Livestream Class FAQs

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 supported by a receptionist who starts the hosting procedure 2 hours before the start time.
  • At present we cannot offer early morning classes, but we are looking into offering one from June. Also, from June we will be changing the start time of some of the weekday 6 pm classes to 6.30 pm.

What does Beginner/General mean? And General/Intermediate?

  • Beginners/General:Students should have at least 1 years’ regular Iyengar yoga practice.
  • General/Intermediate:For strong General and Intermediate students. This level is not suitable for students who are new to General level practice.

Where are the other teachers? Why is my regular teacher not teaching?

  • Seven of our teachers – Stuart Miller, Stephen Richardson,  Rosemary da Silva, Ainhoa Acosta, Elisabeth Wengersky, Keiko Onishi and Alaric Newcombe – have chosen not to teach our livestream classes. Two teachers’ availability did not fit in with our livestream timetable, but we are hoping to include them from June. So please check the June timetable for classes with Patsy and Khaled as well as the current teachers.

Please can we have pranayama classes/philosophy lectures/workshops?

  • We hope to include Pranayama classes in our livestream timetable from June.
  • We will also arrange a Philosophy lecture plus Q&A. 
  • Given the limitations of the student/teacher relationship in livestream teaching, we consider that workshops are not suitable.

Do I have to attend classes with my regular teacher? 

  • Provided you have already attended classes with an IYMV teacher, you can attend livestream classes with any IYMV teacher.
  • All students in online classes must be visible to the teacher, so keep your camera switched on.

The classes are too expensive. You must be raking it in.

  • We have continuing overheads for staff and building regardless of where the classes are taught, and we are committed to engaging all teachers who wish to take part in delivering the livestream classes.
  • While there are fewer teachers and half our regular classes in the livestream timetable, teachers are paid for two hours’ engagement for each 90-minute class. Currently reception staff are working more than their regular hours to support the livestream classes.
  • We are also continuing to support two teachers providing weekly livestream classes to vulnerable groups through our Outreach Programme.
  • Members suffering financial hardship because of the current emergency can email or phone the office to obtain the concessionary rate for livestream classes (£3).

Will the online classes continue after IYMV re-opens?

  • Since we anticipate that we will not be able to offer a full timetable in the studios when we re-open, because of the need for social distancing, we will continue some livestream classes to make as full a timetable as possible.
  • The Teaching Committee and Trustees are considering all the possibilities and permutations of running classes in the studios and online as safely and accessibly as possible. Even when we are fully open, we will continue with livestream classes if there is a continuing demand for them.

I am having connection problems

  • We believe this is settling down as everyone has become familiar with the technology. If you have a connection problem the best thing is to leave the meeting and immediately sign back in using the same link.
  • if you have recurring connection problems please do not log in at the last moment, but give yourself time to check your connection, as well as the camera angles so that you are ready to start promptly.
  • Make sure your device is fully charged or even still charging.
  • If you can send a message via the Zoom chat facility, one of our support team will pick it up.

The Pune Shoulder Jacket – try it to counteract hunched shoulders

Have you tried The Pune Shoulder Jacket?

IYMV remedial teacher Korinna Pilafidis-Williams demonstrates how to put the Pune ‘shoulder jacket’ on. This is a great method to counterbalance your shoulder girdle when you’ve been hunched forward over a computer all day.

If you don’t have a yoga belt at home and you would like to try this technique, you can find a belt similar to the ones we use at Maida Vale here >

Iyengar Yoga Sequence for Colds

During the winter months, when the immune system is compromised, we recommend a restorative and recuperative practice to do at home. Coming to class with an infectious cold will make you feel worse as strong poses like standing poses, backbends and twists can increase your symptoms. It is the

We suggest the following sequence specifically provided by BKS Iyengar in The Path to Holistic Health. We hope you will feel inspired to try a self-practice at home, even if you are not ill, to support your immune system. If you have a cold, try it. It works! Continue reading →

Livestream Classes

We are offering a timetable of livestreamed online classes for all levels that will be delivered using Zoom. These classes are for IYMV Members. Each class has a capacity of 50 students and you can book in advance. All classes cost £8 per student.

Members are reminded that classes are for members only, and students should previously have attended classes with the teacher providing a class. If more than one person in your household wishes to attend a class and share a screen with you, each should be a member and each register separately so that we can be sure you have read the class instructions and agree to abide by the instructions, including the teachers’ disclaimer. Thank you for your understanding.

Browse classes and book on the Livestream Timetable >

Annual IYMV membership is £55 and 3 month membership is £25.

If you need to renew your membership, or you are an experienced Iyengar yoga practitioner who is new to IYMV and would like to join our livestream classes, you can Buy Membership here >

You do not have to have a Zoom account to attend a Zoom live class. You will be prompted to download the software, once you have clicked on the link that you have been provided. You may also wish to create an account, but that is not required to participate in a Zoom meeting.

How do I sign up to a livestream class?

