In remembrance of my teacher Mary
I would like to give big heartfelt gratitude to my yoga teacher Mary Jolin, who passed on to the higher realms on 3 April, 2014. She was only in her early 60s and had fought breast cancer 3 times since 2002. She left this earth with the same grace that she walked upon it.
I started yoga with Mary in 1999 and stayed in her class for about 10 years. She was an extremely dedicated yogi spreading her light throughout Sydney, teaching at mental hospitals, community centres and even a class of Vietnam vets.
Her blend of Satyananda yoga and hatha yoga, together with her interest in Buddhist philosophy spoke to my heart and took me through my 20s in good stead. I was really set up to become a teacher via Mary’s inspiring classes catering for all ages and body types. She guided me through the process of study and supported me in my early years of teaching.
Her classes were always different and showed great creativity and thought. Alongside yoga poses, we were introduced to chanting ceremonies, walking meditations, advanced pranayama (breathing practices) and Yoga Nidra. She showed great care in providing modifications for all body types.
Aside from teaching us yoga, she led us as an example of a balanced life: making time for relaxation, daily exercise, swimming in the ocean, going to the movies, reading books, camping, and taking relaxing holidays to rejuvenate. She cared about the environment, especially the beach. She often made trips to the Satyananda ashram at Mangrove Mountain, north of Sydney.
She gave us a glimpse of how to live a spiritual life, in the city, as best you can.
In 2007 she ended her Saturday morning class, of which I was a part of, and there were tears all round. There was something about Mary that we didn’t think we could find at any other yoga class. I still feel that way! We kept in touch and sometimes I covered her classes when she holidayed.
I absolutely treasure the memories of Mary’s classes, and am so thankful that I started yoga with an AMAZING teacher.
I have lost two of my very important spiritual teachers to cancer this year. I am sure I am not alone, and you too have probably known or loved someone who has. If you would like to make a difference, consider making a donation to the Australian Cancer Research Foundation, or get involved in another way. See their website, www.acrf.com.au
Molly Furzer has been practising yoga since 1999 and teaching since 2007. She teaches gentle yoga to adults, Kids & Family Yoga, and Laughter Wellness.