With over 37 years of experience, Annie is one of the most adept practitioners of traditional Ashtanga Yoga. She received her Advanced B teaching certification from Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in 1995, a rare honor, and she continues to study extensively in India. Annie has a very clear and compassionate teaching style. All levels of practitioners benefit from her ability to distill her decades of yogic studies and experiences in ways appropriate for each individual student. Her skill in working therapeutically with students of compromised health, physicality or other adverse situations is one of her most profound gifts. Annie’s students consistently praise her clarity and compassion in teaching, as well as her ability to meet each student’s particular needs.
Annie expresses her heartfelt gratitude to all of her teachers, in particular Guruji (the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois), Aunti-ji (the late Smt Tapti Sinha), and Acharya (Dr KLS Jois). These human lights have exemplified unconditional love and devotion, and have generously provided clear and accessible guidance to so many.
Annie’s yogic journey began in the late 1970’s, as the result of confusion created by reading a ‘simple’ book. This confusion morphed into curiosity and subsequently exploration of various methods of yoga, the influence of which BKS Iyengar’s teachings the most profound. Yet, there was still a craving, a sense of something more to the picture. On que, she was introduced to the Ashtanga tradition of practice by Richard Freeman. During Guruji’s first visit to Boulder in the 1980’s, it was made quite clear that she would be traveling to India to study.
“YOU! Come Mysore!” he spoke forcefully as she rose from her first pranam (nope, he didn’t even know her name yet). “When, Guruji?”, she asked meekly, not knowing what else to say (right, Annie speaking meekly...) He softened, smiled sweetly and replied, “Yoctober. You come Yoctober.” End of conversation.
This began her long term relationship with Guruji, which lasted the rest of his life, and continues with his family today. In her 27, or so, journeys to Mysore she has witnessed, consistently, the growth and sustenance of the lineage over contemporary time.
In the 1980’s Guruji taught no more than 6 students at a time in his old Shala, in Lakshmipuram. Gradually, that grew to 8, 10, and in the 1990‘s eventually to 12 students in the room, with 100 or more waiting for their spot. Later, the new Shala was built in Gokulum which accommodates approximately 100 at a time. Today, hundreds of students come to study with Saraswati and Sharath, not to mention the dozens of other smaller schools in Mysore.
Certainly, India has changed, America has changed, the students and the numbers have changed. But the essence of the practice remains. The practice remains “the practice”.
Annie considers it a blessing and and honor to have been entrusted with carrying on this lineage. It is her primary intention to do so in authenticity. Guruji intimately taught her the first four Ashtanga sequences completely and introduced her to the fifth (Advanced C Section). In 1995, he presented her with a rare “Advanced B” certification to teach.
After doing the “rock star” international teaching circuit in the 1990’s (then known as Annie Grover), she settled in Crestone, Colorado. There she established Shakti Sharanam, a small sustainable school where she welcomes students of all levels and walks of life. Annie has a gift for distilling her decades of knowledge and experience in an accessible way for all students. She offers community classes by donation, private and small group retreats, works with individuals therapeutically, and also offers courses in the public school system and to visiting retreat, school, and pilgrim groups.
Annie's immersion in yogic sciences also expands into Ayurveda, yogic cooking, and Hindustani music. These fields of study are also available at Shakti Sharanam.
The 'Ekam' CD was recorded at Shakti Sharanam, with Annie Pace and Glenn Bergstrom, and is available for purchase and/or download.