Latest News and Info
Complaint of Misconduct against Yoga Teacher in the USA
9th October 2018
Complaint of Misconduct against Yoga Teacher in the USA
You may have heard that there has recently been a serious complaint of sexual misconduct made against a senior Iyengar teacher in the USA, and that the Iyengar National Association of the US (IYNAUS) is dealing with this. We are not currently dealing with any such complaints in the UK and Ireland, but this is not an issue that we should be complacent about; IY (UK) must have a zero-tolerance attitude to all forms of discrimination, bullying, harassment and abuse. Sexual harassment and abuse need to be challenged wherever they occur.
Manual adjustments have always been an element of the Iyengar method; If you do not wish to be physically adjusted by your teacher for any reason, please tell them. If you feel that you have any cause for complaint against your teacher, we would encourage you to follow this up. We are currently looking at our complaints procedures to see if they need updating. Challenging the teacher yourself is one way of trying to deal with it but that may not be appropriate. If you would like to complain about your teacher, or you have any questions, then the first step is to contact Jill (email@example.com) or Gerry (firstname.lastname@example.org) Chair of Ethics, or email us at email@example.com. We will respect your confidentiality and will not take any further steps without your approval. If you are concerned that any illegal actions may have taken place we suggest that you contact your local police for advice, and also inform us.
National Iyengar Yoga Day: 19 January 2019
19th September 2018
National Iyengar Yoga Day in the UK and Ireland returns on Saturday 19th January 2019.
Don’t miss this fantastic chance to discover Iyengar yoga in your area! Certified Iyengar yoga teachers will be offering free taster classes, demonstrations and events.
Teachers, Institutes and Centres wishing to take part, please contact us
New play in Pune tells the life story of B.K.S. Iyengar
8th August 2018
A new play about the life of B.K.S. Iyengar by Radhika Deshpande opened in Pune, India last week. Find out more here: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/pune/the-life-of-a-yoga-guru-unfolds-on-stage/articleshow/65291010.cms
Garth McLean at Edinburgh Fringe
26th July 2018
Iyengar yoga teacher Garth McLean is debuting his show Looking For Lightning at this Year’s Edinburgh Fringe festival.
“Looking For Lightning is a personal story of perseverance and overcoming seemingly unsurmountable obstacles when faced with a life altering event. Even though Lightning is a show about my personal journey with MS, it offers a more universal message to summon the strength in order to face the challenges of an uncertain future.”
Read an interview with Garth here:
International Day of Yoga – 21 June
18th June 2018
The fourth International Day of Yoga will be celebrated on Thursday 21 June.
The day was declared by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, its midsummer date having been suggested by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Or email us your photos and tell us about your event for the chance to be featured in the next issue of IYN, our members’ magazine.
IY (UK) teacher Jayesh Mistry will be teaching at this large event in Bradford:
Assessment Volunteers Needed
8th May 2018
Assessment Volunteers Needed
Introductory Assessments are being held in June. The venues hosting the assessments would welcome volunteers to be the students for the teaching part of the assessments. This is a great opportunity to learn more about how our teachers are assessed. Please contact the venues direct (contact details below) to volunteer.
To volunteer for Introductory Assessments, you should have at least a year’s attendance at classes and already perform Sirsasana and Sarvangasana. You should be willing to be helped up into Sirsasana (head balance) at the wall and Sarvangasana (shoulder stand) and must not be a remedial student or injured (stiffness is fine but no injuries). Teachers may not act as volunteers but we can take Introductory Level 1 trainees and trainees just starting their second year of training.
