Message from Swami Satyaprakash, Director, Satyananda Yoga Centre Birmingham
When it became clear to me in early March this year that this physical body was failing big time and I had to hang up my hat as a yoga teacher, that was a challenge that I hadn’t expected to face. But it was done and other wonderful teachers took over the classes and teaching commitments.
Then I faced the question of what to do about SYC – this small organisation that I had been given to lead for 34 years.
Firstly, huge gratitude goes to my son, David. He said immediately that it was up to me – if I wanted 38 Gaddesby Road to continue as a Satyananda Yoga Centre AND I could find someone who would be able to run it to the high standards that a Satyananda Yoga Centre should be run, then he would not sell the house which is rightfully his inheritance, but leave it as my legacy to the world. David is himself a disciple of Swami Niranjan and he sees the house, the Centre as a product of my love & hard work of the last 35years – something that can live on for the benefit of all.
It quickly became apparent that Sue Duffy was the person to take on the mantle. Sue has a completely appropriate skill set to fulfil the role of Director of SYC Birmingham. She is a fine teacher, who teaches from her own experience of diligent practice in both Buddhism and Yoga. She is a woman of the world, having raised four beautiful children who now excel as adults in differing spheres of life. I thank Sue for taking the time she needed to decide that her answer was yes ………. It was no easy task because, although the heart and gut immediately said yes, the head put many obstacles in her way. She doubted that she could ‘follow me’. With some considerable encouragement from both myself and a body of solid yogis, doubts were overcome and she gave me her answer which is Yes.
Now clearly, I could not hand over this role and responsibility – the Directorship of SYC Birmingham – without the consent of our Guru, Swami Niranjan, who has always been my boss and my inspiration, as I have played my part in the worldwide organisation which is Satyananda Yoga. I am indebted to Him for his unswerving faith in my judgement, that Sue is the right person to assume the role. The message came through: “All OK for SYC as you think best. Full support. Go Ahead.”
So go ahead we have and we will. A meeting last Sunday of just seven people brought together the yogis who have been long & deeply associated with Satyananda Yoga Birmingham. Names you may hardly know but who have worked quietly and conscientiously whenever needed to support me in the role; they committed to supporting Sue in the future. Gratitude to those people.
So the path ahead is illuminated. All that is needed now is for Sue to step seamlessly into the role, supported by all students and teachers associated with the Centre.
This account would be quite incomplete, were it not to include a retrospective - my heartfelt gratitude to my old friend and colleague Shaktiroopa without whom classes would have largely fallen apart since my initial diagnosis in September 2015. She effectively put her life on hold, drove many hundreds of miles and spared no effort to cover all my teaching engagements. She’s a star, a five-star star and we wish her Godspeed as she begins a year of travelling on 31st May, during which time she will join the tribe of grandmothers in Australia.