This week Canadian Yoga lost one of its great icons and founding fathers. David McAmmond, who died at his home on Wednesday evening, leaves many hundreds of yoga teachers and students grateful for his mentorship, wisdom, humor and kindness.
David co-founded the very successful not-for-profit Yoga Centre in Calgary around 1980, one of the very first Yoga Studio’s in North America. His yoga prop business was also one of the first of its kind in North America.
I first attended one of David’s intermediate classes at the Yoga Centre in 1991 and my casual interest became a passion from that first encounter. It was a great community of yogis seeking a greater challenge of inversions and backbends, where the poses were quite challenging but everyone felt welcome.
David went on to become co-owner of the first commercial Yoga Studio in Calgary in 1996, a studio I later bought in 2001. He continued to teach there until a heart attack in about 2004. He later accepted an invitation to join the faculty of the Alberta Yoga College in 2014, teaching meditation and yoga for backs to hundreds of grateful teacher trainees.
We would meet each week on Wednesday mornings to chat about new areas of knowledge while practicing an asana or three with either Kathy Shea or Kelly Cooper.
He had remarkable flexibility and strength for poses like Pinca Mayurasana (Peacock’s Tail) and backbends. But stiffer people like myself always felt encouraged and welcome.
David had an uncanny knack for finding cutting edge information that enhanced the breadth of his wisdom. He introduced me to many great writers like Norman Doidge and the concept of Neuroplasticity, Prof. Stuart McGill, the leading back care researcher, as well as Todd Hargrove author of A Guide to Better Movement.
He was always generous with his knowledge and his training modules flowed organically and spontaneously from his deep well of knowledge.
We at the Alberta Yoga College remember him with fondness and will miss him deeply.