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Laura Potts


Laura first learned Iyengar yoga with Angela Farmer, one of Guruji’s early UK students, back in 1977. For a good while after that she had no access to an Iyengar teacher, but continued a daily practice using Light on Yoga, until learning with John Claxton and Lillian Biggs in the early 1990s. She started teacher training with Lillian in 1994. She has continued to develop her professional learning, and is currently certified at Level 3; she has visited RIMYI three times for a month’s attendance at classes. As a teacher in higher and further education for nearly thirty years, Laura has a practical and wide ranging experience in different pedagogical methods and approaches, and of working with students of all sorts of abilities. Her background in philosophy (BA Hons and PhD) and in health education (PG DipHEd) provide a strong foundation to her yoga teaching and understanding. She has a particular expertise in, and a commitment to, teaching students with mental health problems, and has taught in psychiatric hospitals for over twenty years, as well as classes for MIND, the WEA Mental Health Division, and a class supported by IYDF for community mental health service users. In 2007 she contributed extensively to a review published by the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health on yoga for mental health, and has published other articles on the topic too. For eight years she taught yoga to medical students, helping them to establish their own practice, and academically requiring them to research the health benefits of Iyengar yoga. In 2017, she began to study the Therapeutics course with Stephanie Quirk, truncated by the pandemic. In 2021, she facilitated the IYUK Long Covid pilot study, drawing on her social science research experience; she co-supervised a graduate student at York University to compile a research literature review on therapeutic applications of yoga, and a student-researcher at York St John University, who produced a quantative and qualitative evaluation of the pilot study. Her yoga teaching is grounded in a deep love, understanding and appreciation of Iyengar yoga as lived experience. The fundamental principles of yama and niyama resonate through her teaching, her social and political engagement and way of living.

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