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Our teachers

Our emphasis is on the high quality of our teaching. All our teachers pass rigorous examinations to an international standard after at least three years of study and then two years of teacher training. This training includes the study of anatomy as well as yoga and yoga teaching. Most of our teachers have a more advanced stage of yoga teaching qualification and most have also studied personally with Yogacharya Iyengar at his Institute in Pune, India.

All our teachers hold and display the international Certification Mark you see here. This tells you that the teacher is an approved teacher of Iyengar Yoga, is properly trained and supervised to teach safely and well, is insured and holds an up to date registration. Only those who hold and display this Mark are qualified to teach Iyengar yoga.

Julie Amers

I've been practising Iyengar yoga for over 20 years and began teaching it 5 years ago. I still attend regular classes at the EIYC and it's an ideal place to be a student: everything is set up for yoga and it has a lovely calm atmosphere. My approach to teaching is positive and encouraging and I try to help people get the most out of their own practice. I love watching people develop as they get more interested in yoga and practice more. It's a great pleasure to share something that I get so much joy out of myself.

Stuart Anderson

I trained at the Edinburgh Iyengar Yoga Centre with Elaine Pidgeon and studied in India with Rajiv and Swati Chanchani. I qualified as an Introductory Iyengar yoga teacher in 1992 and as a Junior Intermediate teacher in 1999. I am particularly interested in the link between yoga philosophy and practice and try to make this link in my teaching.

Kyoko Atsumi

My yoga journey began in Tokyo, back in 1991. 2 years later, I took part in B.K.S. Iyengar’s class when he visited Japan. Mr Iyengar has been my Guruji ever since.

In 1993 I moved to Scotland and I have been training at the Edinburgh Iyengar Yoga Centre with Elaine Pidgeon, Meg Laing and Katie Rutherford.  Since 1996 I have been a regular visitor to the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute in Pune, India, where I was taught directly by Guruji, Geeta Iyengar and Prashant Iyengar, which is a great privilege for me now that both Guruji and Geetaji are no longer with us.

I qualified as an Introductory teacher in 1996 then as a Junior Intermediate teacher in 2012. As well as teaching both in Scotland and Japan, I also interpret for several Iyengar yoga teachers including Dr Rajlaxmi from RIMYI, Bobby Clennell and Stephanie Quirk when they visit Japan.

Agracitta Brawley

Born in Glasgow in 1959 - a giant safety pin now marks the spot (yes, really!). Discovered eastern philosophy, Buddhism and Yoga, about 20 years later. Almost 30 years after that, the truth still proves elusive. I started teaching Iyengar Yoga in 1987 and gained the Junior Intermediate qualification in 1997.

Demetra Browning

I started yoga at this Centre in the mid-nineties and became qualified to teach at Introductory Level in 2008 and followed this by achieving my Junior Intermediate 1 certificate in 2012.

I am still as much in awe of Iyengar yoga now as I was then. It benefits the whole of my life as an artist and mother. I love this form of yoga because of its thoroughness and precision. It's an absolute joy of a discipline.

As we practise we learn more about ourselves, our strengths and weaknesses. It's always inspiring to find that the body can and does change and we really can move through our limitations. Yoga brings a sense of being at ease within ourselves. Approach the practice with an openness, freshness and curiosity and it will be its own reward.

Izabela Bysiak

The first time I discovered yoga was as a student in 2005. As a devoted practitioner I found that being 'just a student' was not enough. In 2009 I started my first teacher training and in 2012 I started 3-years Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training in Krakow Poland with Konrad Kocot. I passed my Introductory II exam in 2015. I am also a qualified Massage Therapist.

Iyengar yoga is my favourite yoga style, thanks to the focus on precise movement and alignment; deep, conscious practice! My way to teach yoga is to awake awareness and consciousness in every single part of the body, connecting the breath and mind through practice along with joy and fun in the same moment. And my learning is still in progress... The best way to learn is to teach and observe my students. They are always inspiring and encourage me to do more!

Maureen Clarke

I started yoga in my early twenties, initially to fulfil a gap left from doing ballet into my late teens. Rapidly I realised that there was much more to yoga than the physical level. Thirty or so years on, yoga still surprises and fulfils me and gives me joy. During the years of being a full-time working mother it sustained me and was a rock in the juggling act of motherhood and work. It is wonderful to be able to share my enthusiasm through teaching and seeing the positive changes in students. I qualified as a introductory teacher in 1981, then passed the Junior Intermediate certificate in 1998.

Claudia Cotronei

I started yoga in 1987, took Introductory Certificate in 1992 and Intermediate 3 Certificate in 2003. I have been teaching yoga in Edinburgh and Rome for the last 23 years. I moved from Rome to Edinburgh in the late 1980s and in many ways the Edinburgh Iyengar Yoga Centre became my adoptive home. There I found the friendly support and the warmth I was missing from Italy. I am very grateful to have met and studied there with so many talented and inspiring teachers. I could hardly function without yoga and my lovely daughter Chiara, as they both give me roots, meaning and purpose of life. 