  • Visit the Live Timetable >
  • Book into the class online. Please note that booking opens 14 days before a class and closes two hours before the class starts. Once a class reaches its capacity of 50 students no further places can be booked
  • Check that your device is fully charged and ideally that it is plugged in to charge so you can enjoy the full class without loss of power!
  • An hour before the class is scheduled to start you will receive a Zoom link to join the class by email
  • Click the link to join class 10 minutes before scheduled start time
  • The audio for students participating in Livestream Classes will be switched off so that background noise does not disturb the teaching. There is a message function on Zoom so you can type comments and queries

Class cancellations

Please note that you can cancel a livestream class up to three hours before the start time. We are not able to refund classes that are cancelled less than three hours before.

If you have any queries about livestream classes please email office@iyi.org.uk


Members suffering financial hardship because of the current emergency can email or phone the office to obtain the concessionary rate for livestream classes (£3).


For students who have done some Iyengar yoga before going up to two years’ experience. Please note that online classes are not suitable for complete Beginners.

For students with at least one years’ experience of Iyengar yoga.

For students with at least two years’ experience of Iyengar yoga.

For strong General and Intermediate students. This level is not suitable for students who are new to General level practice.

For students with at least four years’ experience of Iyengar yoga.

All students must have their camera switched on. The teachers’ association and insurers have stated that teachers must be able to see all students online, just as in a regular class.  If you take part in a class with a teacher you haven’t practised with in real life please introduce yourself to the teacher before the class and let them know your level of experience if possible. By booking a IYMV live streamed class you assume responsibility for any risks injuries or damages known or unknown which you may incur as a result.

Livestream Class FAQs >

Updated: Covid-19 precautions and temporary closure

For further information about Covid-19 (Coronavirus) please note these recommendations from the NHS.

In view of the most recent government advice, the centre will be closed for all classes, workshops and private practice until further notice. We will be posting sequences online and are in the process of preparing live streaming to assist you in your private practice.

Look out for further information bulletins.

What’s the risk of catching coronavirus in the UK?

The UK Chief Medical Officers have raised the risk to the public from moderate to high. Regularly updated information from the government is available by following this link

Health professionals are working to contact anyone who has been in close contact with people who have coronavirus.

How coronavirus is spread

Because it’s a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.

Similar viruses spread in cough droplets.

It’s highly unlikely coronavirus can be spread through packages from affected countries or through food.

How to avoid catching or spreading germs

There’s currently no vaccine for coronavirus.

But there are things you can do to help stop germs like coronavirus spreading.


  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away
  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell


  • Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean


Returning travellers

Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days, even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Iran
  • Hubei province in China
  • Special care zones in South Korea (Daegu, Cheongdo, Gyeongsan)

Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places, even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Italy (since 09 March)

Stay indoors and avoid contact with other people if you’ve travelled to the UK from the following places in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath, even if your symptoms are mild:

  • mainland China outside of Hubei province
  • South Korea outside of the special care zones
  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Laos
  • Macau
  • Malaysia
  • Myanmar
  • Singapore
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Vietnam

Symptoms of coronavirus

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • A cough
  • A high temperature
  • Shortness of breath

Urgent advice:Call 111 now if you’ve been:

  • To Wuhan or Hubei Province in China in the last 14 days (even if you do not have symptoms)
  • To other parts of China, including Macau and Hong Kong, in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
  • To Thailand, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Republic of Korea or Malaysia in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath (even if it’s mild)
  • In close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus

Do not go to a GP surgery or hospital. Call 111, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people.

Tell 111 about any recent travel and any symptoms you have.

Easter Timetable

We will be open over Easter with a few changes to our regular timetable. Please see below for details.

Friday 10 April

Beginners10.00-11.30Marco Cannavo
60+11.45-1.15Judy Lynn
General12.00-1.30Marco Cannavo

Saturday 11 April

Beginners8.15-9.45Amparo Rodriguez
General8.30-10.00Rosemary da Silva
Intermediate10.00-12.00Judy Lynn
Beginners12.15-1.45Amparo Rodriguez
General3.30-5.00Keiko Onishi
Beginners5.00-6.30Khaled Kendsi

Sunday 12 April

Beginners9.00-10.00Kristyan Robinson
Beginners9.30-11.00 Rosemary da Silva
General/Intermediate10.15-12.15 Judy Lynn

Monday 13 April

Intermediate9.30-11.30Stephen Richardson
Beginners10.00-11.30Amparo Rodriguez
General11.45-1.15Ainhoa Acosta
Gentle Yoga12.00-1.30Rosemary da Silva

Members online class booking

Occasionally classes at Maida Vale get so busy that Members have been turned away. While not a regular occurrence, this is particularly frustrating for Members who travel from outside and across London to get to class. Online booking already works effectively for Workshops and Pregnancy Classes at Maida Vale. So, we are introducing class booking to our Members so they have priority access to busy classes.

A limited number of class places are available to book online. Every class also has drop-in spaces available so you can choose whether to book or not.

How it works

  • Visit the Live Timetable >
  • Click on the ‘Sign Up Now’ button next to the class you want to attend. You will then be prompted to log-in to your account to confirm your place.
  • If you have a prepaid Yogacard then class payment will be taken from that card. Otherwise you will have the option to buy a single class at the Members’ rate.  
  • Booking opens 14 days before classes are scheduled and closes 2 hours before the class starts.
  • Once you have booked your place you can cancel up to 2 hours before the scheduled class time without penalty. Classes cancelled within two hours of the scheduled start time will be charged.

