I love to study and teach yoga
I am grateful to yoga for so many reasons. I used it to recover from more than one serious injury. I used it to teach myself to paddleboard, to improve my kayaking, bicycling and dancing skills. I use it to stay healthy though age-related changes. I started studying the Iyengar method in the late 1990s and began teaching it in September of 2017. I came to the yoga because of a very serious injury I wanted to recover from in a safe environment. I knew I couldn’t risk getting any worse. I went to what seemed like every single yoga studio in the San Francisco Bay Area. Really, I did. Most what I saw being taught didn’t seem at all safe for an injured person.
I searched until I found the Iyengar method, which stood out so far from the others with its high standards for teaching, precise, clear instruction, friendliness, accessibility, and commitment to practicing safely and giving beginners solid skills to build on.
After years of practicing and studying the yoga sutras (philosophy), I realized I wanted to share what I was learning. Then, a good friend from my kayaking community died suddenly after a brief illness. I thought about the many conversations I’d had with my friend about yoga. He made several attempts to study in his neighborhood, where he had the off-putting experience of being the only heavy-set middle-aged person with back problems struggling in the back of a flow yoga class he couldn’t make sense of, and being ignored on top of it. I feel so sad about his introduction to a practice that should have embraced and helped him. Now I am dedicating my studies to my friend, and others like him.
Having worked in corporate training and taught college, I have a healthy respect for what it takes to become a good teacher. When I asked some of my teachers what they thought of me, (a middle-aged athlete who came to yoga to overcome her injuries) teaching it, they told me to do it. I applied and was accepted into a rigorous training program to become a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher. It will take quite some time for me to earn my certification. This is as it should be. I have chosen the most difficult, rigorous, and safe method of yoga to teach.
Meanwhile, I am absorbing the best ways to teach this method and while I teach others. I get up each day am excited and happy to share what I learn and inspire my students, especially the ones who thought yoga was only for the young and fit. In reality, yoga is for everyone. I am proof of that.