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Career Moves: From HBO to Yoga Teacher

Although she now works harder than ever, this Iyengar Yoga teacher doesn't miss the world of glamour, glitz, and celebrities she left behind.

By Susan R. Cohen

But an HBO awards party pushed Peters "over the edge." Peters had an unpleasant encounter with a producer that left her feeling like "a cream puff without any power." She decided that her party-going job made her feel mindless, like "an hors d'oeuvre being passed around." Shortly after the party, she quit HBO, completed her degree, and began to look for more rewarding work.

During her career search, she was asked if she would run the B.K.S. Iyengar Institute. The director had resigned and the staff knew Peters was between jobs. Although she knew it was a full-time job for part-time pay, she accepted.

The Institute was financially shaky and had little infrastructure. "I left the fast track, but I was working harder than ever before. The place was in bad shape. I missed HBO's mailroom, the computer department, and the secretarial support. But I did not miss the job," she says.

Within a matter of months, the institute grew stronger. During the next two years, Peters completed her teacher's training program and taught classes while running the organization. Whenever she had doubts about whether she should be teaching, something magical would happen to reassure her that she was exactly where she needed to be. First, her classes doubled in size. Then, she was invited to serve as the model for two CD-ROMs about Iyengar Yoga. This project took her to India, where she worked directly with Iyengar.

"I was doing the asanas and Mr. Iyengar himself was watching and spotting me," she says. "It was like going to Einstein and trying to explain the theory of relativity back to him. It was a remarkable experience."

Peters couldn't be more pleased that she left the world of glamour for the world of union. "Yogic philosophy is much more in line with who I am and how I want to live my life."

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