Download the IYMV app

Book classes easily and quickly from your phone:

Let us know what you think

The IYMV team and Board of Trustees will be monitoring Member booking for classes closely. Please let us know your feedback and ideas by emailing office@iyi.org.uk

Don’t want to book online or having technical problems?

If you prefer not to use online booking you can drop in to classes as usual.

For any technical problems please email office@iyi.org.uk

Forgotten your login details? Reset your password >

Sat 18 January – Bring a Friend for Free

Is there someone you’d like to introduce to yoga? To celebrate National Iyengar Yoga Day on Saturday 18 January we are inviting our members to bring along a friend to a Beginners class for free.

Pick from these three classes:

8.15-9.45am – Beginners

12.15-1.45pm – Beginners

5.00-6.30pm – Beginners

No need to book, just bring along your newbie.

Alaric Newcombe – 2020 Teaching Schedule

Alaric Newcombe, Iyengar Yoga Teacher

After more than 20 years of teaching at Maida Vale on Sundays, Alaric will be taking a well-earned twelve month sabbatical. We wish him many enjoyable weekends!

This year the Sunday 10.15am Intermediate and 12.30pm General classes will be covered by Marco Cannavo, Sophie Carrington, Penny Chaplin, Richard Agar Ward, Ofra Graham and Judy Smith. Please see the live timetable and the teaching schedule below for details.

Thursday Intermediate Class
The Thursday evening Intermediate class will continue to be taught by Alaric as usual.

Workshops with Alaric
Alaric will also be holding Friday afternoon workshops on the following dates. Workshop level and theme details to follow.

Friday 17 January

Friday 20 March

Friday 26 June

Friday 21 August

Sunday Teaching Schedule

10.15am Intermediate Class 12.30pm General Class
5 JanuaryMarco CannavoMarco Cannavo
12 JanuarySophie CarringtonSophie Carrington
19 JanuaryJudy SmithJudy Lynn
26 JanuaryOfra GrahamOfra Graham
2 FebruaryPenny ChaplinPenny Chaplin
9 FebruaryOfra GrahamOfra Graham
16 FebruarySophie CarringtonSophie Carrington
23 FebruaryOfra GrahamOfra Graham
1 MarchMarco CannavoMarco Cannavo
8 MarchPenny ChaplinPenny Chaplin
15 MarchSophie CarringtonSophie Carrington
22 MarchRichard Agar WardRichard Agar Ward
29 MarchRichard Agar WardRichard Agar Ward
5 AprilRichard Agar WardRichard Agar Ward
12 AprilTBCTBC
19 AprilMarco CannavoMarco Cannavo
26 AprilSophie Carrington Sophie Carrington
3 MayPenny ChaplinPenny Chaplin
10 May Ofra GrahamOfra Graham
17 MayRichard Agar WardRichard Agar Ward
24 MayRichard Agar WardRichard Agar Ward
31 MayOfra GrahamOfra Graham
7 JuneMarco CannavoMarco Cannavo
21 JuneRichard Agar WardRichard Agar Ward

Holiday timetable 2019

Over the holiday season there are some changes to our regular timetable. Please also note that we are closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. We look forward to seeing you for some seasonal yoga!

Saturday 21 December

Beginners8.15-9.45amAmparo Rodriguez
General8.30-10.00amRosemary da Silva
Intermediate10.00-12.00pmJudy Lynn
Beginners12.15-1.45pmJudy Lynn
General3.30-5.00pmMarco Cannavo
Beginners5.00-6.30pm Khaled Kendsi

Sunday 22 December

Beginners9.00-10.00Kristyan Robinson
Beginners9.30-11.00 Rosemary da Silva
General/Intermediate10.15-12.15 Judy Lynn

Monday 23 December

Intermediate9.30-11.30Stephen Richardson
Beginners10.00-11.30Amparo Rodriguez
General11.45-1.15Ainhoa Acosta
Gentle Yoga12.00-1.30Rosemary da Silva

Tuesday 24 December

General 9.30-11.00amMegan Inglesent
Beginners11.15-12.45pmJackie McCaul

Wednesday 25 December


Thursday 26 December


Friday 27 December

Beginners10.00-11.30Marco Cannavo
60+11.45-1.15Judy Lynn
General12.00-1.30Marco Cannavo

Sat 28 December

8.15-9.45amBeginnersKorinna Pilafidis-Williams
8.30-10.00amGeneral Rosemary da Silva
10.00-12.00pmIntermediateJudy Lynn
12.15-1.45pmBeginnersRosemary da Silva
3.30-5.00pmGeneralMarco Cannavo
5.00-6.30pmBeginnersKhaled Kendsi

Sunday 29 December

Beginners9.00-10.00amKhaled Kendsi
Beginners9.30-11.00amRosemary da Silva
Intermediate10.00-12.00pmSophie Carrington
General 12.30-2.00pmSophie Carrington
Beginners5.00-6.30pmKhaled Kendsi
General 6.30-7.30pmBarbara Norvell

Monday 30 December

Beginners10.00-11.30amHazel Sainsbury
General 11.45-1.15pmElisabeth Wengersky
Gentle Yoga12.00-1.30pmRosemary da Silva
Beginners/General6.30-8.00pmKorinna Pilafidis-Williams

Tuesday 31 December

General9.30-11.00amKorinna Pilafidis-Williams
Beginners11.15-12.45Jackie McCaul

Wednesday 1 January


2020 Friday Restorative & Pranayama: Dates for your diary

Let go of the concerns of the week and prepare for the weekend with our Friday evening Restorative & Pranayama class. The class is taught by our most experienced teachers and is suitable for all students at a General level and above. This means you have been practising Iyengar Yoga regularly for two years or more.

