Meet the yogis along my path

A long line of yogis - angels, sages and friends - have been sent to my path to direct and guide me. Hilaire Lockwood. Annie Topie. Chinook Wusdhu. Laurel Hodory. Baron Baptiste.

I’m blessed to have encountered and been influenced by some great yogis in my life.

Two have been recognized lately.

Hilaire Lockwood, the founder and guru of the studio, has had a huge impact on my practice as well as my spirit. She defies this physical body and realm and yet walks within it with such light and life.

Hilaire Lockwood Hilaire Lockwood, founder Hilltop Yoga

She was featured this month in the Lansing Business Monthly, an article titled, “Passion for Yoga.”

Annie Topie is a colleague and instructor I respect greatly.

She will be joining a new studio called State of Fitness. Here’s a profile of her on their site, “March Spotlight – Yoga with Annie Topie.”

I went to Annie’s class faithfully for more than a year with a vow to myself that “I’m going to keep coming until I find her class to be easy.” That never happened. There’s always a new challenge, a new revelation in Annie’s room, not just physically but internally and intentionally.

Both of these women are the latest in a long line of yogis – angels, sages and friends – who’ve been sent to my path to direct and guide me.

Arnita Lorraine Thurston Meet my mom circa 1973. That's the smile I remember from childhood.

My yoga path began with my mom. I remember seeing her in a shoulder stand out the side of my eye as I walked past a room as a kid. I stopped and turned around, “What are you doing?” She said come in and join her and find out. What a fun afternoon getting into lotus, doing shoulder stands, falling onto each other and laughing.

That kept me open to a new state of being. First, grownups can be playful with their bodies. Second, a state of peace can be achieved in the ghetto.

Later in life I stumbled into power yoga in 2000 in Dallas and it’s taken off from there.

Chinook Wusdhu was a good mentor for Tai Chi and power yoga. You can find him at Tsada Yoga in Dallas.

We had guest yogis and did some awesome and crazy things like yoga raves and created a fun network called the Yoga Underground. (I have a fun take on that idea for this summer in Lansing so stay tuned)

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