MDIIY, Manchester are hosting Introductory Assessments on Sat 2nd, Sat 9th, Sun 10th, Sat 16th and Sat 23rd June. Volunteers are required from 12.30-4 pm approx. For further details and to volunteer, contact: Clare Tunstall, firstname.lastname@example.org
Iyengar Yoga Institute Maida Vale are hosting Introductory Assessments on Sun 3rd, Sat 9th, Sun 10th, Sat 16th and Sat 30th June and on Sun 1st July. Volunteers are required from approx. 1.30-5 pm on Saturdays and approx. 2-5.30 pm on Sundays. For further details and to volunteer, contact: Mary Newton, email@example.com
Maitri Studio, 4 The Mount, Belfast, BT5 4NA are hosting Introductory Assessments on Sat 23rd and Sun 24th June. Volunteers are required from approx. 12.30-4 pm on Saturday and approx. 12-3.30 pm on Sunday. For further details and to volunteer, contact: Claire Ferry, firstname.lastname@example.org
Centenary Year 2018: Tributes to Guruji
8th May 2018
B.K.S. Iyengar Centenary Year 2018: Your tributes
In celebration of the hundredth year since the birth of B.K.S. Iyengar, each month we’ll be posting a selection of your tributes. Click on a name to open or close their contribution.
Kirsten Agar Ward
Richard Agar Ward
Going Beyond Boundaries, 10-13th of May, Gothenburg, Sweden
19th March 2018
The Iyengar Yoga association in Sweden is honoured to welcome Abhijata Sridhar Iyengar to the Nordic Iyengar Yoga Convention 2018. Abhijata will visit four cities on her tour in Europe and during 10-13th of May she will be in Gothenburg, Sweden. The theme for the tour is Going Beyond Boundaries.
Abhijata is the grand-daughter of Guruji B.K.S Iyengar. From the young age of 16, she started seriously studying yoga under the direct guidance of Guruji, her aunt Geeta S. Iyengar and her uncle Prashant Iyengar. Her teaching is carried out with great energy and clarity, and with remarkable poise. Take the opportunity to participate in this Convention and experience the teaching of Abhijata Sridhar Iyengar.
The Convention welcomes students of Iyengar Yoga from all over the world! To book a place: http://nordiciyengaryogaconvention.com/
Request for video tributes: Guruji the Film
29th January 2018
Prashantji Iyengar, son of Yogacharya B.K.S. Iyengar (Guruji), introduces and launches the documentary project to commemorate the upcoming birth centenary of Guruji on 14th December 2018, urging all followers to participate in the documentary by filming your thoughts on the impact that Guruji and Iyengar Yoga have had on your life and offer a glimpse of the vast impact that binds all ‘sadhakas’ (practitioners)
It shall be a 100% crowd-sourced documentary where every participant, from anywhere across the world, can be a filmmaker in their own right and have their unique voice reach out to the Iyengar Yoga family worldwide. The most unique and inspiring stories shall be compiled into a documentary to be released on Guruji’s birth centenary.
All details can be found on www.gurujithefilm.com
Interview with Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh
22nd January 2018
Interview with Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh
Minker Chang from World Yoga Festival talks to Iyengar Yogacharya Zubin Zarthoshtimanesh ahead of his highly anticipated visited to the festival this 19th-22nd July.
Can you please introduce yourself?
I am a teacher in the Iyengar yoga lineage. Our Guruji is Yogacharya B. K. S. Iyengar. I started yoga quite young thanks to my father who was a student of our Guru-ji. That is how I came into yoga, and here I am now, after twenty-seven years of learning with Guru-ji.
Can you tell us about your path and journey into yoga?
It has been continuous. One gradually grows into a subject, an art. I didn’t start off as a teacher. Everyone starts off by being a student. As Guruji always says, be a student. The important thing is to keep learning. It is learning all the time. That has been the common strand throughout the years, of trying to grow in the subject, and at the same time, trying to understand this container, which is the body. Yoga is like an ocean, such a vast thing. When one learns from this ocean, where does one begin? The container, the body, which contains the mind, the breath, the senses, so many things inside us. One accesses the container not for the container’s sake but to access the content which is within the container. So that is how this exploration takes place.
Can you tell us some of your impressions of Guruji?
