I started my yoga journey in an Iyengar class (with Bob Metzler at Costa Mesa Yoga Works), but it was only when pregnancy made sun salutations in flow classes impossible that I truly began to appreciate the adaptability of the Iyengar tradition. I was going into yoga-class-withdrawal with only one prenatal class a week when the teacher Deb Murray suggested that I could go to any Iyengar class and the teacher would be able to give me modifications for pregnancy. Several of the other women from the prenatal classes joined me and we’d set up a prenatal corner in regular Iyengar classes.
Another “ah-ha” moment came one day in a class with Chris Beach, when the students included both a man who was recovering from heart surgery and a teacher of a very fast-paced style of yoga, plus various levels of students between those two extremes. Without missing a beat, Chris modified poses for the heart patient, challenged the fellow teacher, and inspired the rest of us to find our best poses.
In 2006 I began attending the Iyengar Training Program at the Institute in Los Angeles, a 3-year, 500+ hour program. In 2011 I received the Introductory II level of certification as an Iyengar teacher. Iyengar certification requires that you work with a mentoring teacher, and for five years I had the privilege of assisting Eric Small in weekly classes in Beverly Hills. Eric is a pioneer of therapeutic applications of Iyengar Yoga for Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological issues. Currently, I study with Isabela Fortes, and attend ongoing teacher training workshops with Carolyn Belko, Gloria Goldberg and Manouso Manos.