By M. Patricia Diaz, Dynamic Gentle Yoga Teacher and Memoir Author
The first class I took with Rudy was like a walk on the moon. Slow, very slow motion. I didn’t know at the time that his class would at some point rise to the level of “out of this world!”
Unassuming would have been my first descriptor of Rudy when I met him at Kripalu. He was my 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Trainer for four weeks. That was four weeks of very slow yoga. At one point I even felt I was wasting my time. I wanted more content, more speed, more, more, more … for God’s sake more! And, if he could have heard my thoughts back then he would have said … “I hear you saying you want more. Hm.” And then he would have continued at the same slow pace. Ugh!
The four weeks had a break in between; a time to reflect and absorb the content that we had received during the first two weeks. To my surprise, I found myself observing my thoughts. Oh no! Rudy had penetrated my skull! Towards the end of that break, I could not wait to go back to Yoga Teacher Trainer. I now craved slow.
Rudy plants seeds and walks away. He mentioned during our program at Kripalu that he was going to teach one of his modules of his Dynamic Yoga Teacher Training at a place in Virginia not too far from where I live. Because I wanted to start surrounding myself with people who I found so down to earth and loving, I went to visit this place called Dream Yoga and Wellness Studio. Months later, I started to substitute teach there, and then became one of their regular teachers. Long story short, I also attended one of Rudy’s Dynamic Gentle Yoga Teacher Training modules there and finally understood the why of ‘slow’. To top things off I met Joyce, Rudy’s lovely wife, who introduced me to the MELT Method.
Good stories are not meant to be spoiled, however, I will say that I went into the training with some questions. I think this slow-melt couple would call them “inquiries.” In short, that weekend, I got a glimpse of the unwinding effect of slowly melting and my “why’s” and “how’s” found a nurturing response in the silence of ‘simply being.’
In full transparency, my challenge as a yoga instructor has been that a lot of students hear yoga and think “physical exercise”. I’m not quite sure where our western world turned that corner, but, regardless, learning techniques from Dynamic Gentle Yoga Teacher Training that I can gift to my students so they too can fully embody the slow melting effect of a gentle class, has been invaluable. Especially when I look into their eyes and can see that glow that comes from the experience of a deep connection with the self.
If you ask me, this “dynamic duo” is worth the investment in time and money. It’s a must-have experience. It not only enriched me, but I’ve been able to pass along the bliss of the gentle goodness experience. A gift that keeps on giving!
At age sixteen M. Patricia Diaz was diagnosed with a stage four terminal cancer. Back then, over thirty years ago, she lived in Maracaibo, Venezuela. In this memoir, M. Patricia revisits this harrowed chapter of her life. This true story of generosity, forgiveness, and growth is depicted with broad brushstrokes of Latin American cultural colors. Healing physically, against all medical predictions, was only the beginning of the story.
“Pretty Girls Don’t Get Cancer” is a testimony to the power of a strong community, personal resiliency, and a grain of faith during a cancer diagnosis. We see how illness affects the individual and the community, and how physical health was only the first step toward healing.