Seattle Yoga News is on a mission to find and highlight all of the hidden, and maybe not so hidden, gems in our yoga community and beyond. We want you to learn about their experiences and perspectives, but also a bit more about their personalities, so we have a few fun questions for them. This week’s spotlight is turned towards Troy Lucero.
Seattle Yoga News: What inspired you to become a yoga teacher?
Troy Lucero: I hear folks all the time talking about what inspired them to be yoga teachers. I’m not sure that’s the right question for me. When I started practicing yoga in the mid-’80s, no one was talking about inspiration. It seems to me to be a relatively recent phenomena. For me, I think it would be fair to say that the first yogāsana teacher that I fully committed to, Tim Miller, pushed me into following my dharma. This was sometime around 1992. He told me that he thought I would make a good teacher—an idea I hadn’t considered, even though teaching was something I’d been doing since high school, first as a swim coach, then as a university teacher’s assistant/tutor, and finally as a wilderness educator. Then yoga took over, and I began working random jobs so that I could dedicate myself to practice. I cared for little else besides yoga, surfing, Eastern philosophy, and living the utopian dream in an intentional community. So instead of being inspired, it was more like I was coerced to return to my true nature by someone who could see me. I’ll always be thankful for Tim’s “inspiration” during that time in my life.
Seattle Yoga News: What is one piece of advice you always give your students?
Troy Lucero: Learn everything you can learn from your teacher, and then forget it. So many students get hung up on the first things they learned in those first few classes and workshops. All of that stuff is valuable and appropriate in the beginning, but those instructions are just meant to get you into the ballpark. Once you step up to the plate you’ve got to adapt to the pitch that is being thrown at you. If you can let go of the endless list of techniques that you’ve accumulated, you are more likely to swing with freedom and knock it out of the park.
Seattle Yoga News: Describe your yoga philosophy?
Troy Lucero: The second sutra in Patañjali’s Yoga Sutras says that ‘Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.’ I think this gets right to the crux of the matter. Yoga is a liberation philosophy, a practice that helps you to cultivate a state free from your internal narrative. Since most, if not all, of experience is composed of memories of the past, anticipations of the future, and the endless stories spun from them, it is a rare moment when we can see clearly through these veils. You’ve got to work at removing them not only for yourself, but also for those around you right now, as well as for posterity.
Seattle Yoga News: If you could practice with anyone dead or alive, who would that be and why?
Troy Lucero: Even though I get more and more comfortable with the unavoidability of death as I age, I think practicing with someone who is dead would be a little bit creepy. I know, I know. There are folks who do their practice 24/7 at the funeral ghats along the Ganges, but that’s just not my thing. I prefer live practitioners. My favorite happens to be my teacher, Richard Freeman. He has the rare ability to cut through the ubiquitous BS of spiritual materialism, which is so pervasive in our species.
Seattle Yoga News: How lucky are you and why?
Troy Lucero: I’m lucky because I’m alive. Think about it: One out of approximately 100 million sperm must succeed in meeting up with one of about 450 eggs, which are left over from an initial 2 million egg follicles. If that’s not hard enough to wrap your head around, then apply those same statistics to your two parents, your four grandparents, your eight great grandparents . . . you get the idea. And I won’t even mention all the trillions of galaxies in the universe where there may be planets that may harbor life. The odds are staggering. The fact that I get to be a living, thinking, feeling, curious, loving, and cursing individual with what feels like free will never ceases to blow my mind.
Seattle Yoga News: What is your latest favorite thing about humanity?
Seattle Yoga News: Who would you like to nominate next for the yoga teacher spotlight?
Bio: Troy has dedicated the last thirty years to the practice and study of yoga. His primary yoga influences are Tim Miller, Pattabhi Jois, and Richard Freeman. Troy has developed a multifaceted technique focused on drawing out the natural intelligence inherent in each student. He strives to teach with a sense of humor to people of any age, experience level, and lifestyle.
Published on Aug 28, 2015