Job change de­ci­sion no sweat

DAILY GRIND Raewyn Clark has gone from the heated en­vi­ron­ment of a cor­po­rate law firm to a hot new ca­reer as a Bikram yoga teacher. She talks to reporter Jess Lee about stretch­ing her­self, and her body, to new lim­its.

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

It was itchy feet that led mother-of-two Raewyn Clark to pull them out from un­der a desk and firmly plant them on a yoga mat.

‘‘I needed a change. I felt like I was on a path that wasn’t nec­es­sar­ily me at the time – the cor­po­rate life with the big firms and de­mand­ing hours.’’

A friend in­tro­duced her to Bikram yoga classes and it wasn’t long be­fore she was hooked.

But it was a big leap from en­joy­ing the work­out to throw­ing in the towel at work and trav­el­ling to Palm Desert to train to be­come a qual­i­fied teacher.

Bikram yoga in­volves 26 poses and two breath­ing ex­er­cises per­formed in a room heated to 40 de­grees for 90 min­utes.

‘‘It is a more in­tense form of yoga,’’ Ms Clark says.

The heat adds a sig­nif­i­cant ex­tra chal­lenge but prac­ti­tion­ers can see re­sults faster thanks to more flex­i­ble mus­cles al­low­ing them to go deeper into pos­tures.

Ms Clark had found her­self swept along on a path af­ter fin­ish­ing law school, from work as a sum­mer clerk and law clerk to be­com­ing a cor­po­rate lawyer for a large firm.

‘‘You lose sight of what you want and don’t stop to ques­tion it be­cause that’s just the per­ceived wis­dom, that if you can get a job with those big firms then why wouldn’t you.’’

So in 2009, Ms Clark left her job to at­tend the nine­week train­ing course with the founder of hot yoga, Bikram Choud­hury, in Cal­i­for­nia.

All Bikram yoga teach­ers must at­tend the course to be­come qual­i­fied.

She then went trav­el­ling be­fore fi­nally set­tling in Auck­land and be­gin­ning teach­ing at Pon­sonby’s East­West Bikram Yoga stu­dio.

There were a few raised eye­brows at her law firm but gen­er­ally ev­ery­one was sup­port­ive of her de­ci­sion, she says.

Classes are filled with ev­ery­one from high-pow­ered chief ex­ec­u­tives, to stu­dents and par­ents.

She can’t imag­ine now hav­ing two young chil­dren and not prac­tis­ing yoga her­self, she says.

‘‘You have the sleep­less nights, the crazy days but I of­ten feel like if I can just prac­tise my yoga what­ever hap­pens I am go­ing to be able to han­dle it.’’

But she wouldn’t change a thing about her jour­ney to the point she’s at now.

‘‘I am truer to my val­ues and who I re­ally am as a per­son and that was all part of my jour­ney to get there,’’ she says.

‘‘I wouldn’t say that was wrong for me – that was what I did then, this is what I do now and who knows what I’ll do in the fu­ture.’’

Photo: JESS LEE

New di­rec­tion: Raewyn Clark gave up a high-pow­ered ca­reer to be­come a Bikram yoga teacher.

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