Our Yoga Teachers
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 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.
Yogarupa Rod Stryker
Yogarupa Rod Stryker began to study yoga at age nineteen under the guidance of Kavi Yogiraj Mani Finger and Yogiraj Alan Finger. In 1999 he became a student of Pandit Rajmani Tigunait, Ph.D.
Rod makes ancient wisdom and practices accessible to modern audiences without compromising their integrity. His approach and the methods he present cultivate greater, joy, creativity and freedom. He is the founder of ParaYoga® and the author of The Four Desires: Creating a Life of Purpose, Happiness, Prosperity, and Freedom.
I first met Rod in 2011 and have spent hundreds of hours with him as a student and assisted him at many retreats and workshops. He is a mentor to hundreds of teachers and thousands of students worldwide. He lives in Colorado with his wife, Gina D’Orazio Stryker and their four children.