BKS Iyengar’s Speech at the Opening of the Maida Vale Institute, 12th May 1984

18 April 2024|

Below are extracts from a speech given by BKS Iyengar in 1984 at the opening of what was then called the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Maida Vale, known today as Iyengar Yoga London. BKS Iyengar's words convey how important it was to him to have established a yoga centre in London as a hub from which the benefits of the practice could be spread far and wide. He also describes his expectations of his students and the profound and practical wisdom of the yoga sutras of Patanjali. "As you are all aware, today’s function is just a formal one since [...]

Geeta Iyengar Memorial Workshop for Ukraine

15 November 2022|

To mark the anniversary of Geetaji’s passing, we are holding a three hour General Level Workshop with Judy Smith to raise money for the Disasters and Emergency Committee (DEC) Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. We hope you can join us. Geeta Iyengar Memorial Workshop for Ukraine with Judy Smith Friday 16 December 2.00 - 5.00PM This workshop is suitable for all students with two years or more of regular Iyengar yoga experience. All funds raised from this workshop are going to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal. Suggested donations for online booking are £30, £45 and £60. If you would like to [...]

Yoga and the creative arts

5 August 2021|

For all of us, yoga can be a wonderful counterbalance to work, bringing us energy and focus and easing out our knots and strains. For the artist, yoga can relate very closely indeed to the creative process. Reflection and action; precision, stamina and courage; the freedom to search deep within and reach far beyond the self – these qualities sustain both practices. Here four of our students, working in different creative fields, reflect on how the art of yoga supports their work. […]

Online Classes – A Student’s Perspective

23 July 2021|

By Lucy I have been a fan of Iyengar Yoga London since attending my first introductory class in Maida Vale in 2014. I had been inspired to sign up after hearing an obituary of BKS Iyengar on the radio. That first class felt like coming home for me. My siblings and I, as children, had learnt yoga postures from our grandfather that he had learnt in the Indian Army. As soon as I started an Iyengar class, it felt familiar to me. I had often tried yoga classes before but, as an overly flexible person, [...]

VIDEO – Yoga Asana Through the Ages

22 June 2021|

In this fascinating talk senior Iyengar yoga teacher and teacher trainer, Sallie Sullivan, looks at how yoga postures have been represented on paper and in stone through the millennia and compares the instructions in ancient text to BKS Iyengar’s Light On Yoga. […]

Yoga for MS & other Neurological Issues

21 April 2021|

The class for MS & other neurological conditions is run by Korinna Pilafidis-Williams. It was held at the Maida Vale studios until the first lockdown of 2020 when it was moved online and taught as a weekly livestream class. The class is by application, please email office@iyengaryogalondon.co.uk […]

Pune Pants – A Brief History

13 April 2021|

Scorned by some, loved by many, Pune shorts are a familiar sight in Iyengar yoga studios all over the world. Perhaps the closest thing we have to an unofficial uniform, wearing them in public requires more letting go of the ego than many students are prepared to suffer. But where did they come from and why do we (some of us) wear them? […]

Iyengar yoga Self Practice Resources

26 March 2021|

Building self practice, or sadhana, into a regular routine has many benefits. It gives you the opportunity to develop understanding and skill at your own pace and build on what you learn in class. While it is easy to understand why self practice is a good thing, it can be a challenge to make it a part of your day-to-day life. So, we have compiled some resources to help. […]

Livestream Class FAQs

6 August 2020|

Thank you very much to everybody who replied to our survey on the livestream classes and for your comments and suggestions. We had an overwhelmingly positive response with 85% of responders rating their online experience as 8/10 or more and nearly 50% at 10/10. 92.3% of responders were happy with the class times. A number of requests and comments recurred so we have prepared some FAQs to reply to those: Can we have more time slots? Can we have early morning sessions? Later classes? We are currently operating at capacity in terms of technology and staff. Each class is [...]

How to relax more deeply in inverted postures

6 August 2020|

Roger Cole, Ph.D. is a certified Iyengar yoga teacher trained at the Iyengar yoga Institutes in San Francisco and Pune. He is also a Stanford University educated scientist with specialties in the science of relaxation, sleep, and circadian rhythms. In the video below, Roger explains why setu bandha and viparita karani are such beneficial poses. He demonstrates how to trigger the baroreflex, one of the body's mechanisms that helps maintain blood pressure at a constant level, to quiet the brain effectively in inverted postures and restorative practise.

