Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher and Owner at Yoga on Tay
After initially qualifying in 1997 as an Introductory Iyengar Yoga Teacher, and then in 2004 as a Intermediate Teacher, I gained my first Senior Teaching Certificate in 2013. Now also qualified as an Assessor, Teacher Trainer and Mentor with the IY(UK), I have been practising for 40 years!
In this time, I have taught:
All ages - from preschool to seniors;
All levels - from beginners through to intermediate and teachers;
Provided Training days - for Yoga Scotland and the British Wheel of Yoga;
Run specialised classes - from pregnancy to therapy yoga, the latter being my particular area of interest and expertise.
I hold a deep love for yoga which still continues to fulfil me in my own practice. I continue to learn from highly respected teachers both in the UK and internationally, not to mention many regular visits to the prestigious Iyengar Institute in Pune, India.
Yoga is an intrinsic part of my life which is shared through my teaching and of course in my personal life with my partner, Marieke, and my family whether we are at home or in the great outdoors.
Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and Owner at Yoga on Tay
I first attended Iyengar Yoga classes when living in Edinburgh in the mid-90’s and immediately loved it. It was energising, challenging (I don’t have a flexible body!), fascinating and interesting, as no class was ever the same as another. So when I moved to Tayside it was a disappointment not to have Iyengar yoga classes available locally.
Years later, my great fortune was meeting Julie – not only as my life partner, but also as a fantastic Iyengar Yoga teacher. I took up my Iyengar yoga practice again and found it very helpful in managing back pain, but also in increasing mental and physical resilience.
Through Iyengar yoga I am learning how I can work best with my body and how body and mind work together. Now that I am qualified as an Introductory Teacher (June 2021) I am very much looking forward to sharing this wonderful system of yoga, and the benefits it can bring, with others.
Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher
I discovered Iyengar Yoga in 2013 whilst living abroad in Republic of Congo. Of all the types of yoga that might be on offer there, it just happened to be Iyengar! I loved it, attended twice a week and quickly developed my own home practice.
Since then I have had the good fortune of learning from many other inspiring teachers in different settings: classes, workshops and retreats in Scotland, South Africa and Congo.
At some point, becoming an Iyengar teacher went down on a list of future plans. Now, that is a reality! I qualified as an Introductory Teacher in December 2020 and am now able to share my delight in Iyengar Yoga with you. It has given me calmness, stability, greater discipline and confidence. I bore easily, but not of Iyengar Yoga, where the learning is endless, the possibilities infinite and every practice different.
I look forward to welcoming you to my classes at Yoga-on-Tay!
Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher
I discovered Iyengar Yoga in Edinburgh in 2001 in my late 20s attending classes taught by Stella Craven. Like Helena, I was just heading along to a yoga class. I wasn't aware that it was Iyengar Yoga but I was aware that I always felt great on the walk home. I continued attending Stella's classes and the Edinburgh Iyengar Centre. On moving to Vancouver in my late 30's, I typed 'Iyengar Yoga class' into Google and was lucky enough to find an Iyengar Yoga class 3 blocks away taught by the exuberant Ingelise Nherlan.
When I returned home to Fife, I enrolled in the Introductory teacher training program run by Liz Ballantyne and Julie Anderson making great friends and embarking on the great learning journey of becoming a teacher of Iyengar yoga. In the words of BKS Iyengar "Ignorance has no beginning but has an end. Knowledge has a beginning but no end."
Iyengar Yoga helped me through both my pregnancies and now brings me balance and stability, strength and relaxation. I look forward to welcoming you to my class at Yoga on Tay.
Iyengar Yoga Trainee Teachers
We are pleased that some of our students are currently training to be teachers. Once in the final stages of their training they may occasionally teach a pose or two in class or perhaps also teach a 'community class' on the timetable.
Train to Teach
Training to teach Iyengar yoga is done by mentoring
B.K.S. Iyengar developed what has come to be called Iyengar yoga, from a firm physical, spiritual and philosophical base. As we practice and study deeper, we find it is more than just a physical activity but a way of life. Students wishing to study further with a view to teaching need to dedicate the necessary time to learn the asanas and pranayama purely for the joy of learning.
Students who have attended Iyengar yoga classes regularly for a minimum of 3 years and have a good standard of practice in the Level 1 asanas may be interested in becoming teachers.
The route to teaching is via mentorship by an experienced teacher who has been approved as a mentor by Iyengar Yoga (UK). Students who are interested in training to teach should, in the first instance, discuss this with their own regular class teacher who, if not a mentor themselves, will be able to put them in touch with a qualified mentor. Currently this is Julie Anderson at Yoga on Tay.
Mentoring offers a wholesome approach more in line with the traditional sharing of knowledge, practical experience and teaching skills between a teacher and student. It offers continuity of the message and methods of Iyengar yoga in an unbroken line of succession. This will require you to regularly 'shadow' your mentor in class.
In addition, several written assignments will be given during mentoring. These will cover topics such as anatomy, lesson planning and yoga philosophy. There will be a formal, practical Introductory assessment once your Mentor feels you are ready and at least three years from your start date.
As a trainee, you will be expected to attend regular classes with your mentor and will progress to demonstrate and assist during class as well as attending peer-group sessions and keep accurate records of these hours. The mentorship period will last a minimum of three years but may take longer. During the mentorship period, trainees will be expected to learn not only the Level 1 syllabus but some of Level 2.
Before teaching the basics, one must be at an advanced level of learning. Candidates for the teaching assessment, therefore, will have practiced Iyengar yoga regularly for a minimum of 6 years before presenting for Level 1 assessment. Candidates should not only have achieved a high standard in their personal practice in the asanas, but also have an awareness of the subtlety of Iyengar yoga and its philosophy.
At Yoga on Tay (YOT) we will be running peer group sessions which will involve attending regularly a monthly workshop on a Thursday or Friday evening, plus occasional weekend workshops.
Application for Mentoring:
Membership of IY(UK) is a requirement for training as an Iyengar yoga teacher. IY(UK) is the national governing body for Iyengar Yoga in the United Kingdom and Mentoring Yoga teachers is formally reviewed regularly by them. Any changes they may approve may alter the way we mentor trainees.
Fortunately, at YOT our senior teacher, Julie Anderson, is qualified as a Mentor so she can mentor you exclusively. Julie is also recognised by IY(UK) as an over-seeing mentor so you can be mentored in part with your own class teacher (if they are suitably experienced), and in part with Julie.
Your Mentor will give you a form ‘Application for Training to Teach at Introductory level’ along with ‘Notes for completing Application Form for Training to Teach at Introductory Level’, this will be sent to IY(UK) for checking and verification of the application; an official date for the commencement of training will then be given.
Attendance at a weekly class with a recognised Teacher Member of IY (UK) for a minimum of three years
Written recommendation from your regular teacher to confirm the above
A knowledge of and practical familiarity with the Introductory syllabus (a copy of which is available from your Iyengar Yoga teacher).
Regular practice at home. You will need to dedicate at least one hour a day to your own practice throughout the length of the course.
Introductory Teaching Certificate of the Iyengar Yoga Association of the UK, IY (UK).
The objectives of Introductory Level Teacher Mentoring are to improve one’s own practice by:
Showing a good understanding (alignment, extension, precision and steadiness) in demonstration
Developing clarity and simplicity of instruction
Showing sharpness and awareness in observation
Achieving control and safety of a class
Learning to teach Sirsasana and Sarvangasana and to be able to lift students into these asanas
Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
Light on Pranayama by BKS Iyenear
Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by BKS Iyengar