10. Ryan Tigner
Oklahoma based yoga teacher, Ryan Tigner, shows that he’s a real life hero when he saved his student’s life in the middle of class.
When 50-year old Nick Zaizar had a heart attack while taking Tigner’s class at Hidden Dragon, Tigner quickly performed CPR and called 911.
9. Jessica Parsons
Being differently-abled never stopped 16-year old Jessica Parsons from pursuing her love for yoga. Parsons regular teaches yoga classes at her parents’ studio, Let it Go Yoga.
She also has her own Yoga for Teens DVD and makes yoga accessories which she sells on her website. She truly is an inspiration for others with Down’s Syndrome.
8. Jessamyn Stanley
Jessamyn Stanley has become one of the most popular Body Positive yoga teachers today. Through her classes and videos, and even an upcoming book, she advocates for people to love themselves, and love their bodies, regardless of size, shape, or color.
7. Youssef Majeed
While many try to get as far away as they can from war zones, Youssef Majeed continued to teach yoga in Syria and Lebanon even under the threat of bombings at any moment.
A survivor of war himself, he used yoga to heal both his physical and emotional injuries and hopes to help others by teaching and setting up an Art of Living center in Syria.
6. Hiiro Prince
Under the umbrella of his True Identity Movement Project, Vancouver, British Colombia, Canada teacher, Hiiro Prince launched donation-based Vancouver Gay Men’s Yoga (VGMY) classes. His aim was to provide a safe space for Gay, Bi, and Trans men to thrive.
Unfortunately, Prince informed us through email that VGMY is currently on hiatus due to lack of attendance but he is currently working on other projects to help bring the Eight Limbs of Yoga in to the community.
5. Brooke Boon
Bhakti Yoga, or the yoga of devotion, is most often expressed by yoga practitioners at kirtans and bhajans – singing various names of gods and goddesses to celebrate life. This aspect of yoga has made many of different religions uncomfortable with practicing yoga thinking that it is a form of worship to Hindu gods (modern yoga is most definitely not).
Brooke Boon combined her devotion to her Christian faith with yoga with Holy Yoga classes. Each movement is a mindful prayer to give thanks to Jesus and she roots her messages from teachings in the Bible.
4. Ashima Suri
Toronto-based teacher, Ashima Suri, combined two aspects of Indian Culture into one celebratory, fun class: Bolly Yoga. A Classical Indian dancer herself, Suri wanted to combine the over-the-top, joyous movements of Bollywood music and dance with the introspection and mindfulness of yoga.
3. Ida Herbert
In August 2016, we bade Ida Herbert a very happy 100th birthday. As one of the world’s oldest yoga teachers, she continues to teach and inspire many more generations of yoga practitioners and teachers to get on their mat no matter what age they are.
2. In Memoriam: TKV Desikachar and Trevor Tice
The yoga world lost two admirable teachers in 2016. TKV Desikachar, who passed away in August 2016, wrote the book Heart of Yoga and helped continue and strengthen his father’s legacy of modern yoga.
In the United States, Trevor Tice, founder of Core Power Yoga passed away unexpectedly in his home. He helped popularize yoga in the West and opened up many doors for people who otherwise never would have gotten on a yoga mat.
1. Guruji Baba Ramdev
No other yoga teacher from India has been covered in so many headlines in 2016 than saffron robe clad Baba Ramdev. This Guruji, as many in his country call him, is one of the busiest teachers on the planet.
His school, which has centers all over the world, opened its doors to provide yoga teacher training to hundreds of physical education teachers across india, he has worked on a yoga textbook which the Indian government hopes to introduce as the official book to be used in primary schools, promotes an Ayurvedic consumer products line, and even found time to teach yoga and pranayama to the kids and judges on The Voice Kids India.