Jo McKendry began studying Iyengar yoga with Mary Dunn in 1991. A professional dancer at the time, she recalls practicing standing poses for the first five years with trembling limbs. As time went on, she came to appreciate the depth and art of yoga. As a mother of three small children in the New Jersey suburbs through the 1990s, she credits the memory of her time with Mary Dunn and BKS Iyengar’s Light on Yoga as “lifeboats.”
She moved to Brookline in 2007 and began studying with Patricia Walden. Again, shaking limbs. Through Patricia’s sheer tenacity and faith in all her students, Jo’s practice steadily deepened, and she is a recent graduate of Patricia’s teacher training program. She studies also with Roni Brissette, whose dedication to Iyengar yoga and her students is simply inspiring.
Jo first began teaching a few poses to her teenage daughters at home, who didn’t want to work much and talked back and laughed all the time. She is especially grateful for the opportunity to teach outside of her house, where she is sure there will be more work, less talk, and much laughter. When not on the mat, though occasionally there too, she writes poetry and stories. Her ongoing study of the yoga sutras and other essential texts has deepened her love of literature, and she finds evidence of their influence in much of what she reads.
Sometimes we can feel pressured to be someone other than who we are. Someone better. Yoga teaches us to step into our own shoes, to live where we are.—Jo McKendry