Ish Moran is a mountain of a man – solid, majestic, and steady. Despite his large chiseled frame of six foot-three, there is lightness in his motion. He embodies the meditative movement of the yoga practice he deftly offers students. Moran’s celebratory style of teaching with an emphasis on alignment is the ground, the base that supports students to use their bodies as a vehicle for attuning with oneself and the world.
Classes are a fusion of world beat music, yoga flow, and his velvet-toned voice of detailed instruction, with an additional juicy component, his strong capable hands. “Hopefully through my gentle adjustments, students can discover a different way of being in the pose.” And that is precisely the gift he shares with those fortunate enough to experience his profound presence.
Ish Moran’s personal pathway into yoga came via his beloved wife and soul mate Karen. As a result of basketball and running injuries, he began to listen to what his body was communicating. The Iyengar system of yoga introduced him to a way of strengthening and focusing mentally and physically without the unwanted aches and pains that were benching his athletic pursuits.
Ish Moran dedicated himself to his first six years of study with certified Iyengar instructor Judy Narvid. Quite by chance, he happened upon a “long-haired dude using music, movement and a sense of humor,” at his local gym. The “dude” was Steve Ross, who catalyzed the concept of yoga as a joyful expression, reclaiming an appreciation that the practice of yoga didn’t have to be austere to have profound benefits. Moran joined Ross for six more years of study before he would eventually sign on for teacher training with renowned yoga teacher Rod Stryker. Ross would eventually become the owner of Maha Yoga Studio in Brentwood where, again, by chance, he asked Moran to sub one of his classes.
Teaching yoga was a natural progression. It was a way to continue dedicating himself to his own studies and practice. In exchange for teaching, Moran received free classes. It is an ego-less endeavor, more about sharing rather than imposing himself on another’s experience. His personal rhythm and flow style of teaching surfaced over time by creating classes that are balanced between music, movement and sequence.
Music was an essential piece, a soulful emergence from his own connection to the vibratory power of sound. Movement is the body’s natural flow, and sequence for Ish Moran is a meticulous consideration in which students ease from one pose to the next in a way that keeps the mind steady, focused, and engaged. “I don’t want to create a transition that jars the mind. Once the mind starts to take over it will criticize, complain. I want the body to release into the poses and align itself properly so the mind can become more still.”
His day job as a probation officer cultivated a model of living by example that informs his teaching style. It is an essential feature of Ish Moran’s calling to share his life experience in such a way that may help others avoid the trials and tribulations that cause unnecessary afflictions. “Some people hear it, some people don’t. That’s ok. My teaching comes from my experience. I try to remember what the shift was that allowed me to release into the pose. I use my voice as a gentle push instructing alignment that protects the body without agitating the mind. It is not a demand.” He respects the process that took his own body years of focused listening to absorb. Ish Moran began his practice with hurt hips, hands, elbows, knees and shoulders. And then one day, he noticed: “All of a sudden you’re not suffering, you’re not fighting your body, criticism ceases, and you begin to focus on the joy, not the pain. If a student closes their eyes and smiles you can witness the spirit lifting.”
Ish Moran is here to share, to be the example of experience that informs his own journey. Through his kind albeit firm attention, yoga students and the young men in his charge as a probation officer are guided toward the bounty of their deepest potential. He is a gateway to freedom, to joyful reunion with one’s true nature.
Ish Moran still teaches at Maha Yoga in Brentwood.