MEET THE TEACHER
Cory started teaching at Flow Yoga Center in Washington, DC on his first day back from Jivamukti Teacher Training in 2008 and hasn’t stopped since. Over the course of these years his commitment to practice and teaching has continually deepened, and in December 2015 he resigned from an international food policy position at the U.S. Food & Drug Administration to pursue yoga study, practice and teaching full-time.
For Cory, yoga has been about transformation – physical, mental, emotional, energetic and spiritual. It all started in 1998 when a good friend gave him a book about Buddhism along with a statue of the Buddha. (That Buddha holds a prominent position on his personal altar to this day.) Then, in 2002, while living in New York City, and after experiencing first-hand the horror of 9/11, he turned to yoga. He began with a soft introduction to the beginner series at the Integral Hatha Yoga Institute in NYC’s West Village and was later introduced to the mind-blowing experience of Jivamukti Yoga. Since that time, pretty much everything about the way Cory views the world has been turned on its head. Once a super goal-oriented, judgmental, high-tempered, career driven individual, he thanks yoga for making him the more even minded person he humbly aspires to be today.
Cory is grateful for the practice and the amazing experiences and relationships it has brought into his life. Yoga Nepal has played a significant role in that progression. Cory's love for yoga stems from the powerful transformation he has experienced in his own life and has been fortunate enough to witness in others.
Ashtanga Yoga is foundational to the Jivamukti practice and in about 2008 Cory began to incorporate Ashtanga into his weekly routine, mostly through led classes and the occasional mysore and/or home exploration. In 2014, he was introduced to the teachings of David Garrigues – a Certified Ashtanga Teacher from Philadelphia. After some months of learning from David through his well known “Asana Kitchen” YouTube series, Cory made the trip to Philadelphia for a 5 day mysore intensive. It was a life changer. David was the teacher Cory had been seeking. Not only is David an incredibly gifted asana teacher, he also gives top notch instruction in the other 7 limbs. At the end of the 5 days, Cory approached David and asked to become his student. Nearly 2 years later, Cory is now apprenticing with David and launching his own mysore program at Flow Yoga Center.
Because David Life (co-founder of Jivamukti Yoga and Cory’s teacher since 2002) is also a Certified Ashtanga Teacher, the transition between the two methods felt seemless and beneficial for Cory. He is excited and honored to continue to offer these teachings on a daily basis through led and mysore style classes.
For the Yoga Nepal pilgrimage, it’s not important that you come in with mysore experience. You simply need to have a desire to deepen your yoga — all 8 limbs — and a willingness to explore the practice using the framework provided to us by the master, Guruji Sri K Pattabhi Jois. Cory will meet you where you are in the practice and guide you to develop a practice that you’ll be able to take with you wherever you go.
Khenpo Karma Gyurmey (Drokpa Tulku) was born in 1978 in Nubri in northern Nepal. In 1987, when he was nine years old, he was ordained as a Buddhist monk at Ka Nying Shedrub Ling Monastery in Boudhanath, Nepal. There he pursued his elementary studies, which included memorizing many texts and learning the monastery's tradition of chanting. In 1998 he commenced studies in the monastic college at the Sangye Yeshe Higher Shedra. He studied there for nine years, focusing on texts related to sutra- and mantra-level Buddhism as well as general fields of study. Currently he teaches to those who are interested in Buddhist teachings, both ordained and lay, from both East and West.
Anil Chitrakar trained as an engineer and energy planner and has been at the forefront of numerous projects aimed at economic, social and environmental sustainability in Nepal. Anil was also born to a family of artisans and loves sharing his knowledge of Nepal's rich cultural heritage. He's worked closely and tirelessly with local artisans for the preservation of the arts, crafts and living heritage of the Kathmandu Valley and offers a rare, "behind-the-scenes" look at life in the Malla cities.
James Hopkins has been traveling and living in South Asia for the past 18 years. In 2004, James moved to Nepal where he studied Buddhist philosophy and Himalayan languages at Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery. He now works at the monastery as the Director of Development – gathering support for the activities of the monastery around the world. In 2006, he started a microfinance project in an encampment of street beggars (Quilts for Kids Nepal) which now provides jobs for economically-challenged women and sponsors the education of about 40 children from that community. James has a great hands-on knowledge of the Hindu and Buddhist holy sites of the Kathmandu Valley and enjoys sharing it with visitors.
Bidur Ghimire, Transportation Director and Guide
Bidur was born and raised in Nepal and received his Bachelor's degree from Tribhuvan University. He also completed the Nepali government's tourism training course, and since 1999, has worked for Royal Mountain Trekking Nepal (p.) Ltd as a tour guide and program planner. For more than 4 years, Bidur has been an essential member of the Yoga Nepal team, handling all transportation details and supporting us on hikes. Bidur recently completed his Masters degree in Buddhism and Himalayan Studies at Lumbini Buddhist University in Kathmandu.