A young Ormond family
A young Ormond family

Born on the 21st of March in 1971, I am the oldest of four brothers.  When my father was 6 years old, he said to his mother, “I like dinosaurs.”  “Good,” she said.  “I’m going to name my oldest son Tyrannosaurus Rex,” he continued.  “No you’re not, you’re 6,” was her reply.  Apparently, fifteen years later this was all news to my mother and her only comment was, “I’m taking the boy home with me,” meaning that she was not going to name her son Tyrannosaurus Rex and the two of us would be leaving Kentucky for Utah.  My father, being rather sharp witted, compromised and they named me Tyran Rex.  Although I was born in Kentucky, I have always considered the Wasatch Mountains of Utah and specifically Pleasant Grove, as my home.

New Ormond Family
A new Ormond family

For 19 years I lived with my parents before leaving for East Germany in 1990 to serve a two year LDS mission.  During those first 19 years, my three brothers were born.  I also attended school, receiving a scholarship to one of the local colleges.  It was also during this time that I met my future wife, Shanna, although we had no romantic interest in each other until after I returned from my mission.  Eight months after returning home to Utah, Shanna and I began dating and we were married about eight months later on July 10, 1993.  It was during this first year or so of our marriage that my journey along a yogic path started with Shanna telling me how much she had enjoyed her Yoga class at the University of Utah.

Our family quickly began to grow with the birth of our first son in November of 1994 followed by three more children over the course of 9 years.  During that time, the stressors in my life continued to pile higher and higher. At the same time, my temper was becoming shorter and shorter and my depressions deeper and longer.

Three Generations
Three Generations of Family

Along with our first son, autism became part of our lives as well.  I was constantly searching for ways Shanna and I could help our son enjoy life as much as possible.  It was as part of this search that I learned that Yoga might help kids with autism develop better gross motor skills and mental focus; so, I began to investigate Yoga.  At about that same time, Shanna had a fall and herniated one of the discs in her spine.  Before considering surgery for her injury, the doctor recommended a number of exercises.  When Shanna showed them to me, I immediately recognized them as Yoga postures.  I figured that if Yoga was supposed to be good for my son and the doctor thought it was good for my wife, then surely it must be good for me too!

I began my practice in February of 2002.  The All-Day Yoga Workout DVD with Rodney Yee, Patricia Walden and Suzanne Deason along with every book I could read in the local libraries became my first teacher.  About a year after I began my practice and trying to teach my kids what I was learning, neighborhood kids would randomly show up and practice as well; suddenly I was now a “Yoga Teacher.”  Over the next five years I would share my thoughts on my practice and teaching and Yoga through my blog, Everyday Yoga.  I often considered becoming a certified teacher but the expense was prohibitive and the one local attempt I made to claim someone as “my teacher” failed dismally.

Gurudev, Yogi Amrit Desai
Yogi Amrit Desai

In 2008 I began teaching at the local community center.  I was also feeling a great deal of internal pressure to have a piece of paper that certified me as a Yoga Teacher.  As I considered where I would train, a name that had come up regularly over the previous four years came up once again:  Yogi Amrit Desai.  I began to save every penny and the next year, 2009, I found myself at the Amrit Yoga Institute.

Firmly on the path
Level I
Teacher Training

That year began a transformation which continues to this day.  In early 2009 I started practicing Amrit Yoga daily as preparation for my teacher training.  The most noticeable effect for me was no longer having to endure the twice a year bought with depression that had occurred for as long as I can remember every spring and winter.  Returning from the first session of Level I training at the Amrit Yoga Institute, Shanna remarked, “You look like my husband, you sound like my husband, but you’ve been body snatched!  Who are you?!  Don’t get me wrong, I like it but I still don’t know what to make of it.”  Changes continued that year as I returned to the Institute, also known as the Ashram, for part B of that first training.  I started teaching privately as well as at the community center and my own personal practice or sadhana was creating more changes in me as well.

Firmly rooted in the practice
Firmly rooted
in sadhana

The next year saw me open a small Yoga studio with a friend as well as return twice more to the Ashram to complete the Level II teacher training.  2011 held another journey to the Amrit Yoga Institute, this time I would receive a Sanskrit name from Gurudev:  Ramdas which means servant of Ram.  I have always loved and continute to love telling the story of Tyran Rex but, being a somewhat smart kid, I have knew that Tyrannosaurus Rex was part Greek—tyrannos, meaning tyrant and sauros meaning lizard—and part Latin—rex meaning king.  I later discovered that the exact spelling of my name, Tyran Rex, was Latin for tyrant king and that is what I heard most often when others spoke my name.  This is only one of the reasons I cherish the name given me by my guru.

In the two years since then, I have returned to the ashram twice to complete the Yoga Nidra Facilitator Training and celebrate Gurudev’s 80th birthday in 2012 and to complete an advanced teacher training in the summer of 2013.  It was also during the summer of 2013 that the little Yoga studio closed.  Since that time I have started writing two books, one about being a Mormon Yogi and the other about what Yoga is.  I look forward to completing training to teach Yoga in prisons and to being on the teaching staff for Level II Teacher Training at the Ashram in 2014.  This journey has taken me places I never expected to see and allowed me to see myself in ways I never could have before.  Where will your Yoga Journey take you?

Jai Bhagwan!

Ramdas Ormond Beach

AY TeacherERYT500AYN Facilitator