On Monday 14th May 2018 Ernest Coates past away. I have known Ernest for many years, he was Ernest by name and earnest by nature. As a young man he was a businessman and an engineer, engineers make things work, mechanical things, technical things etc. When Ernest found he had an ulcer he decided to give up his former stressful work-life and find out through yoga how the human body best works.
This led him to him travelling to many places in the world and studying and meeting with many influential yogis. Stella Cherfas the Principal of the London Yoga Studio, John Warner director of the Sivananda Centre in London also Swami Vishnu Devananda in Canada. He attended the BKS Iyengar training course. Ernest travelled extensively in his search and in the USA he met with Swami Muktananda from India, he then travelled to India and spent some time in Ganeshpuri Ashram, Bombay the headquarters of Siddha Yoga. He travelled North of India and met Swame Yogeshwarananda and stayed in Rishikesh on the edge of the Ganges in the Himalayas. He also felt lucky enough to be advised by Swame Satyanands, head of the Bihar School of Yoga. However, of all the powerful and knowledgeable people he had met the one who Ernest talked about the most was Dr Swami Gitananda from the Pondicherry Ashram who he said was one of the greatest Yoga teachers of our time. When Swami Gitananda died, his Self/Soul left his body, his Mahasamadi, Ernest was present at the farewell ceremonies.
FRYOG was lucky enough to have Ernest as Chairman. Previously Pauline Mainland had singlehandedly run FRYOG.
Ernest had a wealth of knowledge and taught classes and courses drawn from all he had learned and absorbed from his many teachers. He taught the whole system of Yoga, the asanas, the physical postures, pranayama, the movement of subtle energy around the body, mudras, gestures usually of the hands to send energy to different parts of the body, cleansing practises, also meditation, focus and concentration as well as the Yamas and Niyamas, self respect and respect for others. In Ernest’s own words,
“Yoga is a complete system of self-development that entails personal effort, discipline, simplicity ad contact with the higher mind, Self and reality. The Yoga practices, together with an understanding of reincarnation and Karma, will lead to being self-reliant and the ability of life’s problems.”
On the 14th May Ernest Coates Mahasamadi occurred, a great man, loved by many, never forgotten by all who met him.