Restorative Practice
Expect to hold postures for longer than usual. Often props like bolsters, blankets and blocks are used to support the body. This physical support helps you stay in postures comfortably without straining. The muscles can relax, heart rate lowers and the nervous system can be soothed. Restorative postures help calm the mind and open the body for pranayama.


The word Pranayama is made up of two Sanskrit words. Prana means breath, energy, life force and vitality. Ayama means, control, restraint, extension or expansion. Pranayama is the practice of controlling or conditioning the breath. It is the fourth of Patanjali’s eight limbs of yoga and consists of techniques designed to gain mastery over the respiratory process. Pranayama practice focusses on the connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions, and trains students in an approach based on self-observation.

If you are new to Pranayama the Friday evening class is a great place to start!

2020 Restorative & Pranayama Class Schedule

Members £11 / Non-members £14

Friday 10 January 6.30-8.00pm Penny Chaplin
Friday 17 January6.30-8.00pm Marco Cannavo
Friday 7 February6.30-8.00pm Marco Cannavo
Friday 21 February6.30-8.00pm Amparo Rodriguez
Friday 6 March6.30-8.00pm Amparo Rodriguez
Friday 20 March 6.30-8.00pm Marco Cannavo
Friday 17 April6.30-8.00pm Marco Cannavo
Friday 24 April6.30-8.00pm Penny Chaplin
Friday 1 May6.30-8.00pm Penny Chaplin
Friday 8 May6.30-8.00pm Marco Cannavo

Meet our new teacher for the Friday 60+ Class

We’re happy to announce that Judy Waldman will be taking over as the new teacher for the 60+ class on Fridays in place of Joyce Furrer, who has now retired. We’re grateful to Joyce who was a dedicated teacher until the age of 90!

There will be cover teachers for the next two weeks and Judy will teach her first class on Friday 15 November.

Judy Waldman is an Intermediate Level 3 Iyengar Yoga teacher. She has been a passionate practitioner of Iyengar Yoga for over 20 years and teaching since 2007. Judy has a keen interest in how the practise of yoga can aid recovery from particular health problems and to avoid future injury.  Her 20 years of experience as an Art Psychotherapist in the NHS made her aware of yoga’s empowering effect on one’s emotional and mental state, explored through the canvas of the body

60+ Class
Fridays 11.45-1.15pm
Members £7.50 or 11 classes for £75 with a Yogacard / Non-members £10

An evening of Persian and Indian storytelling, poetry and music

Join us for an evening of storytelling, music and poetry to recount the old tales and myths of Indian and Persian literature.

Sudarshan Singh, tabla player and Zahra Afsah, storyteller saw each other perform at the Centenary Celebration for Guruji last year and decided to join forces and work on some projects together. This is their first collaboration.   

They will be unveiling the stories behind miniature paintings from the 14th to 16th century to reevaluate our oral understanding with regenerated sensations.

Saturday 16 November
Adults £10 / Children & Concessions £5

Geeta Iyengar – A Personal Tribute

By Sallie Sullivan

Geeta Iyengar teaching at Iyengar Yoga Julbileee, Crystal Palace, May 2002
Sallie Sullivan on stage with Geeta Iyengar at the Iyengar Yoga Jubilee at Crystal Palace in May, 2002

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 scary. I adored and respected her in equal parts from the very first class.  Her first words to me in that class were prosaic to the point of banal: “Have you been to the toilet?” I had indeed left the class to go, and returned to the hall with dry feet, not knowing I should have washed them. She sent me back feeling like a naughty schoolgirl to wash them. One soon learnt that nothing escaped her penetrating hawk-like gaze. This power was still in evidence in the closing days of the Centenary course when she called students onto stage.

Later that month in 1992 I had a sudden attack of sciatica – I blame the hard Indian mattress. I was early into the hall and settled to do some chair twists. Just before the start of class, I told her my problem. She was abrupt – “chair twists won’t help,” were her only words. Then she began the class with a sequence of leg stretches with specific points that cleared the sciatica on the spot. That was so often the way – a class that was perfect for someone’s specific problem yet at the same time a cracking good class for everyone. And she didn’t look for thanks, in fact sometimes rebuffed it quite roughly.

On one occasion that month, she taught with even more than her usual volume and vigour in the women’s class – she couldn’t bear inattention or failure to practise – then paused. “When I shout, you feel it here!” she declaimed, and with her fist struck herself in the centre of her chest – the heart centre. Right on!

