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[whitespace] Dave Nelson

Cosmic Bends

Along with Darren Main, Dave Nelson is co-owner and co-founder of Castro Yoga, an oasis of heartful breath and inspired body-wringing in the Castro

By Mark Ewert

What do you do?

The short answer is "entrepreneur and yogi." The long answer is "part of a cosmic conspiracy to assist people in realizing their full potential."

How did you start?

I started in Downward-Facing Dog [a yoga pose] and worked up from there. I found myself at a turning point in my career, and this space was empty. Darren and I had an idea to fill it. The space was a metaphor for a space we had in our lives. We were ready to fill that with yoga, to make a deeper commitment to our practice, our teaching and our community.

How long have you been doing this?

This studio's been open since July of 1998 C.E. I've been practicing yoga for about three and a half years.

Who or what is your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from the people who come through the door. I'm totally turned on by turning people on to a daily practice of mindfulness.

Do you have any pet peeves about this career?

Quacks and dogmatists. Quacks are people who don't want to spend the time to be a student, but want to be teachers. Dogmatists are people who think that history has more to tell us than the truth inside of us. People who think that unless something's 10,000 years old it isn't any good: "It's always been this way," or "The sages say ..."

Are there any perks to the job?

People who are willing to do the work--watching them unfold spiritually, physically, psychologically. You see how people are more and more able to love themselves. It's not the poses that are essential, it's the process of getting to them. That takes self-acceptance, surrender and discipline--love is all that. To get into a forward bend, you can't just muscle your way through it. You observe how you approach a difficult pose, and that shows you how you approach your life in general. Over time you learn how to handle yourself more gently. ...

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From the December 6, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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