There are yoga teachers and there was Damien Lovelock or “Damo” as he was often referred to. I was lucky enough to meet Damien about 15 years ago. I wish I’d met him earlier because for the past 15 years I’ve been run off my feet with kids and life and stuff.
Anyhow, Damien was truly one of a kind. He just said what he thought – no filter to remove the expletives, no filter to sugar coat, nope – he just was Damien – what you saw was what you got. And sure, he did offend some people and his honesty did get him into trouble, but it didn’t worry him. And he often got away with saying things that no one else could possibly get away with because he was “Damo”, and he was incredibly funny (and usually totally right!).
In today’s society where we are all so careful, so censored and so scripted he was uniquely refreshing. When I doubted myself I’d often think: What would Damien do or say? And it would inevitably give me that kick I needed to speak up.
When you went to one of his yoga classes – it wasn’t silent and serious. It was stand-up comedy meets Sanskrit – well actually there was no Sanskrit, but that didn’t matter because it was still yoga. And real yoga. Taught in a very entertaining manner – you followed the routine while Damien told you about his pugs, or his view of the world, or how he’d got the best bargain yoga pants at Top Ryde (which he’d bought for me cos they were just $20!). Thanks Damo – I will wear those with pride!
He refused to give in when he was sick. He wasn’t ready to die. He wasn’t ready to die yesterday either… I guess who is really ready? But it was sickening really cos he had so much to offer still and so many things to do and see and be.
He asked me to cover for him and I was honoured. It can be challenging to cover anyone – especially when they have loyal regulars and especially when they are Damien! But I loved covering his classes because the kind of people who he attracted were like him – fun, down-to-earth with a good sense of humour. So Damien would text me when he was worried the cancer treatment would make him too sick and he might need to cancel – but it was surprisingly rare that he’d need me to cover, he’d usually just head over and teach because that’s what he loved to do.
The world needs more Damien Lovelocks – people who keep it real and call out the b******t – there you go, I’m so prim and proper I just can’t even write it! Damien wouldn’t be proud! I can’t believe I’ll never get to another of his classes and I can’t believe he is no longer with us. And I will keep his spirit in my heart and look forward to doing yoga with him on the other side. RIP Damien X