What is Iyengar Yoga? Iyengar Yoga is named in honor of BKS Iyengar, the world-renown yoga master in India who was still teaching and practicing daily until a few weeks before he passed away in 2014 at the age of 95. The Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, located in Pune, India, continues to welcome students and teachers from all over the world, and the relevance and vitality of Mr. Iyengar's many books, starting with Light on Yoga first published in 1966 is unmistakable.
The Iyengar approach to yoga asana (poses) is characterized by precise instruction; individual attention and guidance; a deep understanding of anatomy,physiology, and yoga philosophy; and the skillful use of yoga props. These props (for example, wood or foam blocks, cotton straps and blankets, and backless folding chairs) help adapt the classical poses, making them safe and rewarding for people of all levels of experience, age, and physical ability. The use of props also offer creative options for advanced practitioners. Many of these props, which are now ubiquitous in professional studios and gyms, were originally invented by Mr. Iyengar himself, in his quest to make yoga accessible to the general population.
Iyengar Yoga students also discover the value of holding the poses for longer periods of time. These longer holdings develop strength, stamina and concentration and they allow the necessary time for observation, correction, and adjustment.
Teachers wishing to receive certification in the Iyengar Method must pass a progressive series of exams ("levels") covering in-depth anatomy, philosophy, asana practice, and teaching skills. I received my Introductory Level certification in 2013 and successfully completed the next level (Intermediate Level) in 2017. Like my colleagues, I consider myself a yoga "student" as much as a "teacher" and cherish my study with advanced teachers in the lineage.
Iyengar Yoga is for everyone! Have you thought about trying a yoga class, or would you like to return to classes after experiencing an injury or health condition? Perhaps you already have a yoga practice and would like more comprehensive instruction, or perhaps a challenge to boost you to the next level? My classes offer a supportive structure in which to explore your own potential step by step.
My own physical issues (most recently a broken hip) are a daily reminder that one's limitations are an opportunity for patience, humility, compassion—and a renewed commitment to practice! All of us can take to heart these words from Light on Life, one of Mr. Iyengar's last books, where he wrote: “Do you have a problem part which makes the practice of yoga difficult for you? An injured knee? A stiff back? That is your problem child. Learn how to deal with it and how to nurture it, as you would a child who had problems that needed extra love and attention.”
As I continue my study of mind, body, and the art of teaching, I am indebted to the wisdom, encouragement and guidance of many superb teachers in the Iyengar lineage, in particular Theresa Rowland (Studio Yoga, Madison NJ) who was my primary inspiration and guide for over twenty years. And to my students, past, present and future, a resounding thank you for the opportunity to share this journey with you!
Iyengar Yoga classes and workshops with:
My teaching experience:
Online classes 2020-2022
Cornell Prison Education Program 2021-2022
Fine Spirit Studio, Ithaca NY 2011-2020
Cornell University Physical Education Dept 2013-present; also 1998-2003
Island Health & Fitness Ithaca 2012-2020
Fingerlakes Fitness Center Ithaca NY 2007-2020
Ithaca College Fitness Center 2009-10
City Health Club Ithaca NY 1995-2006
Tiamat Studio Ithaca NY 1996-2005
Cornell University Wellness Program 1997-2001
Ithaca Fitness Center 1997-98
Santosha Yoga Center, Ithaca NY 2005-2006
Additional yoga training:
Kripalu Yoga Teacher Certification 1995
Classes and workshops - Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health 1987-98