Keeping a Yoga Tradition Alive

Continuing with yoga after a beloved senior teacher is gone–that's the subject of a recent profile in the Greenwich Time about former students of Mary Dunn who are now teaching her classes, a Wednesday institution in Greenwich, Connecticut, for decades.

"For more than 20 years, in the same small studio on the third floor of the Greenwich Senior/Arts Center, students of the Iyengar style of yoga have come most Wednesdays to practice," the front-page article relates. "They set out their mats, and gather the blankets, blocks and, sometimes, chairs that the method is known for, the props used to help in performing the positions correctly.

"Up until a little more than a year ago, there was always another constant of the Iyengar method: Mary Dunn, the teacher who brought the classes to Greenwich."

Now six teachers, all taught by Mary Dunn, rotate in teaching the classes: Cathy Eising,
Judith Friedman, Jill Ganassi, Nancy Kardon, Leslie Manes, and Cynthia Worby Nero.

Now six teachers, all taught by Mary, rotate in teaching the classes: Cathy Eising, Intermediate Junior I of Waccabuc, Judith Friedman, Introductory of Bedford, Jill Ganassi, Introductory of Tuckahoe, Nancy Kardon, Introductory of Scarsdale, Leslie Manes, Intermediate Junior I of North Salem, and Cynthia Worby Nero, Intermediate Junior I, of Bedford, all in New York.

The article quotes Greenwich resident Abby Gross, 86, who started taking Mary's class in 1988, "Mary was a big inspiration to all of us… She just was so well-trained and enthusiastic herself that she encouraged others. It's wonderful that they kept this tradition going."

Mary, a founding director of IYNAUS and a founder of three Iyengar Yoga Institutes in the United States–in San Francisco, San Diego, and New York–died in September 2008. In June, the Iyengar Yoga Association of Greater New York will celebrate her memory with the second annual Mary Dunn Weekend of events to benefit the Mary Dunn Fund. Tax-deductible contributions, to continue Mary's lifelong work for the spread of Iyengar Yoga and excellence in teaching, may be made to IYAGNY, 150 West 22nd Street, 11th Floor, New York, NY 10011; please indicate "Mary Dunn Fund" on checks.

— Richard Jonas