Larry Schultz studied for 7 years with luminary Shri K Pattabhi Jois and established It’s Yoga in 1989. He is known as one of the foremost Yoga enthusiasts, in the West. As the third yoga studio in San Francisco, It’s Yoga served to raise the torch by creating a vibrant hub for the yoga movement in the Bay Area. Larry taught tens of thousands of classes at It’s Yoga SF, across the U.S. and abroad and shepherded more than 5,000 Ashtanga Vinyasa students through his life-affirming 200-hour It’s Yoga Teacher Training Course.
Born of his time teaching yoga to the band, “The Grateful Dead”, Larry developed his much beloved ”Rocket” routines which are a variation of the classical first, second and third series of Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. He was one of first to step out of the box by stretching the boundaries of the classical Ashtanga System with modifications of the advanced poses. When looking for a name for the new routines, Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead, dubbed them the “Rocket” because, “it gets you there faster.”
Over the years, yoga students of all kinds flocked to his studios. He facilitated the opening of over 15 It’s Yoga studios and affiliates that teach the “Rocket Routines” and the “It’s Yoga Teacher Training Program.” Advanced students came to practice on their own, while new students that included Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, artists, students, and entertainers came to explore this mysterious practice. It’s Yoga San Francisco served the community for 20 years.
In an open letter on the It’s Yoga website, Larry shared his vision for teaching:
There is nothing more satisfying to me as a teacher than to watch the glow with which people arise from Savasana. Often people walk into It’s Yoga with worry, stress and tiredness written all over their faces but when they leave, they show the effects of Ashtanga Yoga: they feel better and look better, lighter, freer, more relaxed and energized. This is why to me, teaching Ashtanga Yoga is a kind of self-realization; every time I lead class I, as a teacher, grow and express the insights of my own yoga. I see people take in the practice from various different angles and develop, change and transcend their limitations, realize their possibilities.
“Larry was a warm and generous person,” remembers Yoga Journal Senior Associate Editor Jennifer Rodrigue, who took his teacher training. “One of his greatest contributions to the yoga community was giving people the courage to own their personal practice, encouraging people to honor the past and to live in the present.”
David Kyle of It’s Yoga Puerto Rico, remembers his teacher: “His passing has taken many by surprise,” he says. “His life has influenced thousands to search within themselves for their inner teacher. He is an inspiration to us all.”
Combining his signature mix of humor and discipline, generosity and firmness–and above all, kindness–Larry delighted in introducing his students to the practice, traveling around the globe, and spreading his gospel of yoga’s healing and restorative powers.
San Francisco based Stephanie Snyder, who also completed his training says, “He was an entryway for anyone to come into yoga. He made it accessible to all.” Snyder says that Schultz referred to yoga as a party, to which all were invited. “He was an institution.”
Larry’s wife Marie Hajjar Schultz, states that ”Larry is a timeless teacher whose love of the practice transcended everything he did. His dedication to a daily practice reminds us all to share what we love by practicing what we teach, and teaching what we practice. I am honored to pay it forward.” She, with the global It’s Yoga family, are committed to sharing his legacy by continuing to spread the It’s Yoga vision. May His memory be Eternal.