that was Martyn Jackson. I have had many teachers before and since which I have great respect for and who have had great influence on me, but for me Yoga’s gift that keeps on giving to me was from Martyn.
I first studied with Martyn Jackson in Los Angeles for a three month teacher’s course for teachers in 1981. This class propelled my practice and teaching in a way that I am always grateful for.
In 1988, while living in Dublin Ireland, I knew that I wanted to experience more of his profound spirited teaching. I called him to find out about his next teacher’s course and I was informed that he was very ill and was not sure when or if he would be teaching another course. I decided that if he was going to offer another course, I was going to take it. Six months later I received a call saying he would be teaching the next course in March of that year. So, I traveled to Sydney Australia to take another three month, five days a week five hours a day teacher’s course.
His illness was serious. Shortly after hearing of his son’s diagnoses of cancer of the liver, Martyn himself was diagnosed with a lesion on his brain and as it happened, it was a malignant brain tumor. This was one of the last intensive teacher’s courses that he taught.
He passed away in 1991 but his teaching is still alive within me and I hear his lyrical voice each time I practice.
Martyn Jackson was a humble, brilliant, and generous teacher and a sincere Yogi.
Stay tuned for the interview I did with Martyn in 1988.
Soon to be posted.