Sue Cresswell

I joined an Iyengar yoga class, more or less by accident in 1991, when I moved to a remote corner of the north east of Scotland.  I was soon hooked and travelled with my keen, newly qualified,  teacher to workshops when I could.

I continued as a student in Insch, then in Aberdeen, for some 15 years when an opportunity arose to train as a teacher, qualifying in 2009.

I have been teaching my work colleagues ever since, most recently in Edinburgh where I have been based since 2012. Since retiring from full time work 2 years ago I have a little more free time and am delighted to be teaching at the centre in Bruntsfield.

Gilly Dennis

I started practising yoga in the seventies when I moved to Edinburgh and was lucky that it was an Iyengar class I first attended .With busy work and family commitments it wasn’t until recently that I felt able to commit to training to become a teacher. I qualified in 2016 and am enjoying my new career.

I appreciate the many years of excellent teaching provided by the centre and visiting teachers. I enjoy sharing this knowledge with my students. Iyengar Yoga is a wonderful, inspirational journey which I feel lucky to have embarked upon.

Alan Gould

I have been practising Iyengar Yoga now since 1990. I gained the Introductory teaching certificate in 1994 and completed Level 2 of the Junior Intermediate certificate in 2006. I have spent a few years living in Spain where I had the experience of teaching Yoga in another language. My Yoga practice is a growing discipline, helping me with all aspects of health and the ability to face the world with more positivity.

Catero Hawkins

Yoga stimulates, soothes, challenges and delights me. Teaching Yoga offers me the opportunity to share with others my understandings of what I find an extraordinary art and science. I have enjoyed teaching at the Edinburgh Iyengar Yoga Centre since moving to Edinburgh in 1983 and have held the Junior Intermediate qualification since 1986.

Catriona Instrell

My introduction to yoga came, when my small daughter's ballet teacher set up a yoga class for parents in Broughty Ferry, where we lived at the time. Later thanks to meeting Bob and Kathy Welham in Edinburgh, I joined their classes and became an Iyengar yoga teacher in 1979, followed by two expeditions  with them to Pune for Intensive three week courses taught by Guruji himself.

The highlight of 1983 was not so much acquiring my junior intermediate certificate but more the visit of Guruji  to our Yoga Centre. Very memorable indeed. Teaching virabhadrasana 1 in front of BKS Iyengar made my knees shudder and shake.  I went like a steam train. His words afterwards about my teaching but he did love our yoga demonstration  over at George Square in the University Theatre.  Five hundred people attended. Guruji in his enthusiasm was absolutely delightful, leaping to his feet to clap loudly when we did virabhrasana 3, telling the audience how difficult this pose was to show properly.

Since then, I have never lost my motivation to follow  the yoga path, hard though it is.  Practising yoga has carried me along through the years to sustain and nourish my spiritual life. Teaching students gives me a chance to pass on some of this knowledge, gleaned over the years, from some very wonderful teachers from Scotland and India.  I just wish I could tell BKS that I am no longer like a steam train, rather a slowish snail perhaps. I just wish that I could thank him again for his wisdom.

Gordon Jardine

I was probably about 14 when I first attended yoga classes but it was in New Zealand that I discovered Iyengar yoga and was hooked. It was there I passed the Introductory level and back in Britain gained Junior Intermediate L1 in 2012.  I delight in the fact that yoga can be practised by all and I enjoy seeing how people progress. I am constantly learning not only from the classes I attend at the EIYC and visiting teachers but also from students.

Lesley Johnston

I have been practising Iyengar Yoga since 1980 and qualified as a Teacher in 1989. Since then I have been immensely privileged to have further studied under the expert guidance of Senior Teachers both in Britain and Pune and now teach Intermediate Classes at the Centre. Yoga has and continues to play a major part in my life and I hope to be able to disseminate some of the skills and enthusiasm which I have learnt from my many years of practice and membership of this unique yoga centre.

Lisa Johnston

After first embarking on my yoga journey over 20 years ago, I was introduced to Iyengar yoga in 2005.  I instantly felt a deeper and more fulfilling connection.  Up until that point, I felt I had just been going through the motions, now I was beginning to experience and enjoy yoga at a deeper level.

I have been a regular attendee at the Centre in Bruntsfield since then and qualified as a teacher in 2017.

As I have discovered, teaching is a journey of constantly learning and observing.  It’s great I’ve been given the opportunity to awaken in others the same enjoyment and fulfilment I feel when practising.

Iyengar yoga is a constant in my life, it sustains me – and brightens my day.

Andrea Kaszewski

I have been practising yoga since 2001 and practising Iyengar yoga since 2011. Since the first Iyengar yoga classes I attended, taught by Kate Hailston, I was hooked and wanted to learn more.

On moving to Edinburgh a few years ago I joined the centre in Bruntsfield and, like many other students, it soon became my second home. I was taught by Julie Amers and Elaine Pidgeon who encouraged me to train to be a teacher. I did, tutored by Helen Graham, and achieved my Introductory Certificate in 2016.

