Eddie Modestini’s passion for yoga is unparalleled, as evidenced by the fact that he has been teaching for as long as he’s been a yogi. His sharp eye for reading students’ bodies, thorough anatomical study, and a deep interest in how the human body moves made him a master of yoga therapy. “Through the experience of watching yoga heal me, I know that it has the capacity to heal the masses,” he says.
Severe, relentless back pain originally drew Eddie to yoga. In July 1983, while struggling to find relief from the pain through various healing modalities, he met a yoga teacher, Gayna Uransky. From his first class, he realized he had found his path—and lost no time jumping in with both feet.
In an effort to understand his own body and pain, Eddie studied anatomy in depth and intended to become a physical therapist. He soon realized he could be more effective teaching what he was already practicing—yoga. So began his study of Iyengar Yoga, which provided him with the fundamentals of strong structural alignment for safe asana practice. Eddie became certified in the Iyengar system in 1985, a challenging feat at the time, among the first class of teachers certified on the East Coast.
While Iyengar Yoga gave Eddie the foundation he craved, he wanted more. His search led him to Ashtanga Yoga and K. Pattabhi Jois. With his Iyengar background, he was able to embrace the grace and fluidity of Vinyasa as taught by Guruji.
Today, well-versed in both systems of yoga, Eddie is a master teacher, who has been perfecting his craft for over 30 years. Yoga is his life’s work and his deepest passion. He has healed himself from two slipped discs in his lower back through his persistent and tenacious effort. His phenomenal ability to see the body as a whole, as well as a system of bones, joints and muscles, lends him a natural inclination for interpreting anatomical misalignments and the skills to bring people back to their center and to health.
When Eddie shines his light on a student, they grow. Known as a teacher’s teacher, he has taught many of the most popular Vinyasa teachers, such as Seane Corn, Shiva Rea, Max Strom, Saul David Raye, Matt Pesendian, Jonny Kest, Nicki Doane, Vinnie Marino, Baron Baptiste, Eoin Finn, and Tias Little.
The danger in yoga is hurting yourself before your faith in the practice leads to a full understanding of its physical, mental, and emotional impact. There are many incorrect actions being taught in Vinyasa Yoga today and they are causing injuries. It’s vital that teachers understand the basic mechanics of the body in order to keep their students safe.
Eddie doesn’t only teach from his own body, but from a deep understanding of the human body. He believes the most important thing in a yoga class are the students. If you don’t keep your students safe, you run the risk of injury and their leaving yoga for another modality. Yoga is completely safe, tried and true for millennia, so the basis for the uptick in injuries must lie in modern-day teaching methods. Eddie’s intention as a teacher is to help other teachers serve their students better and keep yoga vibrant and alive for a long time to come!
Contact Eddie at firstname.lastname@example.org