Many of us have been touched by people who changed our lives forever. I want to introduce you to our yoga teachers, the people who impacted my life the most and inspired the Denver Yoga Underground.

Baba Hari Dass

Baba Hari Dass was my first introduction to yoga in 1991. At the time, I did not realize how fortunate I was to receive instruction from such a master yogi. Babaji–as he is known–was born in 1923 in the foothills of the Himalayas. At age eight, after his father suddenly passed, he left home in search of peace. He studied in ashrams, lived in remote forests, performed intense spiritual practices. At times lived within small towns and villages.

In 1953 he took a perpetual vow of silence. He used a small chalkboard to communicate, his concise words carried great depth and wisdom. He came to America in 1971 at the request of some western students who met him in India. In 1978 he establish the Mount Madonna Center in Northern California.

A few years later, he founded an orphanage in Sri Ram Ashram, for orphaned children. For ten months of the year, Babaji taught, worked, and played alongside the Mount Madonna community. For the remainder of the year, he returned to India to guide and care for the children at Sri Ram.

Babaji was a master teacher and steeped in the theory and practices of Ashtanga Yoga. He was also a prolific author and wrote commentaries on Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the Bhagavad Gita, Vedanta, and the Samkhya Karika. He also wrote children’s books, short stories, and theatrical plays.

As a teacher, Babaji lead by example. All who came to learn from him appreciated his wisdom, humility, patience, humor, and encouragement.  He left this world on September 25th, 2018. You can read a detailed account of his life on Wikipedia here.

Notable Influences

Lead teacher Derik Eselius has studied extensively with numerable internationally recognized asana teachers. Including, senior B.K.S Iyengar students Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh, Rudra Dev and Sunil Kumar. Western teachers of note include Richard Freeman, Tias Little, and Rod Stryker. You can read Derik’s full biography and complete timeline of study here.

Richard Freeman

Yogarupa Rod Stryker

Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh