Director's Bio


Bachelor of Arts Degree
With dual major in Music and Philosophy; SUNY Binghamton, 1980
Master of Public Administration Degree;
Syracuse University, 1989

Why Yoga as a profession?

At the age of ten I found myself to be a born philosopher, and had my first insight experience sitting on the couch in my livingroom in Saratoga Springs, NY. It is probably no accident that I was raised by educated egalitarian parents, and a father who taught political philosophy and quoted Plato to me from an early age.  I continued to have mystical experiences through high school and began to realize I had a spiritual destiny in this life.  An experience at age nineteen was notable. As usual, a kind of bolt of energy came in from the upper right, and I was told that I had a mission to recover the ancient knowledge. It would take twenty years of struggle to realize my mission, but I remained faithful to my purpose even in the darkest of times.

As a freshman at SUNY Binghamton in 1976, I was drawn to dance and Martial Art. I was fortunate to train with a samurai, Hidy Ochiai, and with master musicians, notably Albert Markov, and developed a passion to become a master myself.  Although I was an aspiring violinist, something drew me into the dance studio at SUNY to develop a personal yoga practice, although I didn't call it "yoga" at that time. You could say that I never left that studio, having spent countless thousands of hours alone in front of the mirror perfecting my craft.  Inevitably, I would give up the violin to give my all to the physical and meditative arts; and recently had to let go of my Karate classes because of the demands of running a full time yoga school. I continue to train as if my very survival depends on it, and am much happier and healthier today than I was in my twenties and thirties.


Resume of Important Events in Mr. Smith's History

1976:  Competitive Cyclist USCF Cat II.
1979:  Section violin player with Binghamton Symphony
1981:  First place sparring, Washin-Ryu Invitational Tournament (Green Belt Level)

First place, Binghamton Challenge Bicycle Race (cat III)

1985:  Offered Yoga classes in Saratoga Springs, NY
1987:  Married Gina Amelia Odell
1989:  US Senate Internship, Washington DC.
1992:  Received Black-Belt (First Dan) Finally!
1993:  Built environmentally safe home with attached Yoga studio.
1994:  Established Morningside Yoga
1995:  Became Certified Personal Trainer through American Council on Exercise.
1996:  Attended Astanga teacher training with Beryl Bender Birch

Received Dharma name, Fu Shiki, in Rinzai Zen lineage.

1997:  More teacher training with Beryl Birch

 Produced video, Yoga As A Movement Art with three students.

1998:  Hosted Kundalini teacher Ravi Singh in Syracuse.
1999:  Became founding member, New York Yoga Teachers' Association.
2000:  Began Publishing series of monthly articles on Yoga through The New England Holistic Resource.

Attended class with Patabbhi Jois, son and grandson, NYC

Performed Marriage Ceremony as Interfaith Minister.

2001:  Became 500 hour registered teacher through the Yoga Alliance

Biomechanics and Cross Training Consultant, Serotta Competition Bicycles

October: Morningside Yoga featured on WIXT News Channel 9 "Family Health Cast."

2002:  April 9th: Morningside becomes Yoga Alliance Registered School for yoga teachers.

December 3rd: Morningside becomes registered service mark through the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

1998-2004    Instructor of yoga Syracuse University School of Education
2005    Hosted Doug Swenson October 25th @ Morningside.
2012    Adjunct Lecturer, State University of New York, Empire State College