Derek Pashupa Goodwin
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Yoga Blog

Writings on yoga, shamanism & life by Derek Pashupa Goodwin, yogi, photographer, vegan, and ukulele provocatuer.

Happy birthday to my teacher

Keith Porteous, co-founder of Swan River Yoga in New Orleans I would like to take a moment out of my day to honor my teacher, whose current incarnation began on this day some years ago. Keith Porteous is the co-founder of Swan River Yoga, where I landed a couple years ago after following my broken heart down to New Orleans. Such a magic city, mentioned in so many songs. A place that knows of death and rebirth.

On this day I bow to the lotus feet of Sri Keith, who is one of the people who helped me immensely on my path to becoming a Jivamukti yoga teacher. Her heart is vast, her compassion deep. She perhaps does not know what a light she shines into the world. My words certainly can do it no justice. I just know that every class of hers I have taken has moved me towards engagement with the divine. When I hear her name my own heart lights up, and I feel gratitude to the universe for taking such good care of me.

Last winter while I was in the Crescent City, she was pregnant with her second child. Towards the end of my stay she stopped teaching, but I got to photograph her a couple weeks before her due date. It is always special for me to spend time with my teachers this way. She was on her way to bringing life into this world, and I was on my way to being reborn as a Jivamukti. The sunlight streamed through the trees in Audubon Park, and Keith moved through her asana as if being pregnant was second nature. As if she were a swan.

Today I am feeling the energy gathering within me that will set me in flight, back down to New Orleans. I will soon be teaching beside my teacher. What an honor and blessing. I can hear her voice, I can feel myself stretching out towards the unknown, always. Dear teacher, please remain in my life and continue to teach me. May your year be filled with transformations and blessings, and may your light ripple out into the universe through the people you touch.

Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, Hari Om.