In 1893, the United States received its first real yogi in the form of Swami Vivekanada from East India. In the 1930”™s Krishnamurti was here promoting yoga and yogic philosophies until his death in 1986. The hippie era in the 60”™s and 70”™s increased the momentum of the yoga movement that has now crossed over into the mainstream. Interestingly though, we rarely come in contact with yoga teachers whom were raised in a home with Hindu deities on the wall and memories like that of Noah MazÃ©. When asked how he found yoga, he replies, “I was born into it and raised with an Indian or Eastern based yogic tradition. As far back as I can remember we had pictures of Hindu Gods and I remember meditating and chanting as a child and always going to the Ashram.” In India it is considered a great honor to find yoga in your lifetime and even greater to be born into a family of yogis.
At thirteen years of age, Noah began practicing asana. “Growing up in Boulder, Colorado, I was allowed to take yoga for credit. I would go to Richard Freeman”™s class and he would sign my pass giving me school credit for doing yoga,” he explains. “So, my first love of hatha yoga was the Ashtanga Vinyasa yoga as taught by Richard Freeman.” Later, Noah went on to college where he was able to take his asana and meditation practice with him while he was away from his teachers. He received a degree from Prescott College in Wilderness Education and began working for Outward Bound. He led white water rafting trips, kayaking trips, mountaineering trips and more. “Of everything we did, my love is rock climbing and back country skiing. I did a senior project about avalanche forecasting and saved (the life of someone who) was buried in the snow. I got a good grade for that,” he laughs.
At Outward Bound, Noah was trained in education, group dynamics, conflict resolution, interpersonal communication and more. “My training in outdoor education lends itself to teaching yoga,” he says. “Outward Bound”™s whole philosophy is the conscious use of the metaphor and how it”™s not the activities themselves, but the metaphor of the journey to teach deeper values. It”™s about going from strangers in a strange land to family in an empowered way. It”™s very much what yoga does,” he explains.
His teaching journey has taken him all over the world from New York to India. “I lived in Tucson, Arizona for 2 years where I taught everywhere from the recreation center at the local university to a Pilates studio to five star resorts,” he says. “I wanted to teach my yoga in as many settings as possible. I wanted to share what was given to me by my teachers,” he says.
His spiritual background includes the teachings of Gurumayi and the Siddha Yoga tradition. For a time, Noah spent six months in New York at Gurumayi”™s Ashram, then six months at her Ashram in India, then six in New York, then six in India. “I was in India when I took an official yoga teacher training that was basically an Anusara training. After that I was able to practice with other teachers and it was where I met my current and primary teacher, John Friend,” he explains. “I experienced a whole new world. I got to see who John Friend was and what he could offer me. I really wanted to study with him. It was the pivotal point when I chose the path of teaching yoga in my adult life.” John Friend used to spend summers at the Ashram and Noah would spend hours each day learning from him. In addition to studying and traveling with John Friend, Noah studies the philosophies of the yoga tradition with Dr. Douglas Brooks.
Noah is widely recognized as one of the most highly skilled teachers of Anusara Yoga in the country. He teaches his students with an uplifting, energetic style encouraging them to reach new heights in their yoga practice as well as in their lives. “I continue to fall in love with teaching. It”™s such a gift and an auspicious thing to do,” he says. “I have to offer my gratitude to my teachers,” he continues. “I”™ve been blessed with amazing teachers and my hope is that I honor them and that my teaching honors them and shows them that the yoga tradition is alive.”
Noah believes that there is one benevolent consciousness and everything in the world is a manifestation of that consciousness. He says, “As part of that consciousness we are empowered, we have the freedom to choose. I want my students to find a deeper level of themselves. I want them to find out what they truly want, whether it”™s a deeper love or a more meaningful career or family life. I want to leave them with a sense of their own empowerment, to know that they can change, to know that transformation is possible.”