Founder Dr. Ann Clark

Early Training

Dr. Ann Clark’s yoga journey began more than three decades ago. Yoga became a serious calling when she became a pupil of Master Iyengar teachers Jo and Mike Zuchovich, founders of the San Diego Yoga Studios. Dr. Clark began incorporating yoga into her company ACI Specialty Benefits, a leading provider of EAP and corporate wellness programs.

Yoga in the Workplace

Starting small with yoga in the hallways and next to desks, yoga at ACI grew into lunchtime classes multiple times a week, with more and more employees participating. A fully equipped yoga studio was built as ACI’s wellness programs grew.

Dr. Clark recalls, “I had a full-time job as CEO of ACI, a Top Ten EAP with a nationwide clientele. What was I doing teaching yoga? The answer was simple. I was having fun, and I was passionate about introducing people to yoga.”

The Birth of ICYA

After five knee surgeries, three crushed vertebrae from a car accident, and the aches and pains of aging, Dr. Clark found herself struggling in yoga class. She shares, “My heart was on the mat but my body needed support. I was determined to keep practicing despite physical challenges. I turned to the wisdom of Master Yogi BKS Iyengar and used a simple kitchen chair to support myself.”

As a lifelong entrepreneur, Dr. Clark saw this as an exciting new opportunity and began teaching chair yoga classes. Seeing the interest her classes were generating, she founded the non-profit organization International Chair Yoga Association (ICYA). ICYA, pronounced i-see-ya, is supported by ACI in spreading the message that, “Yoga is for everyone.”

Dr. Clark’s teaching and practice today are most influenced by Yogi Eyal Shifroni’s work and book, “A Chair for Yoga,” and her current focus is fundraising for ICYA’s free classes to enable people of all ages and abilities to experience improved strength, mobility and the healing power of yoga.

About Ann Clark

Named “Most Admired CEO” by San Diego Business Journal and “Woman of the Year” finalist for San Diego Magazine, Dr. Clark is also an accomplished motivational speaker and a best-selling author whose works include Workplace Warfare, Cultural Crossroads and Women & Recovery. Connect with Dr. Clark on LinkedIn.