My name is Fiona Rawson. I was drawn to yoga in my early twenties, and loved it so much I started a daily practice almost from the outset. After a few years, friends started asking me to teach them some asanas. Eventually, they suggested I should do a teacher training course. I travelled to Melbourne over a two year period and completed a hatha yoga teaching certificate. During that course, guest teachers would take a class to increase our exposure to different types of yoga. One of those teachers was Peter Scott, who introduced us to Iyengar Yoga. I had owned the book “Light on Yoga” for a few years, and often worked from it. However, that day I realised the enormous depth and huge knowledge base of Iyenger Yoga. I was hooked.
After a number of years attending classes at Peter’s school in Carlton, he accepted me as a teacher trainee, and I started my training again. It was an apprenticeship style of course, so when Peter moved to Noosa, I did too. Over three years, we immersed ourselves in practice, classes and assignments. Although I was able to return to the island and my school a few times, when I was in Noosa, it was a six days a week commitment. Iyengar Yoga teacher training wasn’t something you did with your life, it became your life.
I sat my first assessment in 2002, and have done eight more since. The assessment process is very demanding, with years of preparation and practice, culminating in a weekend of presentation in front of a panel of senior teachers. I have passed and failed various levels, with great growth coming from both results. I now hold a Senior Intermediate 1 certificate.
I still travel to Melbourne to study with my teacher once a fortnight. (He is now at Yoga Jivana in Northcote.) I also have attended teachings by the Iyengar family, both in India and Australia. I practice for a few hours nearly every day, and apart from spending time with my family, there is no other place I would rather be than on my mat. Learning to teach yoga is an ongoing process, it is never completed.
I am really grateful that I can teach and make a living, because I love it. If I notice that any of my students are really starting to embrace the practice, I feel that I have passed on one of the best gifts I have to give.