Derik Eselius


I first encountered yoga in 1991, just after High School, on an extended journey around the globe.  India was one of the stops, where I first met Baba Hari Dass, a life long yogic adept. I had arrived at the inception point of a lifelong commitment and quest.

Since that time, I also studied asana with world class teachers including; Ramanand Patel, Tias Little and Richard Freeman.  I credit Yogarupa Rod Stryker (whom I met in 2011) for teaching me tantric Hatha Yoga practice. Baba Hari Dass taught me the internal practice of Raja and masterfully demonstrated the spirit of karma yoga.

Both Baba Hari Dass and Yogarupa elevated my practice spiritually and taught me to live more graciously in the world, be more loving, and to contribute more fully to society and students.

Like many people who take up yoga, I naturally wanted to share it with others. In 2003, my wife (Brenna Hatami ND, RN) and I started Denver Yoga Underground. Our school is dedicated to in-depth study, including: grassroots style yoga workshops, retreats and yoga teacher training.  DYU as a safe haven for a diversity of people who may prefer to study traditional yoga outside of a conventional studio setting.

I created DYU as a safe haven to study traditional yoga.

In reflection, I did not plan to become a yoga teacher training instructor, I just followed my heart and this is where I wound up. I am also a professor at Metro State College and teach for-credit, Hatha Yoga courses.  And work with Denver University to integrate yoga practices into their social work program. It brings me great joy to instruct students who may be at the beginning of their own yoga journeys.

In my view, all experiences, whether “positive” or “negative” are an opportunity to develop character and grow into our spiritual practice. I have made yoga a life long pursuit over the past 30 years.