Derek Pashupa Goodwin

The Yogi

About Pashupa the Yogi

The Photographer | The Vegan

A Brief Introduction

Namaste. I love teaching yoga. It is the greatest blessing to help people transform their lives and find more happiness.

I am a certified Jivamukti Yoga teacher. The Jivamukti Open classes I teach feature vigorous vinyasa sequencing, along with mantra, music, and meditation. The Jivamukti Yoga Method also includes Basic classes, if you are new to yoga or want to deepen your understanding of the poses.

I also study Thai Massage and AcroYoga, which I integrate into my practice and teaching style. The Thai Yoga Massage informs my yoga assists, and understanding of the body. The AcroYoga informs my playfulness, partner exercises, and love of inversions.

My Path to Yoga

While I was studying at RIT in 1994 I went on a photo workshop in the desert southwest, and one of my teachers, Willie Osterman, happened to be a Kundalini yogi. I was interested in this practice, and joined him for some sunrise asanas in some of the most beautiful and sacred places I had ever been. At the last such practice on the trip, he had us center ourselves in the moment and remember the feelings we were experiencing, and told us that we could bring ourselves back to this moment and feeling in the future. I have kept those teachings, and that moment, with me. It was many years before I seriously picked up yoga again. I started studying regularly in Northampton, MA sometime in the late 2000's. I tried Bikram for a year or so, grew bored of that, and switched to a more spiritualized hot yoga practice (Baptiste Power Yoga) at Shiva Shakti studio, which was wonderful. In January of 2010 I began wintering in New Orleans, and found Jivamukti Yoga. There were three amazing teachers at Swan River studio that helped me take my practice to new levels - Libby Bryan, Michele Baker, and Keith Porteous.

In 2011 I decided to take the Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training. It was my second winter in New Orleans. The first winter was about getting over a heartbreak, which deepened my yoga practice. The second winter my focus turned towards going to the teacher training, and since it was expensive and I had no money, towards fundraising. I started the NOLA YOGA Photography Project, in which I photographed local yogis around New Orleans in exchange for donations to my training fund. The project turned out to be a great success, earning me some of the money I needed to train and also getting my work published in magazines.

In May of 2011 I graduated from the Jivamukti Yoga Teacher Training with a 350 hour certificate. During the training I decided to call my yoga teaching persona 'Pashupa' from the Sanskrit “Pashupati“, an eponym for Shiva loosely translated to “protector of the animals.” I spent that summer in Northampton teaching small classes above a vegan restaurant, and in November moved back to New Orleans and began teaching almost daily at Swan River and other locations.

In 2012 I was hired by Jivamukti Yoga to be their Web Editor, and moved to New York City to work at Jivamukti NYC in Union Square. At this job I oversee 4 websites. JivamuktiYoga.com is the main site the profiles and class schedules of hundreds of teachers around the world, as well as the teacher trainings, writings of Sharon & David, locations of schools, blogs, forums, and an online shop. JivamuktiYoga.nyc is the site for the yoga center in New York City. JivamukteaCafe.com is for the Jivamuktea Café at the NYC center, and SimpleRecipesforJoy.com is the site for Jivamukti co-founder Sharon Gannon's new vegan cookbook. Working at the center gives me the opportunity to study and practice with some of the best teachers in NYC. I also get to study with Jivamukti Yoga co-founders Sharon Gannon and David Life regularly, and be surrounded by their teachings while I work. 

While living in NYC I have been able to deepen my practice of AcroYoga, and have begun training in Thai massage. Both of these passions have enhanced my yoga practice and teaching skills. The truth is, I love to teach. I teach several classes a week and learn as much from my students as they learn from me. This journey is amazing, and I love to share what I know, while continuing to grow myself.

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About Jivamukti Yoga

Jivamukti Yoga, co-founded by Sharon Gannon and David Life, is one of the nine recognized styles of hatha yoga. On the physical level it is a vigorous hatha yoga, vinyasa-based asana practice. As a spiritual practice, Jivamukti Yoga is a a path to enlightenment through compassion for all beings, which adheres to five central tenets:

  • BHAKTI – Cultivation of devotion and humility
  • DHYANA – Meditation, connecting to inner stillness
  • AHIMSA – Causing the least harm possible to all other beings
  • NADA YOGA – Deep listening, chanting, elevated music
  • SHASTRA – Scripture, exploration of the traditional texts of yoga

Each Jivamukti class (except beginner classes) will contain these elements, along with the asana practice (yoga poses). Also important to Jivamukti is the sequencing of asana, and the breath-focused segments of class known as vinyasa krama.