Yoga in the Iyengar Method

Awareness must be like the rays of the sun: extending everywhere, illuminating all. — BKS Iyengar

Guruji & Leigh 2002

With Mr. Iyengar in Pune, 2002 Birthday Celebrations

A dynamic approach to classical yoga, developed by Mr. Iyengar of India, whose contribution to yoga in the 20th century is unparalleled, leading the Oxford Dictionary to add the term “Iyengar Yoga” to the most recent addition. He is the author of Light on Yoga, considered a master treatise on yoga practice and the innovator of the use of props, commonly used in many yoga studios around the world today. Longer holdings and study of the asana (poses) cultivate the structure for the breath and take the student deeper inward. The Iyengar method of yoga is known for detail, alignment and sequencing, which ultimately work on the consciousness, moving the student towards dhrana, dhyana and samadhi, embracing all eight limbs of yoga.

I have been practicing and studying yoga in the Iyengar method since 1982. Recommending yoga asana and breathing techniques, yoga classes and teachers, to my massage clients led me to pursue my own studies in yoga further and inspired me to teach. In 1999 I entered a three-year Iyengar method teacher training program and certified as an Iyengar yoga teacher. I travel to India annually to study directly with the Iyengars at RIMYI (Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute) in Pune. Since 2002 I have been very fortunate to study with Mr. Iyengar, his daughter Geeta and his son Prashant on many occasions, having travelled many times to the Iyengar Institute in Pune as well as seeing Geeta abroad.

I have been fortunate and grateful to receive direct teaching from each of them.

With Patricia Walden in Bellur, 2018

With Patricia Walden in Bellur, 2018

At RIMYI, India in 2002 I met Patricia Walden who became my mentor for the next five years, facilitating me through my first two assessments. Patricia’s influence enriched my practice and deepened my familiarity with yoga philosophy. Through her example, I learned to thread the Yoga Sutras and other yogic lessons into my own teaching. I continue to study with her to this day.

I spent many years studying under the guidance of Marlene Mawhinney at Yoga Centre Toronto. Marlene has an exceptional gift, honed through many years of practice in working with orthopedic and special needs yoga. Through her mentorship, I was able to gain meaningful insights that have benefited my therapeutic practice and yoga students. I owe a great deal to Marlene’s generosity.

The study of yoga has enriched my life far beyond what I could have imagined. I continue to study as well as teach and travel to India every year. Most recently to continue my studies with Fr. Joe Pereira in the field of yoga, chronic pain and addiction support.

With Fr. Joe Pereira in Goa, 2017

With Fr. Joe Pereira in Goa, 2017

Kripa Iyengar Yoga is a therapeutic branch of Iyengar yoga developed by Fr. Joe Pereira with Mr. Iyengar’s blessing. Kripa Iyengar yoga is a heart-centered practice to provide support to those in addiction recovery. Focusing on breath, meditation and is a parasympathetically directed practice to boost the immune system and decrease pain and suffering.

I was blessed to meet Fr. Joe in the 1990s when I was captured by his enthusiasm for this work. Fr. Joe is an Indian-Portuguese Priest, mentored by both Mother Teresa and Guruji BKS Iyengar. I continue to study with Fr. Joe, a few years back he blessed me to teach his Kripa method of Iyengar yoga in the guru–shishya tradition.

In keeping with tradition, I wish to express my gratitude to my many great teachers, most notably Guruji, Mr. BKS Iyengar, and his daughter and son Geeta and Prashant Iyengar. Their sincere commitment and burning zeal for yoga is a gift of light.