Rafael, Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher, has developed an acute understanding of muscle function and disfunction and was awarded an Introductory certificate in Zentherapy in 2011. This journey began with a search for relief from debilitating chronic back pain in the 80’s. In the 90’s he organized the first Teacher Training program in the KC Metro, under Senior Iyengar Yoga instructors.
Rafael sought out yoga as a means to relieve chronic back pain in his 30s, resulting from a gymnastics injury when 16. In 1983 he embarked on a ten year study under Senior Iyengar Yoga teacher Laurie Blakeney, culminating in a twelve month-long apprenticeship.
Rafael continues his training with well over 1,000 hours under the tutelage of several Senior Iyengar Yoga instructors. This includes travel to India in 2000, to study at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune under Dr. Geeta Iyengar and Prashant Iyengar. On returning from India, Rafael abandoned his college art teaching career to focus almost exclusively on the learning of Iyengar Yoga.
Trice weekly chiropractic visits beginning in 1981 enabled Rafael to begin studying Aikido, a non-competitive martial art. By that time he had relinquished competitive Judo and the teaching of it altogether, due to the ever present pain and just before his test for third degree. When the pain returned, he petitioned Laurie Blakeney for help. These chiropractic visits are now rare. Rafael continues to practice Aikido and was given permission to teach this art in ’93. This would not have been possible without the practice of Iyengar yoga.
Karen Allgire, Junior Intermediate III, has made three trips to study at the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, India and was chosen to teach at the 2011 Midwest Regional Conference.
All Iyengar Yoga teachers undergo years of training to address the individual needs of the student regardless of age, ability, or state of health.