My Journey as a Yoga Therapist

My Journey as a Yoga Therapist

From the Author Inspiration

A teacher of wise words once told me, if I didn’t share myself with others, I’d be robbing others of who I really am. So, here is my journey of becoming a yoga teacher and yoga therapist.

From Corporate Life to Yoga Therapist

Like many yoga teachers, I came from the corporate world, 17 years as a civil engineer to be exact. There was a point in my career when I started experiencing pain in my hands and arms. At first, I told no one, not wanting the pain to hold me back. Then, it got so bad that I was unable to turn the door handle. During that same time, my yoga practice was on a hiatus. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be there; I was just too busy feeding my ego, making good money, and meeting deadlines to meet others’ needs. 

When the pain became so bad, I had to change my work habits and started going back to yoga. As I practiced regularly, the pain would lessen until the following workday. I realized yoga provided a healing element that over-the-counter pain pills couldn’t offer and that my body needed more overall movement. Once I was able to balance out my work schedule with a yoga and exercise schedule, I got the pain under control.

Then, upon a geographical move and a shift into a new role, the workload changed. The pain returned, and it continued to get worse until I would rest and practice yoga. Then it would come back… until one day,  it wouldn’t go away. I lived in this continuous pain cycle that later turned into two surgeries and a career change.

Bridging the Gap Between Yoga and Healthcare 

When I realized that yoga lessened my pain, and the practice continued to heal me on  so many other levels, I had this desire to become a teacher. I always told myself that if I ever returned to school, I would train to be a teacher or a nurse. Maybe I would start as a yoga teacher and see where the path took me. My hope was maybe I could help others prevent physical issues or even supplement others’ lives with a mindful body awareness.

I took my first 200-hour Teacher Training in 2010, which was agreed upon as a good idea by my orthopedic doctor at the time. I continued to complete my advanced 300-hour training program, and at the same time I served as an assistant teacher for three of Les Leventhal’s 200-hour teacher trainings in San Francisco, Seattle and Bali. I continued to focus my studies on ways to bridge yoga and healthcare and completed an additional 800-hour program and an additional 150-hour Mentored Practicum to become a Certified Yoga Therapist. 

Whereas a yoga teacher is focused on teaching yoga techniques to students, a yoga therapist focuses more on applying those yoga techniques to individuals or groups to help ease specific health issues or concerns. The IAYT-accredited program with the Stress Management Center of Marin was perfect, as the program director and team works with the local healthcare community, and the program provided tools that immersed me into a deep dive of both classical eastern yoga and western medical approaches. The program prepared me for working with clients with a wide range of conditions, including mental health, pain, major illnesses, neurological issues and complications, digestive issues and healthy aging. 

Helping Others on Their Healing Journey  

All of this has led me to today, where I’m now a yoga therapist and educator at my own private practice and within a clinical setting. Through my teachings, I serve to guide others to experience their own bodies, educating them on their own healing journey. I continue to manage my pain, which has become a life-long practice. Having the empathy and understanding to relate to my clients has been a blessing in disguise. Afterall, my own healing journey is what led me here today, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue to serve my clients and community.

If this story resonates with you, know that you are not alone on your healing journey. I hope that you will join me learning how to live your most pain-free and  balanced life.