I met Esther Myers in July 1978 at the insistence of my friend Helen Kohl. Helen urged me to try yoga with this specific teacher, Esther Myers, because she was exacting, precise, she understood form, she understood the body, she was incisive and perceptive. She had an expert eye and a penetrating touch. I had experience in various movement modalities, but not yoga.
I found Esther’s approach to be relentlessly logical and intelligent. She was forever analyzing, examining, synthesizing. She was on a search for self awareness and I happily joined that junket.
Esther’s attitude to teaching and learning, to living and dying was uncompromising. She was a striver, she was driven, she never stopped thinking, and planning. She never stopped teaching. Esther taught her last yoga class on December 16, 2003. I’m told she continued giving instruction during her short hospital stay. She died January 6, 2004.
For 25 years, Esther and I shared a teacher / student relationship. We became fellow students of Vanda Scaravelli. We were close friends for many years. I owe her my career.
What I miss most, now that Esther has passed on, is our conversation about teaching – what is good teaching? what makes learning happen? We talked endlessly about what I call yoga criticism – what is yoga all about? Once I was in Vermont teaching teachers and the discussion turned to the isolation yoga teachers sometimes feel. Someone asked me if Esther and I ever talked about teaching. “Constantly, almost daily,” I responded. This interaction made me realize how fruitful and how unusual my relationship with Esther was, and how lucky I was to know her.
I miss the stimulation of Esther’s presence, her questioning nature and the sharpness of her intellect, her demanding teaching style. Esther’s legacy is 3 books, 2 videos, an internationally recognized yoga studio, hundreds of well trained, enquiring teachers and thousands of students.
In her honour and by her request Tama Soble and I are carrying Esther Myers Yoga Studio into the future.
I thank Esther from the bottom of my heart and wish her peace.
Delivered at the Yoga Show & Conference in Esther’s Honour
November 19, 2004