This post is the 5th & final post in a series detailing my struggle with chronic back pain and my journey to the path of Iyengar Yoga.

Steph yogaIn making the decision to embrace Yoga full time, I considered many perspectives.  I remember thinking that if any one of my friends had been in my shoes and decided to become a Yoga teacher instead of their intended career, not only would I have been supportive, I would have been proud of them for having the courage to make that choice.  Yet, personally, I struggled.  When asked that dreaded question ‘what do you do?’, could I answer with confidence and contentment, ‘I’m a Yoga teacher’?  Truthfully, that took me about 2 more years, but by the time 2011 began, I had at least come to terms with the fact that I was not cut out for the office job.  I did not want to work 60 hours a week to meet deadlines.  I wanted to be healthy and happy, and Yoga was clearly my best bet at achieving that.

I completed Teacher Training in June of 2011, went to Pune, India to study with the Iyengar family at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Institute for the month of July, and successfully sat for my national assessment in January of 2012.  Since then, it’s been all about Yoga.  I am healthy enough to fill my days with a hefty schedule.  I continue to study and train with my Senior Teacher at Yoga Centre Toronto.  I teach there as well as at Healing Arts Centre and Yoga Tree.  I spend 6 hours per week apprenticing in therapeutic classes, where under the guidance of my Senior Teacher, I work with students who suffer from conditions such as chronic back, knee, or shoulder pain, chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia.   I attend weekly upgrading sessions to ensure that my knowledge is current and accurate.  I’ve even found a way to bring some of my ‘other’ skills into the Yoga world in my role as the coordinator of Yoga Centre Toronto’s Teacher Training Program.  I can now say with utmost confidence and contentment, I am a Yoga teacher.  There’s no turning back from here – I am 100% Yoga-bound.