She had a great sense of humour. On one of my times at RIMYI, the women’s class had the job of shifting a whole heap of props for an imminent event. Casting her eyes over us she announced what had to be shifted where – then thoughtfully gave a lighter task to those of us with grey hair. A thought struck her: “And the ones who dye your hair, you decide what to do.”

Geeta Iyengar teaching at Iyengar Yoga Julbileee, Crystal Palace, May 2002

She rarely learnt names except those of the old-timers and pre-eminent westerners and certainly never knew mine. At Crystal Palace, when I had the chance to teach Bhekasana in front of Geeta, she found fault with my technique and my resulting rock-hard buttocks. Later in the Q&A she gave me help with the same problem in Setu Bandha Sarvangasana. Soon after, I was back in Pune. In the first class, she walked between the rows all in Tadasana, looking at our back view. She stopped right behind me, came round in front to see my face and gave a grunt of recognition. With a mixture of annoyance and amusement, “buttocks like rocks,” she said. Later during that visit, with an open palm she half brushed and half sliced downwards across my buttocks, and at last I got it, a blessing not a slap.

As Abhi, her grandniece, described in her moving tribute at the end of the 13 days of mourning, Gita could be rough in manner, rude even. When they were recording Geeta’s classes, Abhi would try to note the time of any strong outburst, to tell the technicians to delete that part. But sometimes, Abhi said, that would just leave too many gaps. Sometimes she was so loud they could hear her in the family home across the courtyard. Often, although classes always started on time, the pranayama class in particular could overrun by 15 or even 30 minutes. It got to the point that they only gave the start time for pranayama on the timetable, not the ending. Holding back tears, Abhi told us how from now on the Institute would be a quieter and more polite place; they can put the finishing time on the timetable for the Friday pranayama class, and something very precious has been lost.

This article was first published in Dipika, the journal of Iyengar Yoga Maida Vale, Issue No.51, July 2019.

Remembering Geeta Iyengar >

Remembering Geeta Iyengar

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 every one of the 1,300 participants kept up with her. There followed two days of celebration and she died two days later on 16 December 2018.

We have compiled a selection of interviews with Geeta and tributes from senior teachers.

Geeta on pranayama >

Growing up with yoga >

The benefits of yoga for women >

Uday Bhosale remembers Geetaji >

A personal tribute by Sallie Sullivan >

Geeta Iyengar Birthday Workshop
A General Level Workshop with Judy Smith

Judy has been teaching for over 30 years at IYMV where she teaches General and Remedial classes. This workshop marks Geeta Iyengar’s birthday.

Saturday 7 December 2019
£36 Members / £39 Non-members

Uday Bhosale remembers Geeta Iyengar

Geetaji at Yoganusanam 2018
Geetaji at Yoganusanam 2018

Uday 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.  You followed the instruction and dared not do more or less than that.  Seeing my interest and keenness to learn more, my first teacher of both martial arts and yoga, Ali Dashti, suggested I should make the effort and go to Geetaji’s class.

Hence I went to the evening classes with her.  The control and command she had over the entire class was so inspiring for me.  What I remember particularly in that first class was the clarity of her instructions.  Clear, precise wording along with an impactful voice pinpointing to the exact parts of the body we must work on and where we were dull.  It felt like she was reading me and talking to me individually.  It felt like I was getting private tuition in a crowded hall.  Only later I came to know that it is nothing new, almost everyone had a similar experience in her classes.  Ha ha!

Were you scared of her?

Scared?  Not really, but there is something in my mother tongue which can be roughly translated as: “to respectfully fear someone”.

Do you remember any amusing incident in her classes?

People generally recall her strictness, but she definitely had a fun side too.  She used to crack jokes, at times mimic and mock sometimes.  I remember an incident that happened during my early days in her class.  In my martial arts background, we were trained to be attentive and quick-respond to instructions as fast as possible.  On that day she was teaching “jumpings”, my favourite back then!  She was explaining something while we were in Tadasana.  She used to call the name of the pose first and then mention what she wanted us to work on and then we would do it.  So in her strong voice she announced the next pose we were going to do: “Chaturanga Dandasana!”  Her voice was so strong and commanding that in a flash I was on the floor and in the pose.  And then I looked around wondering why I was the first in the pose!  Guess what?  Of course I was the first as I was the only one to go into the pose.  Everyone else was still standing in Tadasana in anticipation of her further instructions.  So I jumped back to join them, hoping she had missed my foolish mistake.  But there she stood almost laughing and said aloud: “That is only the front brain working; he is not using the rest of it.”

When you think of Geetaji now what is the first thing you see in your head?

Her smile and her eyes for sure.

Which of her character traits spring to mind?

It’s more of her caring side.  I’ve always felt a motherly love from her and how she cared for everyone.  Definitely it was not pampering.  Her instructions and guidance to students as well as patients in therapy classes made everyone easily feel her caring nature behind the strictness.  Even in her scolding there was a caring approach.  That compassion makes me miss her very much.

You were at all Yoganusasanam intensive courses in Pune.  Do have any specific memory of being in a pose and being shown on?