The story of the statue of Patanjali at Maida Vale

6 August 2020|

By Alice Chadwick Many of us begin our practice with the invocation to Patanjali. His statue sits in Iyengar Yoga London’s large Maida Vale studio, one of the few objects other than props in the room. Like the birds in the garden or the rain on the roof, it lends its calmness to our space. Here we can put down the things of daily life and pick up the tools of yoga. But why this particular sculpture? Where did it come from and why is it on a plinth in the corner? The Statue is Commissioned The statue was [...]

Yoga props for your home practice

15 July 2020|

Yoga props for home practice Many of us improvise props at home and this can work perfectly well for home practice and livestream classes. But, if you would like to upgrade from books, towels and cushions we can recommend the selection of equipment below. We have chosen props that are similar to the ones we use at Maida Vale so that they will be familiar and easy to work with if you have attended classes at our studios. Balance Yoga Mat £28 View now > Foam Brick At Maida Vale we use wooden, foam and cork bricks. Foam is [...]

Geeta Iyengar – A Personal Tribute

14 October 2019|

Sallie Sullivan on stage with Geeta Iyengar at the Iyengar yoga Jubilee at Crystal Palace in May, 2002 By Sallie Sullivan Sallie started practising Iyengar yoga in 1980. She has been a dozen times to study with the Iyengars in Pune where she has also assisted in the medical classes. She taught the Introductory Teacher Training Course at Maida Vale for 25 years and is an assessment moderator for the UK Iyengar Association. After learning only from Guruji in the UK, my first experience of classes with Geeta was in Pune in 1992. She was clear, energetic, demanding and quite [...]

Remembering Geeta Iyengar

8 October 2019|

Geeta Iyengar died aged 74, still working tirelessly to assure the legacy of her father and guru BKS Iyengar. After his death she stepped up to oversee the teaching at RIMYI. Her ill health and failing strength was an obstacle but her spirit soared above it. Family and friends asked her to slow down and save herself for Guruji’s 100th birth anniversary. She promised: “Don’t worry, I will be with you for the centenary, then my work will be done.” She taught the second half of the 10 day Centenary celebration course with immense energy and insistence making sure [...]

Uday Bhosale remembers Geeta Iyengar

23 September 2019|

Above: Geetaji at Yoganusanam 2018Uday Bhosale spent fifteen years studying, assisting and teaching at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune with the Iyengar family. In addition to teaching the Childrens, Beginners and Intermediate classes at RIMYI, he assisted in Geeta Iyengar’s medical classes. He recently moved to the UK and teaches regular classes and workshops.Do you remember your first class with Geetaji?Oh yes, I do! I was 19 years old and was used to strong and active work in class because I came from a martial arts background. Our martial arts training used to be strict and disciplined. [...]

Moving up from Beginners to General level

23 April 2019|

BKS Iyengar and his daughter, Geeta, were always clear about the stages of progression of practice and how poses link with each other like building blocks. Each syllabus has a clear list of poses which create the basis of practice at whatever stage you are at. […]

Geeta Iyengar On Pranayama

15 December 2018|

In the May 2002 issue of Dipika, the Iyengar yoga Maida Vale journal, we published an intervew with Dr. Geeta S. Iyengar on the subject of pranayama by Lois Steinberg. Many thanks to Lois for allowing us us to share it here.   […]

BKS Iyengar’s Demonstration at the Barbican in London, 1984

3 December 2018|

21 May, 1984 was a momentous occasion in the history of Iyengar yoga and for the Iyengar yoga studios in Maida Vale. BKS Iyengar gave a talk and demonstration before an audience of 2,000 at the Barbican Centre in London. He talked about Patanjali and the eight limbs of yoga and he gave a demonstration of pranayama and asanas. The occasion also included a performance by some of his close students that had been rehearsed at Maida Vale. Guruji generously donated the entire income from the evening to the Maida Vale building fund.  One of [...]

How do you feel after an Iyengar yoga class?

21 August 2018|

You may have asked yourself why you keep returning to your yoga class. When we start yoga most of us don’t really know what to expect and the first class may come as a bit of a shock. Maybe we expect to be sitting cross-legged or tied up in knots or even standing on our head, but in the Iyengar yoga method you are put through rigorous standing poses in the very first class. The hamstrings sing, the arms tire from holding them up for so long and our concentration is demanded at every moment. [...]

