York University Alumni Magazine - Profiles March 1998

The York University Magazine for Alumni and Friends
Temmi Ungerman Sears…Yoga! Yoga! Yoga!
Grad Profile


March 1998
A yoga teacher, practising family therapist, art therapist, freelance artist and entrepreneur, - Temmi Ungerman Sears sounds like the classic overachiever.

Yet her greatest concern is that people today, especially the young, don’t know how to relax. Despite her busy schedule, she has mastered the art of breathing deeply, and now she’s building a business teaching others to do just that.

There’s nothing newfangled about her technique. Ungerman Sears (BFA ’83) draws on the 5,000 year-old discipline of yoga. She’s set up a program that trains five-to-12 year-olds in its positions, movements, and mindset.

Ungerman Sears says that while the kids enjoy the yoga exercises, it is the final 10 minute relaxation component that they love best.

"It’s amazing to see how the kids respond to this. They just love the breathwork, and the feeling of being quiet and calm." She says.

While reporters have zeroed in on the way children crave relaxation, it comes as no surprise to Ungerman Sears. "Kids are over-programmed, and have all kinds of stresses in their lives. Yoga works for them because it teaches them how to be in their bodies, in the moment. It’s not about competition and working for reward down the line."

It’s a philosophy that Ungerman Sears says has made a difference to her life. She notes that despite advice to make a more "practical" choice, she studied the arts simply because they appealed to her. She has always followed her heart and her passions.

After her studies at York, she earned a teaching degree in special education and art education and a master’s degree in expressive therapies from Lesley College, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. A yoga practitioner for 16 years, she recently went to India for a month course with the famous Iyengar, the 78-year-old man who introduced yoga to the western world.

"It’s been a wild, wonderful path," she says, in reviewing her chock-a-block resume to date. "I see so many young people struggling with their careers, and I want to tell them to follow their hearts and things will fall into place." And, of course, take a lot of deep breaths and relax.