Yes!  There were many participants who remember this.  I think it happened in 2014 – the year Guruji passed away.  I was on the stage with one of my colleagues.  It was a pranayama session.  We were anticipating the invocation to start so we sat in our position upright ready to chant. Geetaji started to explain something, it went on further, a bit deeper and then on to a few more things.

It was common before a class for Geetaji to give an introduction but this one went on and on and on.  It was more than one hour!  I had taken my position and knew that the video cameras were focused on the stage and us.  Sitting next to her feet while she was describing every detail, how could I dare slip into a dull, slouching pose?  I was afraid of causing a distraction if I would fidget around to change my pose.  So I struggled but sat straight all that time barely moving.  My legs and back were getting so tired but I somehow kept going.  Eventually we chanted the invocation.  Thankfully we were made to lie down in a supine posture after that!

Uday Bhosale on stage with Geetaji at Yoganusanam 2018

Who asked you to teach the children’s class, Geeta or Guruji?

She asked me to start assisting and then later I was teaching it.  She would frequently come to the regular Sunday morning classes for children.  Often Geetaji would check on us teachers and tell us how to teach.  She would crack jokes, tease us teachers and have fun with us. 

Can you describe Geetaji’s love for children? Both on her 70th birthday at Yoganusasanam 2014 and in 2018 she wanted the children’s class to be there to perform.

Teaching children was always something close to her heart as Guruji had asked her to teach in schools when she began teaching.  She was always keen to teach younger generations.  During both these events, she was not happy that the children would miss their Sunday morning class at the Institute because their teachers were busy at the Yoganusasanam event.  So she wanted the children to be there with us.  She was also keen for others to have a glimpse of how to teach children and understand the difference in approach, compared to the general classes that we mostly train for.

With children, you have to inspire them with your performance on stage.  You have to do more, move faster, jump higher to keep their attention.  Otherwise they easily lose their focus.  In 2018, while we were jumping from Tadasana to Uttitha Hasta Padasana, she commanded in her loud and strong voice to jump higher and wider.  I think I managed to jump higher than ever before!

Uday Bhosale jumping on stage with Geetaji at Yoganusasanam 2018
Yoganusasanam 2018 BKS Iyengar's Cententary

Did you see that she was tired during the intensives, especially after Guruji’s death in 2014 and the last one in 2018 before she passed away?

She had various health conditions all her life from childhood.  But the way she practised and managed her conditions as well as all her other commitments was phenomenal.  The way she taught her classes and the amount of energy she put into them was amazing!  Especially during her later years, the way she managed everything despite her frailty was inspiring and humbling.  After Guruji’s death she was emotionally very low and it obviously made her condition worse.  But she slowly started to regain strength.  We could see her looking so weak but when she went on the platform she was a different person.  Once she was on stage she would talk and command even though sometimes her voice would go and she would cough.  She would never hold back when she was teaching.  She would give it her all.

What does it mean to you that she is not with us anymore?

Definitely I miss her!  When Guruji passed away, everyone was sad but we still had his children with us.  In a way I felt it helped to soften the blow.  But now Geetaji is not there anymore.  Of course we have Prashantji, but her motherly love, her caring touch, her control, her genius we will miss.  It is a big loss.  Saying that, as students and teachers we have the responsibility to continue our practice and to continue to share the great work the Iyengar family have dedicated themselves to.  We should continue to contribute and share what we have learnt in our own individual capacity.  We also need to stay together and grow further!

This article was first published in Dipika, the Iyengar Yoga Maida Vale Journal, in July 2019.

Uday Bhosale teaching at Maida Vale
Uday teaching at Maida Vale

Geeta Iyengar on yoga for women >

Geeta Iyengar on Pranayama >

Geeta Iyengar on Yoga for Women

Geeta Iyengar as a young woman

Mark Tully (former BBC’s India correspondent) visited Pune in 1999. The result of this visit was a memorable interview with BKS Iyengar and the BBC Radio 4 production “Head to Toe. The BBC producer, Vanessa Harrison, has kindly given some of the interview transcripts to Dipika. This is a section of the interview with Geeta Iyengar who published her yoga book for women, “Yoga: A Gem for Women”, in 1983.

Continue reading →

Could your child benefit from yoga?

There is much to gain from starting yoga at a young age. Physically there benefits like enhanced balance, strength, coordination and flexibility. Plus, kids can improve their concentration and sense of calm with yoga practice. Children live in a busy world of hurrying parents, homework, packed school days, technology and socialising. Yoga helps counter these pressures. It introduces young students to body awareness and poses for relaxation. The act of practicing poses the skill of being able to clear the mind and focus attention.

Our Yoga for Children classes are for for ages 6-12. They are fun and fast-moving with a focus on learning about the body as well as doing yoga postures.

The  course runs during term time and can be booked in advance. Korinna Pilafidis-Williams has extensive experience of teaching yoga to children and, as young JJ Fisher describes it, her classes are ‘fun‘. They also help him to concentrate on work and stay in shape for playing sports. ‘I like the fact that we learn about bones and the body as well as yoga.

