Iyengar-CertifiedTraining to become an Iyengar Yoga teacher generally takes between 3-5 years and thus attracts only deeply dedicated practitioners. This, in combination with a certification process that has been standardized across the globe, has resulted in the consistent development of exceptionally high caliber teaching. All of the teachers at Studio Po are Iyengar-Certified.
MEET THE TEACHERS
Stephanie Tencer, Owner & Director
I came to Iyengar yoga after years of severe back pain, trying many forms of rehabilitation and eventually having had surgery. While my healed back has become a true testament to the power of the practice, physical benefit doesn’t fully encapsulate the meaning or value of my Iyengar yoga journey. I believe that everyone’s experience with yoga is different, but for me, Iyengar yoga has provided nothing less than a new lease on life. My practice is fueled by a commitment to live healthfully and without pain. My teaching is fueled by pure gratitude. I am deeply moved and inspired by the sense of playfulness and self discovery that Iyengar Yoga affords and aim to bring these qualities to each of my classes.
Stephanie is an Internationally Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Intermediate Junior 3 level. She is continuously working to deepen her understanding of yoga, and has had the privilege of studying with the Iyengar family in Pune, India on several occasions. Stephanie also studies regularly with Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Marlene Mawhinney. In a volunteer capacity, Stephanie is a member of the Board of Directors for the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada.
As a professional dancer, I struggled with the challenges that came with having scoliosis (a spinal curvature). I had been studying many different styles of yoga for many years, when I happened upon an Iyengar Yoga class taught by certified Iyengar Yoga teacher, Susan Richardson. The precise and detailed instruction of Iyengar Yoga gave me a greater understanding of the asanas and took me deeper into the landscape of my being to calm my nervous system and help me to gain balance, strength and confidence in every area of my life. As Iyengar Yoga became such an important part of my life, I decided to pursue teacher training. I wanted to share my passion with others who also desire to align their mind with their body, and be as healthy and whole as they can be.
Jacqueline Casey is an internationally certified Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Introductory 2 level. Jacqui studies regularly with Iyengar Yoga teacher, Marlene Mawhinney and has taken workshops with senior teachers, Raya Uma Datta and Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh.
In the early 90s an Iyengar Yoga Teacher told me about Iyengar Yoga and I dismissed it because I was fit and healthy, doing all kinds of sports, and working in a profession I loved. Over 15 years later my attitude towards Yoga changed dramatically: I got seriously injured and needed help. The help came from the Iyengar Method of teaching yoga by certified Iyengar Yoga Teachers. A new life has been granted to me. Immediately I started to feel younger, healthier, and happier. My enthusiasm for Iyengar Yoga is reflected in the way I teach my classes. I welcome everyone and promise no limits for positive experiences in body, mind and inner self.
Kasia is an Internationally Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Introductory 2 level. She continues to study under Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher Marlene Mawhinney.
I was fortunate that a friend recommended an Iyengar Foundations yoga class. I had never taken a yoga class before, but from my very first class, I could not imagine my life without it. Having never done anything remotely athletic, I was challenged, but still felt connected with my body. My work life, at the time, was demanding, but when I was in class, I was able to break free from the stress. The precision and integrity of the work continually impress me and I endeavour to share whatever knowledge I may have, as generously as B.K.S. Iyengar has shared his vast knowledge with the world. He is an inspiration.
Jane is an Internationally Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Intermediate Junior 1 level. She continues to study regularly under Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher Marlene Mawhinney and had the privilege of studying with the Iyengar Family at RIMYI in Pune, India, for a month-long intensive in November 2013 and again in February of 2016. In a volunteer capacity, Jane is the Vice President for the Iyengar Yoga Association of Canada.
Born in Japan, I started practicing yoga when I first visited India. By the time I was 23, I would to go to India every year and spend 6 months at a time there. There was no big reason or trigger for me to start yoga; it was simply a natural process for me. After many years of staying in India, I went to Rishikesh, which is a holy place and very famous for yoga. In the late 1960’s, the Beatles went to Rishikesh, drawing worldwide attention to it. In Rishikesh, I studied for three years with Usha Devi, a passionate, devoted teacher of Iyengar Yoga. She was an unbelievable inspiration and influence in my life. The yoga hall was open for students in the morning, and I used to practice there by myself for 3 to 4 hours every day while Usha Devi practiced. I loved those times. Slowly I started to become interested in becoming an Iyengar Yoga teacher. A Canadian student recommended Marlene Mawhinney, so I decided to come to Toronto to take the teacher training program with her. I believe and respect the Iyengar Yoga method and philosophy and I want to share my positive experiences of Iyengar Yoga with my students.
Nozomi is an Internationally Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Intermediate Junior 1 level.
My life is pretty well separated into two distinct parts: "before-Iyengar Yoga" and "after-Iyengar Yoga”. Growing up, my family-life was very chaotic, to say the least. There was a lot of un-doing and un-learning that needed to take place and Iyengar Yoga made that journey possible. My practice has helped to cultivate patience. The calmness and confidence I find on the mat also shows up in the rest of my life. It’s quite incredible! I am filled with gratitude for BKS Iyengar as his teachings have helped me to grow and to separate what is worthwhile and productive from what to leave behind. My aim while teaching is to bring students back to themselves so they can, amongst the chaos, find stillness within.
Dré Kraus is currently in her final year of a 3-Year Teacher Training Program with Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Marlene Mawhinney.
When I was 17, my mother and I would do yoga at the YMCA together. I loved the way it made me feel both energized and calm. Then, when I was doing my PhD, I practiced daily to an Ali McGraw yoga video! In 2001, I discovered Iyengar yoga in Urbana, Illinois, where I had the privilege of studying closely with senior teacher Lois Steinberg. Iyengar yoga has not only helped me manage the back pain that comes from too many hours in front of the computer, but it has also given me the capacity to focus my thoughts and quiet my mind. I love that the Iyengar method makes yoga poses accessible for everyone, no matter what limitations they may be working with on a given day. My classes combine the joy I take in teaching (I am also a Comparative Literature professor at University of Toronto) with a genuine openness to the ways in which we can deepen our understanding and enjoyment of yoga.
Eva-Lynn is an Internationally Certified Iyengar Yoga teacher at the Introductory 2 level. She studies regularly with Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher Marlene Mawhinney and has taken classes and workshops with various senior teachers, including Raya Uma Datta, Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh, Louie Ettling, and John Shumacher.
In 2003 I happened upon Iyengar yoga when I joined my friends on a trip to Karnataka, India. The teaching was like nothing I had experienced before and when I returned to Toronto I searched out Iyengar classes. Yoga started as a once a week escape for me but in 2015, twelve years into an intense career as a bond trader at RBC Capital Markets, I wanted more perspective on life.
BKS Iyengar says that one must take the practice of yoga off the mat. Teaching has helped me to find perspective as well as gratitude and compassion in all areas of my life. The Iyengar yoga community in Toronto is a thriving one and it is amazing to be part of it!
Shreya Shah is currently in her final year of Teacher Training under the tutelage of Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher, Marlene Mawhinney.