Guruji, he needs no introduction to the world. People know of his work, his life, what he has done, his eighty years of teaching the subject of yoga. Today people may know it as Iyengar yoga and respectfully they named the yoga after him. But what he used to also insist, a subject which I’ve just explored in a way, which helps people to understand, is how to really understand what the body is, for not only the body, but the body in relation to the mind, because it has connections. The body-mind-breath are related in relation to the body for the body, body for the mind, body for the breath. Similarly, mind for the body, mind with the breath; so these are the connections which he explored in his practice – in his Abhyasa – in his sadhana. It is now universal in that sense, yoga has evolved to absorb this aspect. It is not that it is a different brand. We must be clear what is a market space and what is an educative space. So here, let us understand what it is to really be aware of what is going on, in the essential aspects of the art, the subject, and what it is to just kind of have someone trying to sell you something. Now Iyengar yoga as people understand it is giving respect to one person’s practice, a person who went so deep in exploring the essential aspects of the subject which we now know as yoga.
What were some of the main lessons you learnt from your Guruji, what did he instil in you as a student?
One of his favourite quotes was, “The body is my temple, the asanas are my prayers”, as well as some of his teachings like ‘The wall is my guru’. You can learn from just about anything, so he took a simple thing like a wall or the floor, which gives you a sense of direction, a sense of precision, to understand how to position your body, your mind and your breath, with that as a reference point. These are some of the things which now surface in me with my association with him.
Can you describe your own self-practice and how that has evolved?
We practice every day to deepen. In that sense practice should not be a repetition of what you are doing. You are not like a machine or robot that starts and switches off in the same way every day. You should try to see how you are exploring different things. Your starting point today should be the end-point of yesterday. That is how you can grow. That is how we have been taught to practice.
How do you view your role as a yoga teacher?
I still don’t see myself as a teacher. I still see myself as a practitioner, practicing the art and when I am going around I am sharing my knowledge, my understanding, so I don’t put myself on that kind of pedestal, that kind of position. I am more of a colleague, more of a traveller with someone. So that makes me also one with that whole journey.
One of the things that fascinates me is how to maintain the balance between lineage and evolving the living tradition? How can we maintain that balance?
What you have asked is very relevant and deep. In a tradition, you learn and evolve, just like our Guruji did. His Guruji, our Guruji’s Guruji Sri T. Krishnamacharya, evolved a system of yoga from what he had learnt from his teacher. In that tradition, in that Paramparam, our Guruji’s Guruji also had this skill for sequencing the asanas. Before you could start the asanas in any which way, you could start with standing, you could start with lying down, and then something came in like a sequence to build up like a course of meals; so similarly here one could have a certain sequence which builds up the resonance, the vibrations in you, which culminates in a crescendo. In this there are also evolutions and further evolutions in how you evolve the way you practice the asana. Guruji took that from this limb, how asana, in the scheme of Ashtanga yoga, that is the eight-fold path of yoga – yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, samadhi – asana is one limb, but what he discovered – what he realized – his practice led him to realize that all the limbs are implicit in one limb, like a petal contains a whole flower, and the whole flower is contained within the petal, that kind of inclusivity, that asana contains the whole of yoga, and the whole of yoga contains the asana; so he maintained the tradition and yet he evolved to give a different facet, there is always that freshness because life moves on. As one keeps on practicing, one will start discovering these truths. It is a journey.
Are there any final comments that you would like to share?
Nothing should be final. We are always in the process of evolving and exploring. To give inspiration, Patanjali in sutra 1.20 says the essential ingredients for a yoga practitioner, for any aspirant on the spiritual path; he says Sraddha (faith), Virya (courage), Smrti (memory and mindfulness), Prajna (awareness), and Samadhi (absorption) are the five key ingredients that an aspirant should have; so Patanjali reminds us of these five essential qualities which are required to tread on the path in order to succeed on the journey.
Zubin will be sharing his vast depth of knowledge of Iyengar Yoga at World Yoga Festival 19-22nd July, 2018, Reading, UK. Iyengar Yoga members can book at a discounted rate of £129 plus booking fee for a full festival pass (we emailed members on 23 December 2017 with the code but please contact us if you have not received the code). For more information, please visit www.yogafestival.world