Richard Jonas has practiced Iyengar Yoga since 1990 and taught it since 2000. He has studied with the Iyengar family in India five times. His teachers are Brooke Myers and James Murphy, and he studied for many years with Mary Dunn.
“Yoga helped me work through a disabling back injury,” he says, “while giving me emotional balance and a spiritual grounding I never had before. I teach to share with others what was given to me. The Iyengar method spoke to me from my first class. The way it tied together body, mind, and spirit made it clear this would be a worthwhile lifetime pursuit.”
A member of the boards of directors of the regional (IYAGNY) and national (IYNAUS) Iyengar Yoga associations, Richard was creative director of Yoga Samachar. His extensive writing on yoga for Yoga Samachar and Yoga Rahasya reflects his prior experience in advertising (writing TV commercials) and journalism (as a film and music reviewer, reporter, and editor). His “life sketch” of B. K. S. Iyengar when Guruji received the Padma Vibhushana award in February 2014 became the basis for Guruji’s obituary in Yoga Samachar. Most recently he wrote the “dog biographies” for Rescue Me, an upcoming book of portraits by Richard Phibbs of dogs rescued by the Humane Society of New York.
Richard co-founded Children of Nowhere, which raised more than $100,000 to fund health care for children with AIDS in Romania.
Richard has taught yoga to people living with AIDS and to incarcerated teenagers at Rikers Island. His teaching style is persistent, patient, and motivating. He advises students: “Listen to your teacher, listen to your body. Don’t compare yourself to others, compare yourself to yourself. Watch for progress, it will come—and the watching hones your perceptions. Work with what you understand, and trust that in time your understanding will be enlarged.”