Yoga Asana Anatomy

New book in our ‘bookshop’: Yoga Asana Anatomy by Hermann Traiteur from Yoga Mitte Berlin.

This is a unique anatomy book that is specifically written from the Iyengar Yoga perspective. It is readable and accessible to those without extensive medical knowledge. At the same time, it is also intended to be a fascinating and informative guidebook for those possessing medical expertise.

Each theme’s anatomical explanations are coupled with corresponding color pictures, and references are made to asana and to different health problems that can arise in the musculoskeletal system. Tips are provided about asanas that can be practiced as preventative measures. But the explanations also refer to the underpinning principles of Iyengar yoga, which makes this book very practical and relatable for the regular Iyengar Yoga student.

You can now buy it at the studio, €42 (limited stock)

Birthday celebration

101 years ago on this day, BKS Iyengar was born. An extraordinary man who touched countless people’s lives. We are fortunate to find ourselves amongst this number. In Pune, the Iyengar yoga community is very much alive and vibrant! It was good to be there for the 101′st birth anniversary and to see the local students in a beautiful and inspiring performance (see the youtube video of the performance on the right side).

It was also refreshing to be part of the convention in which structural changes to the Iyengar yoga system were proposed by Prashant and Abhijata, and discussed by assessors and teacher trainers from all over the world. As a community, we have to move forward and adapt to the changing world, and they bravely opened the discussion. Surely, we will all hear much more about this in the coming months. I will not go into the details here but if you are interested you can click here and read some more about it.

“Prone Savasana for back pain with canine companion.”

Yoga teachers also get back pain sometimes! Students can be shocked when I say something about my own injuries or illness. But yoga is not a guarantee for a life without pain or disease. Yes, ‘even’ your yoga teacher is a human being that also deals with pain, sadness, disease and all the suffering that comes with the human experience.

The practice of yoga may help prevent pain, instil healthier habits, or help you find ways to deal with various conditions. It is very helpful to understand a little bit about your body and know various techniques to find relief from pain. It is also helpful to understand a little bit about your own mind and the psychological effects of pain or other obstacles.

But yoga is not a magic pill that safeguards you from pain in whatever form it might show up. Not a shield to protect the practitioner from harm. Nobody has said it better than the master:

“Yoga teaches us to cure what need not be endured and endure what cannot be cured.”
- BKS Iyengar⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

And in case of occasional pain it is lovely to have colleagues who help set you up in a pose to rest and recover, and a dog by your your side.

First day of school!

As the students of our In-depth course trickled in this morning with their bags full of books and lunch and yoga clothes, they reminded me of children on their first day back to school. Some of them excited to meet up with friends from last year, others insecure about a new experience. All individuals. When their voices joined together for the first Om, they suddenly seemed to merge into a homogenous group, open and ready to learn.

“We chant [the invocation] so that at the very beginning that feeling of sanctification comes from inside, with the feeling of surrendering oneself, because nothing can be learned in this world unless you have the humility to learn”
- Geeta Iyengar, from an interview with Margo Kitchen, RIMYI 1992

September schedule

Back to (yoga) school! Can yoga help you keep your calm in the midst of daily hectics? We hope to help you integrate yoga into your daily life through one of the courses we offer this fall. Check the schedule for more info! Many thanks to Chantal Ehrhardt  for the great pictures, taken way back when we didn’t even know our yoga school would be located a stone’s throw away from this crossing!

Home improvements

Summertime = time for some ‘home improvement’. Spot our upcycled sunny yellow letterbox… Even the passing cyclists and the trash can are now part of our decor!

On the next picture you see our fresh white wall – we hope it will keep our little alley bright also when the days are shorter… and a little cooler while the summer heat lasts!

Inside, yoga classes are continued all summer long so that you can work on making your practice solid like the earth – for a long time, without interruption and with love and respect. 

“Long, uninterrupted, alert practice is the firm foundation for restraining the fluctuations [of the mind]”
- Patanjali Yoga Sutras 1.14, translation of BKS Iyengar in Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali

Getting certified in Iyengar Yoga

This weekend we hosted the national Iyengar Yoga assessments in Utrecht. It was intense in many ways! Nowadays it seems like more and more people choose to teach yoga, and there are many options to quickly get certified as a teacher. But not in Iyengar yoga… ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Getting certified in this style requires one to be a student for at least 3 years. Then, the student has to find a mentoring teacher and a recommending teacher that are at least Junior Intermediate level. One then has to apprentice with those teachers for at least three additional years. The actual practice and self-study is by far the most important element in this journey, because yoga is an experiential subject. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

Then at the assessment, the candidates have to demonstrate their own abilities in the asanas from their Introductory syllabus: 64 poses that initially look deceptively simple compared to some of the Instagram favorites like handstands and dropbacks, but try to perform them under the watchful eyes of 3 assessors and a moderator! Candidates are not only expected to be able to ‘make the shapes’ but they also have to show maturity and insight in the mechanics of the poses and their own abilities. A pretty daunting task! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
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Following the practice demonstration, candidates have to teach 3 randomly chosen asanas plus Sirsasana and Sarvangasana to a small group of volunteer students. And prior to the assessment day, they wrote a theory paper with questions about anatomy, philosophy and teaching theory. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀

This year, after a long and hot day we were very happy to see 4 of the participants in our In-Depth course and mentoring program pass the assessment! Congratulations to Leen, Anne, Carla and Sabrina!

iYoga t-shirts all over the world!

Wow, our signature iYoga t-shirt (design by Atelier Oost) went to the other side of the world! Eyal Shifroni took it to Australia and New Zealand, and two of our Czech friends were spotted wearing the shirt in Vienna.
How wonderful to share this practice all over the globe!