Yoga for Children with Korinna Pilafidis-Williams
Mondays 5.00pm – 5.55pm

£72 per term 
(pro rata’d for new students who join after term starts)

Book now on 020 7624 3080

2019 Autumn – Winter Timetable

Monday 13 Monday 3Monday 2
Monday 20 Monday 10Monday 9
Monday 27 Monday 17 - NO CLASSMonday 16
Monday 24Monday 23

Children’s yoga classes are scheduled during term time with a break for half term. We are unable to accept bookings for individual classes.

If your child has any health problems or you have any queries about your child joining our children’s yoga class later in the term, please contact the office. To help us protect the safety of children attending our classes, please tell the receptionist on duty the name of the person who will be collecting the child. Please notify us of any change in these arrangements as soon as possible.


Korinna has been practising Iyengar yoga since 1983 and started teaching at Maida Vale in 1995. She is a Junior Intermediate teacher and is especially interested in remedial yoga as well as teaching children and teenagers. She visits the Institute in Pune regularly. After having held the teaching portfolio as one of IYMV’s trustees for many years, she is currently the editor of Dipika, IYMV’s magazine.

Teaching Yoga to Children : A workshop for teachers and teacher trainees

Uday Bhosale and Korinna Pilafidis-Williams have extensive experience of teaching Iyengar yoga to children. In this workshop they will share their approaches to making classes engaging, fun and safe for young students. 

Friday 27 September
Members £30 / Non-member £36

This workshop is for qualified Iyengar yoga teachers and trainees.

Uday Bhosale spent fifteen years studying, assisting and teaching at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune with the Iyengar family. He taught the Childrens, Beginners and Intermediate classes at RIMYI and assisted in Geeta Iyengar’s medical classes.

Korinna Pilafidis-Williams has been practising Iyengar yoga since 1983 and started teaching at IYMV in 1995. She is part of the remedial and teacher training teams at IYMV.  As well as teaching adults, she has been teaching children and teenagers for nearly 25 years and teaches one of the longest running children’s classes in the country.

IYIMV Outreach Programme – Open for applications

Are you, or do you know an Iyengar yoga teacher who would like to teach classes to vulnerable or disadvantaged adults?

IYMV has established an outreach programme to bring Iyengar yoga to those who might not have access to regular yoga classes. We are inviting teachers to suggest a London based organisation to work with such as a community project, women’s refuge or centre, prison, special needs school or recovery project that does not already have funding.

Successful applicants will receive funding to teach a weekly class at their proposed organisation for an initial period of 6 months.

Continue reading →

New teachers for Tuesday mornings

From 2 July the Tuesday morning General class will be taught by Megan Inglesent and the Beginners class will be taught by Jackie McCaul.

9.30 – 11.00am General – Megan Inglesent

11.15 – 12.45pm Beginners – Jackie McCaul

After 18 years of dedicated teaching at Maida Vale, Ofra Graham has stepped down from her regular classes. Her students will be glad to hear that Ofra will continue to provide cover for classes and will return to give workshops.

NEW Friday early morning class

This summer we are running a second early morning Beginners/General class with Amparo Rodriguez on Fridays. Join us to make the most of the bright mornings and start your day right!

Our early morning classes are 75 minutes long so you have time to practice before you get on with your day. The new Friday class starts on 14 June and will run until the clocks go back. The last class of the season will be Friday 25 October.

Wednesdays 7.00-8.15am

Fridays 7.00-8.15am

Members £8.50 / Non-members £11

Centenary events funds raised – thank you!


Thanks to all of you who joined us to make the Centenary events on the 14th & 15th December such a success! The 100 Asana led practice and the evening of entertainment provided by our talented teachers and students were a lot of fun and very well attended. A big thanks also to Judy and Marco.

A total of just under £2,250 was raised and will be split equally among: The Bellur Trust, Mind and Crisis.


Continue reading →

Geeta Iyengar On Pranayama

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.   Continue reading →

Interview with Geeta Iyengar – 1999

Dr. Geeta Iyengar passed away on Sunday 16th December at age 74. She made a profound contribution to  the yoga community around the world with her dedication to sharing the teachings of her father and guru, BKS Iyengar. Her seminal work ‘Yoga – A Gem for Women’ has had an enduring influence on yoga techniques for women. Reportedly when asked about living in her father’s shadow she replied, “It was not his shadow, it was his light.”

In 1999 Mark Tully, the BBC’s India Correspondent from 1964-1994, visited Pune. The result of this visit was a memorable interview with BKS Iyengar for the BBC Radio 4 production: Head to Toe. BBC producer, Vanessa Harrison, has kindly shared the interview transcripts. This is a section of the interview Mark held with  Geeta.  Continue reading →

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


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 his students who took part was our Senior teacher, Penny Chaplin. Here she remembers this special evening.

Continue reading →

2018/19 Pop-up Intermediate Class Schedule


Following on from the popularity of our Sunday afternoon Pop-up Intermediate classes we have scheduled classes for the New Year. These are all drop-in classes so no need to book in advance. Just note the dates, come along and enjoy.

Members £14 / Non-members £17


Continue reading →

BKS Iyengar Centenary: Talented students we need you!

