#019: Awakening through Ashtanga Yoga with Mary Taylor

Guest Bio: Mary Taylor teaches Ashtanga Yoga as taught by her principal teacher, the late Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, India.

Mary Taylor began studying yoga in 1971, after graduating from Julia Child’s cooking school, L’Ecole des Trois Gourmandes in Pari. Initially, she enjoyed yoga as a means of finding equanimity during the stress of University. It was this thread of balance that got her hooked.

It was not until 1988 that Mary found her primary teacher, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois. The discovery of the Ashtanga Yoga system provided her with a profound and transformative impact. She continues to study and practice yoga and Buddhist teachings with great enthusiasm and inquisitiveness, with an eye on how the residue that is produced on the mat (and cushion) through these teachings informs and supports all aspects of everyday life.

Mary travels and teaches Ashtanga Yoga with her husband Richard Freeman. Mary also works as a caregiver in a hospital setting as part of the core faculty of the Being with Dying program (Upaya Zen Center) and the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Trainings. In 1988, with Richard, she co-founded the Yoga Workshop. Mary is also the author of three cookbooks and the co-author of What Are You Hungry For? Women Food and Spirituality (St. Martins Press) and The Art of Vinyasa (Shambhala Publications).


In my conversation with Mary we explored the following topics:

  • Ashtanga Yoga as a practice of self transformation
  • Showing up for your practice; the need to be honest with ourselves
  • Reconciling Eastern, Western Perspectives. Holding paradoxical points of view.
  • How Psychology, and the ego, differs in Eastern and Western worldviews
  • The importance of ritual
  • and more…


Mary and Richard’s Website

Mentions: Pattabi Jois, Ram Dass, Krishna Das

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