When the student is ready, the teacher will appear

They say when the student is ready, the teacher will appear, it is true. I had spent a number of years in the American Peace Corps, hoping to change the world. I realized after working with many different types of people that the only thing that I could change was myself.

When I met my husband and we moved to Montreal, I was trying to find a community of kindred spirits and someone told me about Dr. Bali who himself had just arrived to Montreal from India. I had just finished Yoga for Americans and I was ready for a teacher. As I reflect on this extraordinary journey with Dr. Bali I am amazed at the many miracles that happened along the way. Not just to me, but to all of the people that we came in contact with over four and a half decades. There was never a request I made, no matter how absurd or outrageous, that Dr. Bali refused. I think in all those years he never scolded me, except once, when I made fun of someone. Dr. Bali in a kind way reminded me of the importance of good speech.

Dr. Bali is such an important part of my life and at each intersection where there was a difficult situation he was there for me like a father or grandfather, and to so many others. He not only listened for as long as we needed to express ourselves, but would give us very practical advice so we were able to proceed with a new confidence and faith. After many years of practice, I realized that yoga is about so much more than exercise. It is truly a way of life on all levels.

Dr. Bali taught us by good example, kindness, and a clear vision. There are many other moments when Dr. Bali was there just helping restore balance and peace, first in our physical body, then in our emotional body, and finally we would have a sense of peacefulness. It is the sense of peacefulness that we need when things are difficult. As I reflect on these special moments with Dr. Bali, both for myself and my family and friends, I realize what he taught us all was to accept everything the way it is, and then move into that changeless centre where peace resides. This is not so easy, but if we do simple things on a regular basis it becomes second nature. When we are uneasy we notice, reflect and see what needs to be done on a practical level, and at the same time create clarity by releasing stress with simple Yoga techniques.

Yoga is so much a part of my life today.

– Jana