Saturday, November 20, 2004


Two days ago I learned that ashtanga teacher Gwendoline Hunt died. This is sad news indeed, as she was one of those rare people who inspire but are also approachable. I remember having coconuts with her and my girls and the Crazy Kiwi Man on Kovalam beach last year. Of course she and the latter had friends in common (Gwendoline was from New Zealand). She was tiny and in her 70's and her adjustments were ingenious, particularly Triangmukhekapadapascimattanasana, in which she would lay her whole body over yours and stretch her arms to their full length in order to get your sitting bones down and grab your front foot. I touched my feet in Kapotasana with her last year; on the inhale she had you move your head in, on the exhale the hands would follow. She was a model for a lot of us -- a septuagenarian practicing ashtanga and traveling the world teaching it to others -- all without some adoring husband / driver in tow, or some (grand)kids back at home. Just by being, she showed us you could do it on your own -- and do it well and with that pure inner joy that eludes most of us. She will be sadly missed.

A memorial page for Gwendoline is here:

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