michaelI grew up in Northwestern Ontario a very overweight and unhealthy child. Desperate for attention and relief from the depression and isolation of small-town life, I escaped to Toronto when I was 20 years old, dead-set on being a celebrity in the then-booming nightclub culture of the 90s.

I found immense release in the drug-saturated environment and popularity/notoriety of being an outrageous club kid. I did not realize that what I was truly seeking was a connection to something bigger than me.

Chewed up and spit out by the party life, I fled back to Thunder Bay in 1997, where I began a battle between my addictions and recovery.

After a few years of dabbling in sobriety, exercise and different spiritual traditions, I moved back to Toronto a new version of myself. Now a bodybuilder and marathon runner, I obtained certification as a personal trainer.

A friend took me to my first yoga class in the winter of 2002. It was a Bikram yoga class, and I loved it! In fact, I became obsessed with it, as I had found something which I believe to be spiritual as well as physical.

Practicing Bikram yoga everyday, I gradually began to desire something deeper, and in 2003 I began to study yoga in the Ashtanga tradition at Downward Dog Yoga Centre in Toronto.

Gradually, I let go of my strict workout regimen, and began a daily yoga practice.

During my formative years of recovery, I went back to school to try to find a vocation suitable for me. I excelled in many areas, achieving an honors’ certificate in corporate communications. Still, I found that I was not nearly as passionate about any of my schooling as I was about yoga. So, in 2008 I decided to take some advice that I had gathered along the way: “Do what you love, and the money will follow.” I enrolled in the Downward Dog yoga teacher-training program.

I have since participated in teacher-training with renowned teachers Chuck Miller and Maty Ezraty (Founders of Yogaworks).

In the summer of 2009, I took a yoga tour of L.A. and participated in the classes of—and spent personal time with—the amazing teachers, Seane Corn and Vinnie Marino.

I’ve also partaken in workshops with Yoga Thailand’s Paul Dallaghan, and long-time renowned yogi Danny Paradise.

In practicing yoga, I’ve found my passion.

In teaching yoga, I’ve found purpose.

I believe the practice of yoga can keep our bodies cleansed, healthy and strong; and our minds calm and connected to the present moment.

Thus, I am committed to safely guiding my students toward a much healthier body, and a more peaceful mind.

– Michael DeCorte, 2009