The Meditation. The Dharma. The Asana.
Billy uses yoga as a vehicle for growth, reflection, and spiritual awakening. His practice provides a space for these shifts and transformations to take place, and the results inspire. At once a philosopher, a jester, and a provocateur, Billy’s regimen has been known to radically alter human perspectives.
His method demands that students ask difficult questions of themselves, and the accompanying physical demands are just as strenuous. But by combining vigorous asana poses with his own candor, vulnerability, and sense of humor, Billy has created a style of yoga that is utterly unique. Some classes will have you laughing and shaking your “money maker,” but others will have you in tears because of Billy’s dharma. Billy's inspiration may come from - well, just about anywhere.
Family. Life. Friends.
I live in Denver my wife, three kids, and two dogs. I kind of happened upon yoga back in my mid-twenties, after years of athletics and competing in high school and college. I was always attracted to the philosophical part of yoga as that kind of stuff had interested me since I was a little boy. Also, even though I didn’t know anything about the physical side of yoga, except that it involved stretching, I had a feeling that it may be the closest thing we have to ‘the fountain of youth’. . . A way to age gracefully through all phases of our life with the constant awakening and growth that comes with mind, body, spirit connection. I was attracted to the continuous and dynamic challenge that yoga offered while being encouraged to let go of the ego and the competitiveness and pressure that accompanies it.
I started practicing yoga periodically over the years - simultaneously embracing and cursing the accompanying struggles and sufferings on the mat. Becoming a teacher was more of an “accident” than a dream come true. After years dabbling working in mental health, creating a holistic nutrition for animals delivery business, sitting in a cubicle settling auto insurance claims, working in financial services, starting a real estate career, and even getting up at 2am every morning delivering newspapers around downtown Denver, I went to a yoga teacher training upon the urging of a dear friend. I never necessarily planned on it becoming a career. I think that I was just looking for some sort of light to shine on my life. I needed some meaning. I wanted to share. I wanted to serve. I thought “this will be a catalyst to take me to wherever it is I need to be to live a life of more meaning and feeling and passion.” I wasn’t broken - necessarily - but maybe we all are a little broken. I was more lost than broken. Scared that I would end up living a disconnected life. A life that didn’t excite me or challenge me to be more of what I was truly meant to be in this world. I was a single dad with a beautiful little three year old boy and I didn’t want to miss out on time spent with him by working a 9-5 job that I didn’t care about. I wanted him to see me happy and pursuing my dreams passionately without fear - whatever those dreams looked like.
At the same time I was starting or attempting to start my yoga teaching career, I was also starting a career in real estate. Because, even in my idealistic mind, there was a voice that said, “You can’t make a career out of teaching yoga!” I remember every morning waking up at two in the morning and going to the Denver Post/Rocky Mountain News Warehouse and sacking papers, filling up my car to the roof with them and delivering them all over the city in the middle of winter when the streets were dark and quiet and the only sound was my breath escaping into the cold air, and then rushing off to some studio out in the suburbs to teach a 6am class that maybe someone would show up to. Eventually, I was able to give up my paper route and the resulting falling asleep at stoplights that came with it. Balancing yoga and real estate, I was struggling, but I was finding my way. I kept showing up and students started showing up too. I was (and still am) grateful that through teaching yoga I found one of my passions in life - something that never felt like work. A place for real work with humans to take place. The Soul work. Real connection. Tears, sorrow, celebration, and joy - not always in that order - but real forays into our shared human condition, consciousness, and experience. Yoga has become a catalyst for growth, change, shifts, conversations, moving inward, moving outward, and moving onward.
In the 12 years since, I have evolved as a yoga teacher and practitioner through my experiences in my own life and the relationships with my students. The journey has included many steps forward and some steps back, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. More importantly, I feel that this path has become less linear and more circular and spiraling in nature. But maybe that’s what life is. And I think that’s what our yoga does. It encourages us - urges us - to ask questions from a deeper place, from a different paradigm, encouraging new perspectives and different patterns in our life. In that sense, What is growing older? Our bodies aging and dying? Maybe. Yes, I guess there’s some of that happening a little every day. But there’s so much more happening when we keep our hearts open. We attain a view of our place in the world in a broader and more connected sense. We find an intimacy with ourselves and with others in this vast Universe that - in all our wonderment - we couldn’t see as fully when we were ourselves at a younger age. So, in that sense, time is almost circular in that it brings us to a new arrival in a place of understanding where we live our lives more truthfully, joyously, and completely - like a child - but, with the ancient awakening that comes with time and experience and with the deeper examination of things like mortality, gratitude, compassion, illusion, loss, love, truth, and happiness. We are always being “born again” or “rebirthed” into this world . . . Letting go of what doesn’t work and the illusions that separate us from each other, God, the Universe, Love, Ourselves . . . Going deeper into what connects us and allows us to bravely feel our shared humanity and our one spirit. That circular nature of our lives that always brings us back to this new and ancient home . . . the home of our authentic selves - vulnerable, alive, and in the moment of our experience.
To me, this is what the yoga path is all about - it is deep and wide, high and low, it is all things, and nothing at all - but it is the journey of traveling further into our own hearts where we can truly see ourselves and each other. It is the acknowledgment that - as we dwell inside this infinite Universe, the Universe also lives within our infinite selves. Much like every yoga class ends with “Namaste”, “Namaste” is also where every conversation begins . . .