Earliest memory of hearing about yoga: The summer of 1994. I was an exuberant, athletic, and forceful 17-year-old soon to be freshman at Boston University. As I flipped through the liberal arts course catalog, trying to figure out what elective classes would support my growth, I came across a “yoga” class that piqued my curiousity.
A turning point, shift, evolution in your practice: In January of 2004, I was on a flight to Brazil when my lower back exploded in pain. After a few weeks lying on my back, I returned to the States and sought out western medical experts for a diagnosis and help in the process of healing. A number of tests later I was given the diagnosis: herniation in three lumbar disks. The doctors suggested surgery and told me that whether I had opted for it or not, I would never be able to run or mountain climb again.
Instead, I chose to take my health into my own hands. The journey to find a way to heal myself brought me to Iyengar yoga and Chinese Medicine, and following 8 months of yoga and acupuncture, I was back climbing mountains. A year and a half after my diagnosis, I ran my first marathon. Today, my personal practice style is Ashtanga.
Something that complements your practice: Getting out into the expanse of the mountains to think and meditate away from the fluctuations of my daily life.
When you knew you wanted to be a yoga teacher: When I first observed my beautiful wife, Maria, teach.
Joseph Clarke has always gravitated toward challenging experiences, and pursuing dual professions in yoga and Traditional Chinese Medicine certainly fills that criteria. Knowing he had to leave the familiar world of New England to find a more adventurous life, he left Dover, MA for Los Angeles when he graduated college in the summer of 2001 (not without a process of internal reflection, debate and an eventual leap of faith). He graduated from the YogaPoser 200-hour training and is currently working toward his 500-hour certification as he completes his final years in the Masters program at Emperor’s College of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
“The journey to find a way to heal myself brought me to yoga and Chinese Medicine.”