Vance Selover is the Principle Teacher and Director of AYB
As the recent controversy of sexual misconduct surrounding our teacher Pattabhi Jois have come to light, though it is extremely difficult and painful to reconcile, I believe and support all those who have spoken out.
I am grateful for the #metoo movement and for the all women who are courageously coming forward to share their stories. Your courage is helping me to see more clearly.
As a student I witnessed Pattabhi Jois inappropriately touch students and heard stories of sexually inappropriate “adjustments” during my trips to Mysore from 1998-2008. I did not realize this as sexual assault at the time. I now do. I realize that my inability to recognize the gravity of Jois’s behavior and my silence were in part the privilege of being a man in a patriarchal and misogynistic world. As a man I was able to gain the benefits of the Ashtanga system without being directly affected by this behavior. I was complicit through my silence.
I am sorry and deeply saddened for not seeing what was happening and doing everything within my power to stop his behavior.
I am committed to safety and trust for all of our community and wish for healing and restoration.
Vance Selover – January 1st, 2018
The Foundation of Teaching: First be a Student
Vance was introduced to the path of yoga in 1988, when he was a double bassist in his first year of graduate studies in Music at the Juilliard School of Performing Arts in New York.
During that year he also began to study the Alexander Technique, the Feldenkrais Method (awareness through movement), and the soft internal Chinese martial art of Tai Chi Chuan. All of these practices and techniques helped balance the stress and rigor of life in the highly competitive world of classical music.
Vance’s relationship to yoga deepened in 1992 when he discovered the Iyengar system, which he explored in depth for more than ten years. He studied with many senior teachers in the U.S., working most closely with Julie Gudmestad of Portland, OR
In 1994 he began to practice the Ashtanga Yoga system as taught by the legendary Yogacharya Sri K. Pattabhi Jois of Mysore, South India, and he has continued with a daily practice of the method ever since.
In early 1998 Vance made his first pilgrimage to Mysore to study with Jois and his grandson R. Sharath, taking six months of intensive practice that year.
Since then Vance has made many trips to Mysore, spending well over two years of practice time in the yoga shala and in student/teacher relationship with Jois and Sharath. He is a direct, dedicated long-term student and a devoted practitioner of the lineage. He considers it a real privilege to have had the opportunity to practice in India at the source; the positive long-term effects on the body/mind are truly invaluable.
Teaching as a Path of Service
Vance first received SKPJ’s blessing to teach the Primary Series in 1999, spent 12 years slowly and patiently (and sometimes not-so-patiently) learning the Intermediate Series, and has begun to study the Advanced Series under Sharath’s guidance.
In June 2010 he was authorized to teach the Full Intermediate Series, a rare honor granted by the K. Pattabhi Jois Ashtanga Yoga Institute to only a small number of teachers worldwide. He has more than 25 years of yoga teaching experience–20 plus years in the Ashtanga system–at studios in Portland, OR, New York City, and Berkeley, CA
As a teacher Vance is known for staying grounded in the meditative heart of yoga. He encourages a non-judgmental attitude towards the limits and strengths of the body and mindful attention to the movements of breath and energy, all in the service of greater awareness and evolution of consciousness.
As a synthesizer interested in health and healing, Vance is also an avid practitioner of the sacred art of Thai Massage in the tradition of Pichest Boontumme of Chang Mai, Thailand. He studied directly under Boontumme’s senior student Ananda Apfelbaum.
Vance formally began studying Cranial Sacral Therapy in 2008. In 2010 he completed a year long mentorship program with Biodynamic Cranial Touch founder Charles Ridley and is deeply honored to have assisted his teacher Giorgia Milne with two of her year long mentorship course’s.
Senior Ashtanga teacher, mentor and friend Peter Sanson from New Zealand has been a quiet, humble, unending source of inspiration in the art/practice/teaching of yoga. With your guidance there is a clear understanding of the way forward. Thanks, Peter!
“In deep gratitude and humility I bow before ALL the teachers who have blazed the path before us”.
With our devotion and dedication, the practice of yoga itself is the true teacher!