A short history of Iyengar yoga in Maida Vale

20 May 2018|

This is an edited version of an article by Dr Suzanne Newcombe, Lecturer in Religious Studies at the Open University and research fellow at the London School of Economics. She researches the sociology and social history of modern yoga and founded the Journal of Yoga Studies. This article first appeared in the Iyengar Yoga London journal, Dipika, for the 21st Anniversary issue in May 2005.   […]

Genie Hammond 1929 – 2017

2 October 2017|

We are sad to announce the death of Eugenie (Genie) Laura Hammond on 26 September 2017. She was born in Islington, North London on 18 March 1929.  […]

Moving up from Beginners to General level Iyengar yoga class

3 April 2017|

Barbara Norvell has been teaching Iyengar yoga since 1999. Here she shares her thoughts on how to decide when to move up from a Beginners Level class to General Level. At Iyengar Yoga London we ask that students go to Beginners classes regularly for two years before moving up to a General class. Some students are keen to move up quickly while for others the prospect can be a little daunting. We hope this will help you decide when the right time is for you. […]

Wednesday 7am class – A student’s perspective

20 March 2017|

‘Wednesday morning at seven o’clock as the day begins …’  (with apologies to The Beatles) Tony Morris has been a member of Iyengar Yoga London since 2000 and served as a trustee between 2002-2005. He is a regular at Amparo Rodriguez’s Wednesday class. Here he explains why he resists hitting the snooze button and takes out his yoga mat instead. […]

2 April – Tribute to Silvia Prescott (1922-2016)

13 March 2017|

On 2 April we will celebrate Silvia Prescott’s contribution to Iyengar yoga and to the Iyengar yoga Institute Maida Vale. Silvia was a highly respected teacher who will always be remembered by the many people who were fortunate to have attended her classes.  […]

BKS Iyengar on yoga practice and ageing

11 July 2016|

BKS Iyengar on yoga practice and ageing At 92 years of age BKS Iyengar continued to practise yoga for several hours each day. Here he describes how his practice changed with age and offers advice to students on yoga in later life. […]

Archive images – BKS Iyengar at Maida Vale opening, May 1994

28 March 2016|

If you can see past the breeze blocks and timber you may recognise the room below as our much-loved Studio 1. It was 14th May, 1994 and the official celebration of our new, purpose-built studios, ten years after the inauguration of the Institute (now Iyengar Yoga London) at the Maida Vale site. The old building, which had served as a makeshift home for Iyengar yoga in London, was taken down and replaced by the unique and beautiful centre we enjoy today. […]

Taking an Iyengar yoga assessment

25 November 2015|

Ainhoa Acosta has been a student at Maida Vale for many years and recently passed her Introductory Level 2 Iyengar yoga teaching assessment. Well done Ainhoa! She tells us about her experience of taking Iyengar yoga assessment. […]

How Yoga Transformed Me by BKS Iyengar

21 October 2015|

In this personal article, from a booklet published in January 1975 to commemorate the opening of the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute, BKS Iyengar describes the extraordinary highs and lows of his yoga practice. It is reproduced here from a selection of typewritten manuscripts held in the Iyengar yoga Institute Maida Vale archives.  […]

Are you ready to move up from General Level classes to Intermediate?

16 September 2015|

It can be hard to tell when you are ready to move up a level from General classes to Intermediate. Our guidelines at Maida Vale are that you need two years of experience for General and four years for Intermediate classes. But, we know it can be daunting to think you might be expected to perform perfect, advanced postures and it can feel safer to stick with your regular class. So, if you’ve been considering moving up this quick guide will help you decide whether now is the right time for you. […]

Alaric Newcombe on BKS Iyengar’s ‘Asanas for Emotional Stability’

16 September 2015|

BKS Iyengar’s Asanas for Emotional Stability Senior Iyengar yoga teacher and trainer, Alaric Newcombe, has taught at Iyengar Yoga London since 1991. He holds an annual retreat for teachers, trainees and experienced practitioners. The daily routine includes an hour and a half of pranayama, a three hour asana class and two to three hours of self practice, overseen by Alaric, where students work though the Asanas for Emotional Stability from BKS Iyengar’s book Light On Life. BKS Iyengar’s Asanas for Emotional Stability is a sequence of fifteen supported yoga poses presented with detailed instructions and illustrations on [...]

Iyengar yoga and the Menopause

8 September 2015|

Judi Sweeting is a Senior Iyengar yoga teacher and runs the Cotswold Iyengar yoga Centre in Cirencester.  Here she recounts her experience of the menopause followed by the accounts of two other longstanding practitioners. These stories show how the experience of menopause varies from woman to woman and how Iyengar yoga played an important part during this important transition in their lives. […]

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