Jobless yogis follow their bliss to teacher training

Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:21pm EDT
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By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters Life!) - As unemployment soars, some corporate types are swapping their designer suits for drawstring pants and their six-figure salaries for the more spiritual rewards of teaching yoga.

Newly minted yoga teacher Veronica Wolkow says leaving her lucrative position in financial services to teach yoga was a journey from "stressed out" to "compassionate" and the best thing she ever did.

"I would not return to the stock market for all the money in the world," said Wolkow, who specializes in teaching yoga to children, seniors and people with disabilities.

"I got rid of all the suits in my closet. No longer do I have dry cleaning bills. I no longer read the Wall Street Journal or even care about how stocks are doing," she said in an interview from Los Angeles.

Although she must rely on savings and temporary jobs to make ends meet, she has no regrets.

"Yoga does not provide me with an income stream at this time," she said. "My bank account is smaller, yes. But my world is bigger."

California-based Jessica Hinkle, who manages the teacher training program at Yoga Works, a national chain of yoga studios, said many people train with an eye toward changing careers.

"Others recently laid off are seeing this as a unique opportunity to do something they never had time for before," she explained.   Continued...

<p>A yoga instructor trains a member of her class in Santa Monica, California, March 13, 2009. REUTERS/Yogaworks/Handout</p>