YTOC wishes to acknowledge the following Founding Members who made it all possible when they formed the YTOC organization in May, 1980.

  • Peggen Bondreau
  • Myrna Bottone
  • J. Brooks
  • Katherine Detre (deceased)
  • Carol Driste-Addey
  • Dot Dulaney
  • Mardi Erdman (deceased)
  • Patricia Hansen
  • Glenda Heath
  • Judy Hein
  • Jo Murphy
  • Alice Rasmussen
  • Claudette Rue
  • Stephanie Taylor
  • Adeline Morris (deceased) – Honorary Founding Member (Adeline was Colorado’s 1st Yoga Teacher and the one who really got the ball rolling back in the 1960’s and ’70’s.)
  • Mukunda Stiles (deceased) – Honorary Founding Member – Mukunda taught the teacher training in May 1980 from which YTOC was formed.

Letter from key founder, Mukunda Stiles, who entered Maha Samadhi, 18 February 2014.

In May of 1980, Ina Hambrick of the Yoga and Fitness Center sponsored Colorado’s first yoga teacher certification course taught by yours truly. Ina had initially met me in 1976 during Yoga Classes in Berkeley, California with BKS Iyengar. I was then a recent graduate of the first class of the Institute for Yoga Teacher Education (later renamed the Iyengar Yoga Institute). After this course Iyengar came up with the idea of certifying his students in Iyengar Yoga. His requirement then was that the teacher not chant, meditate or have a spiritual practice. I could not agree to his terms as Swami Muktananda was my spiritual mentor and I was authorized by him to teach meditation and raja yoga. This was in spite of the fact that I taught predominently Iyengar’s hatha yoga method. After this trial, I returned to my classical hatha/raja roots in Krishnamacharya’s method and added many of Iyengar’s concepts of working with the physical body to formulate what I called Structural Yoga in 1978.

The course in Denver was a 100 hour program similar to ones I had been giving in California. At this time I was director of the Sacramento Holistic Health Institute, a state certified vocational school with courses in massage therapy, bodywork, Yoga teachers, rebirthing, and holistic health education. Twelve people signed up for the intensive 3 week course. The students included Shar Lee, Judy Hein, Myrna Bottone, Mardi Erdman, Glenda Heath and Joanne Murphy. As I was still fresh on the steps of my two year Iyengar teacher training, the classes I gave then were quite demanding. Shar Lee tells the story of getting home late from class and siting in the bathtub trying to memorize the Sanskrit names of all the asanas required for the course. Then falling asleep in the tub awakening at a wee hour. The students all came to class diligently and passed my difficult challenges with determination. Following the awarding of certification in Structural Yoga, the graduates held a meeting to found Yoga Teachers of Colorado. Also present at the meeting were other teachers who had not attended the certification course.

I am delighted to have been instrumental in helping YTOC get started. I hope that I will be remembered as something of a midwife or parent to this wonderful organization. I am looking forward to more time with you all as I will be living in Colorado by the time this goes to press.

Namaste,
mukunda