In Honor of Greg Hanna


In honor of Greg Hanna…

Whose soul transitioned from this planet on May 1, 2018.

I met Greg “virtually” in 2014 through Emily Ciano, the love of his life. Emily began coming to me when first diagnosed with breast cancer.  We worked together privately through many sessions. There was a mix of conversation, guided meditation and/or a gentle physical practice. Based on what Emily shared, I sensed Greg’s kindness and tenderness throughout her treatments and care. He walked each step beside her with love and support.  I felt his uniqueness and authenticity instantaneously.

The first time Greg walked into my studio was in September 2014 to attend a class. His presence was mystical. I looked into his soulful eyes and felt his incredible spirit filled with radiant light. At that moment, I felt each word Emily spoke of him was undeniably accurate.  Greg began participating in my classes regularly and was often the only young man. He practiced without hesitation alongside women older than he with one being one of his favorite professors, Helen Mederer, from The University of Rhode Island. I had the delight of working with Greg privately.  Each time he sat across from me, me as his “teacher” him the “student," it was crystal clear he was also my teacher.  Greg taught me to look into someone’s eyes and feel the connection to their soul. He listened and absorbed all the information I shared, often contemplating and inquiring further with inquisitive questions. Greg listened to his soul when he decided to attend my yoga teacher training in 2016, which he did with clarity and focus. He treated all as equals and kindness without any judgement. There were many introspective conversations I shared with Greg. Each one was truly a blessing filled with precious gems often guiding me to inquire within.  

Greg and I attended Purna Yoga workshops at Triad Yoga Institute in Greensboro, North Carolina taught by our teacher, Aadil Palkhivala in September 2017. We were now both “students” together sharing the teachings from Aadil. We laughed and learned while we assisted each other in various poses.  We reviewed notes, and expanded our practice and love of Purna Yoga together. Our relationship developed as friends as we chatted during breaks or afterwards.  Greg and I joined a group of people for dinner from the Purna Yoga East studio, owned by Catharine and Bob. It warmed my heart as we all conversed, chuckled, and shared a meal as a community, we were unified.  Deep within as I witnessed Greg amongst others, I felt grateful and blessed that he was part of my life and the Purna Yoga community. 

His death has reminded me once again to live life fully, cherish others, feel gratitude daily, fulfill my dreams, my purpose and breathe joyfully every moment. Pick up the phone and call a friend or family member instead of texting, give a hug — feel a hug, smile at a stranger, converse with a stranger, laugh, enjoy the stillness of the sunshine, the sway of the leaves in the cool breeze, the abundance of colorful flowers and shades of green surrounding us, the softness of the sand underneath one’s feet as he/she strolls on the beach, the cold and winter wonderland, the preciousness and jewels of a child, the sweetness of a sip of tea without being on the phone, reading the words on a page of a book awaiting too long on the shelf,  express love, enjoy time with family and friends, hug your pet, feel gratitude for something or someone daily, embrace the soreness one feels after working out, feel the nourishment of eating delicious organic food from a local farmer, cooking a meal, and begin to plan the vacation you have pondered for many years. 

Greg lived life fully with many travel adventures feeding his unique soul.  He lived and embraced Purna Yoga. Once again, I have stepped onto my mat using the practice of Purna Yoga to assist me in the process of healing my sadness and grief from the loss of Greg’s physical presence on this earth.  

I love you Greg Hanna. You were truly a sparkling, sacred soul on this planet. May your soul continue to radiate as a bright star shining upon this world.


Jude Monteserrato