Celebration of BKS Iyengar’s  Centenary at 4pm on Saturday 15 December
BKS Iyengar would have been 100 in December and to celebrate his centenary we will have an early evening of entertainment and memories. For this we need you! If you are a musician, singer, story teller or magician, we invite you to offer your performance for this special event.
If you would like to participate, please send an email with the subject line ‘Centenary Celebration’ to office@iyi.org.uk

How do you feel after an Iyengar yoga class?

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.  Continue reading →

9am Sunday Beginners Class

9am Sunday Beginners Class with Anita Phillips



14th January | 21st January | 4th February
11th February | 18th February | 25th February

Please Note – there is no class on Sunday 28th January

Members £7.50/Non-members £9.50.



14 December 2017 – Guruji Birthday Dedication

Thursday 14 December marks what would have been BKS Iyengar’s 99th birthday. Penny Chaplin’s General class on the day will be dedicated to Guruji. After class there will be a memorial plaque placed in the courtyard.  Everyone attending the class will receive a small print of BKS Iyengar by photographer Coni Hörler to mark the day.

Continue reading →

BKS Iyengar practising at RIMYI – photographs by Silvia Prescott



It is one year since the death of Silvia Prescott. Silvia was one of the teachers who played a key role in finding a site for the Iyengar Yoga Institute to and helped raise the money to make it possible. She was a teacher to many of the teachers currently teaching at the Institute and was a talented photographer, documenting her trips to Pune and the yoga conferences she attended.

Continue reading →

9.00am Sunday Beginners Class – Extra dates!

Sunday 15th October –  17th December

Beginners with Kristyan Robinson

Good news for weekend yoga fans – we have extended the series of one hour Sunday morning classes for an extra four weeks.
Members £7.50/Non-members £9.50.


Continue reading →

Pick up your copy of the IYIMV Journal – Dipika

The latest edition of Dipika, number 49, is now available at reception. It is free to all of our members so don’t forget to pick up your copy.

We’re sure you’ll agree that Dipika editor Korinna Pilafidis-Williams has done another fantastic job with the latest issue. The theme of home or ‘self-practice’ is covered from several angles including a fascinating personal account on the evolution of practice by senior teacher Pixie Lillas. Plus find an extract of Mark Tully’s insightful interview with Geeta Iyengar.

Thanks to everyone who contributed to design, content and production of Dipika!



NEW! One hour Sunday morning beginners class

Sundays from 28 May – 23 July
9.00-10.00 am

This new shorter class is ideal for complete beginners, students who have completed the Introduction to Iyengar Yoga Course and any practitioner in their first three years of practice. It will be a fast-paced class for students who like to practise and still have the whole of  Sunday free! Continue reading →

Moving up from Beginners to General level Iyengar yoga class

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 IYMV 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. Continue reading →

Permainan Judi dengan Aplikasi PKV Games Terbaik

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Wednesday 7am class – A student’s perspective

‘Wednesday morning at seven o’clock as the day begins …’  (with apologies to The Beatles)

Tony Morris has been a member of IYIMV since 2000 and served as a trustee of the Institute 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.  Continue reading →

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


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.  Continue reading →

Charity Workshop – £500 raised!

Thank you to everyone who attended the Charity Fundraiser Workshop last weekend. We are delighted to let you know that we raised £500 for our two nominated charities this year, The Brain Tumour Charity and Age UK.   Continue reading →

18 Feb – Introductory Teacher Training Open Session


Saturday 18th February 2017
10.00am – 1.00pm

Students with three or more years of regular Iyengar yoga practice who are considering training as an Iyengar yoga teacher are invited to attend a free open taster session facilitated by Sallie Sullivan and Stephen Richardson.

The purpose of the Introductory Teacher Training course is to build a firm foundation in the teaching of B. K. S. Iyengar’s work. The course lasts for two years and comprises of 17 training days each year on Saturdays. Please let us know if you wish to attend ITT Open Session on 020 7624 3080 or email us at office@iyi.org.uk

See full details of the requirements for the course and application forms here >


Assessments are conducted by the Iyengar Yoga Association(UK) Students accepted on the course must join IYIMV & IY(UK).


IYIMV Outreach Programme- open for applications

Are you, or do you know an Iyengar yoga teacher who would like to teach classes to vulnerable or disadvantaged adults?

IYIMV is setting up an outreach programme to bring Iyengar yoga to those who cannot access regular classes at the Institute. We are inviting teachers to suggest an organisation to work with to offer classes to people who could benefit from regular yoga classes. Successful applicants will receive funding to teach a weekly class at their proposed organisation for 6 months.

Continue reading →

Sunday 19 Feb – Charity Fundraiser Workshop

Charity Fundraiser Workshop with Rosemary da Silva & Barbara Norvell
Sunday 19th February 2017
11.30am – 2.00pm

This year our Charity Fundraiser Workshop will support Age UK and The Brain Tumour Charity. The workshop will focus on restorative practice and is open to all members with a minimum of 18 months of regular practice.

Numbers will be limited to 16, so please reserve your place in advance on reception and pay in cash on the day. We suggest a minimum donation of £25.

Reserve your place on 020 7624 3080



An Interview with Uday Bhosale


Uday 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.

Continue reading →