DAY FIVE: Dedicated to Ren

Author: thedancingj /

I am not really qualified to write this, but here goes.

The Bikram community lost one of its own in the last hours of 2009.  A deeply fabulous senior teacher, seminar leader, and true Bikram yogi by the name of Ren Soriano.  In the last few days on Facebook, so many yogis have been speaking up and sharing their beautiful memories of him.  He was simply adored, as a teacher and as a human being.  Across the board, there is one sentiment that keeps being repeated: he is still with us.  He still lives in us.  We won't forget him.  We honor him by living our lives the way he would have wanted us to live.  He is with us.

He taught for Bikram in Los Angeles, and I saw him plenty of times when I visited headquarters.  He was a perfect bundle of energy and enthusiasm.  But you know, I never took his class.  I walked by him in that big room and never started a conversation with him.  I was really looking forward to it.  I thought there would be time.  It scares me shitless that he's just gone.  He wasn't old; he was younger than Bikram.  He was a yogi, a senior teacher, the real thing.  Part of me thought that these people were supposed to be spared, they were supposed to stick around to help guide the rest of us.  I guess that was naive, one of my last illusions.  Next time, I won't wait around.

As they say:  Life is a terminal illness... act accordingly.

Ren's funeral is being held this morning in Hollywood.  I can't make it, but I will dedicate my yoga practice to him tonight.  For those of you who knew him - and those like me who didn't, but wish you did - maybe this is one of the best things we can do.  And if you have memories of him, please, I invite you to share them here.

6 comments:

bikramyogachick said...

J~ perfect. Just beautiful. Thanks for writing this post!
I took Ren's class when he was passing through Vegas last year. He was fabulous. Full of energy and really made the class fun. What an awesome teacher! Tonight I will dedicate my practice to his memory. Rest in peace Ren.....

Danielle said...

Thanks for this post, J. I remember Ren from training... we had one of the best, most fun classes with him. His energy and excitement are simply contagious. I just remember laughing and really having fun. The other thing I remember is that he was the lead in one of our very first posture clinics. it was Eagle Pose, actually. It was one of the first clinics where a teacher go into the "why" of the postures. He took it incredibly seriously and got rather offended when he thought people weren't paying attention. But I know I was hanging on his every word. I always use many of the things I learned from him when I teach. I wrote an entire journal entry about him, but never actually wrote anything on my blog about it - because to me, it was a very personal thing. He was a beautiful heart, amazing spirit. I, too, will dedicate my practice today to Ren.

lynxofsilver said...

Ren was bright sunshine at training, lifting our spirits with posture clinics, his class (hey don montana!) and the fabulous hair cuts he gave! Didn't know Ren well, did spend time with him at a later training just chatting. Gentle, concerned about what he was undertaking.

I didn't have a chance to read the post before I practiced, but already knew it was his memorial today and sent love during my practice this morning.

thedancingj said...

Here's a note I got from Margie on facebook. (Margie you should be able to post on here, but sometimes you need to try it a couple times!)

I can hear ren's words in the first class i took with him during my training....
vert-a-bra,....by vert-a-bra....by vert-a-bra....and can you say...slow pranayama? six years ago, ren taught at my teacher training, and then six years later i had him as a teacher again in vegas......both special moments in my life...today we dedicated advanced class practice with diane ducharme to you, and invited ren to be in the room with us...it was a wonderful day!!!!

Jocelyn Larsen said...

My name is Joyce Larsen. I am Ren's only sister and was with him during his illness and passing. We were extremely close and the pain and void of losing him at times is unbearable. I find comfort in reading blogs and messages like this that humbles me and realize he lives on in the people whose lives he has touched. I am in awe of all the outpouring of love from his other family "Bikram Yoga Communities Worldwide" and for that I am grateful. Grateful for all the people who spoke at his memorial of how much Ren meant to them and changed their lives. Grateful for all the people who couldn't be there but were there in spirit and dedicated their classes and practices to him. Grateful for all his students who will carry on Ren's passion and purpose and whose lives he will continue to light up!!!

princess said...

I still can't believe it, but glad we got to spend so much time together and have fun.
We loved swimming, eating, shopping, going to the movies, Indian buffets, dogs, and I will miss him but everyday I see a mini cooper and I think he's around and yesterday my phone froze on his image, which has never happened before!

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