Iyengar yoga is a wonderful discipline and life changing, impacting positively on all aspects of life. It is an immense privilege and joy to teach and help others start a new journey.

Anne Kilgour

I did my first yoga class when I was 17, and still remember the detailed Savasana my first teacher taught me.

In the early classes I enjoyed stretching into the poses and the feeling of relaxation at the end of a practice. I did yoga on and off for several years, until I found Iyengar yoga at the EYIC over 25 years ago, and then my yoga practice began to develop beyond the stretching. I have been coming to regular classes here since.

The Iyengar method and my teachers at the centre, encourage and challenge my yoga practice. I gained my Introductory Certificate in 2011. Yoga both anchors and energises me, and practising always provides me with a sense of physical and emotional well being. I feel both privileged and amazed to be teaching yoga to others.

Meg Laing

Yoga is strong discipline, but it is one that brings constant interest, challenge and delight. We are very privileged to have such a vibrant yoga community in Edinburgh and an atmosphere in which we are all constantly learning from one another. I started Iyengar Yoga in Oxford in 1972 when I was still an undergraduate. When I arrived in Edinburgh in 1974 young teachers here encouraged me to go to Pune. My first visit was in 1977 in the exciting early days of the Institute there and (much to my surprise) I came away with an Introductory teaching certificate from Guruji himself. I gained my Junior Intermediate qualification in 1983 and my full Senior Intermediate in 1996 . I am also a teacher trainer and a senior examiner for the IYA(UK).

Kate Murdoch

I was introduced to yoga in 2000, starting with Hatha and subsequently Vinyasa yoga classes. This led to my training as a Hatha yoga teacher in India in 2006.

Shortly afterwards I deepened my understanding of the asanas through Iyengar yoga. The Iyengar detailed, logical approach with the support of props opened up a whole new insight of the poses for me.

I qualified as an Iyengar teacher in 2011 and have since studied at the Iyengar institute and, among many other excellent teachers, with Rajiv and Swati Chan Chani and Christian Pisano. I gained my Junior 1 Intermediate Certificate in 2019.

I love the fact that what starts as a simple stretch, permeates out into the rest of your life, affecting your relationship with yourself and your approach to life in general. To share that with others as a student and a teacher is a privilege.

Elaine Pidgeon

I started studying Iyengar Yoga with my teachers Bob and Kathy Welham in 1976. I began teaching in 1980 and in 1981 I first visited the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune to be taught by BKS Iyengar. It was an inspirational and life changing experience and I have since been back many times. I love seeing the transformation that Iyengar Yoga can bring. Through its thoroughness and focus it opens our awareness of body mind and spirit, bringing stability and poise whatever our age and stage of life. I have now retired, after over twenty years in the job, as a regular senior examiner (Moderator) for the IY(UK).

Rebecca Reynolds

I discovered yoga when I moved to Edinburgh in 1999 and signed up for a class at the Centre in Bruntsfield to try something new. The classes were challenging for me as I was very stiff! However, I’ve really enjoyed the benefits that yoga has brought to me since then. I qualified as a teacher in 2011 and now also have the opportunity to share my experiences with others.

Katie Rutherford

I was lucky enough to find my first Iyengar yoga class in the late seventies while a student in the north-east of England and was very quickly convinced that this was something I should integrate fully into my life. I first qualified as a teacher in 1987 and gained level 2 of the Senior Intermediate certificate in 2015 and have been an examiner for the IYA(UK) since 2006. I now teach full time and visit India every year to further my studies. Yoga is endlessly interesting and a dear companion and guide through all the ups and downs of life. As well as making me stronger and more confident, yoga makes me more at peace with who I am. I consider us all very fortunate to have an established Iyengar Yoga Centre in Edinburgh.

Susan Smith

I started practising at the Edinburgh Iyengar Yoga Centre when I was seventeen. I loved it's precision, the strong detailed instructions, and the setting we were being taught in.

I have been taught by a large variety of  Iyengar Yoga teachers, over the years,in India, France and Canada. I enjoy the excellent teaching offered still, at Edinburgh Iyengar Centre, we are lucky.

I have been an Intermediate Level 3 teacher since the 1990's and have a great joy in the practice of yoga, and in teaching others

Clare Stephen

I first discovered yoga while backpacking in India aged 19 and immediately fell in love with this most profound and beautiful practice. There was a sense of familiarity, like coming home, to my body and senses which felt incredibly liberating and healing. So I signed up for a class at the EIYC and have been coming here to be taught and to teach ever since. The Centre and its community feels like family after all these years and I feel a huge affection and gratitude for it’s presence in my life. I have visited India to be taught by the Iyengars and other Senior Teachers and qualified as an Intermediate teacher in 2005. Since then I have combined my skills as a midwife and yoga teacher, and I teach antenatal yoga classes which I enjoy immensely.

Clare Trodden

When I first started practising yoga more than 20 years ago, I was young, fit and flexible and the poses came very easily. Things have changed quite a bit with the years but yoga means more to me now than ever. Yoga has helped me make the best of life’s challenges and allowed me to do things I never thought possible, such as studying at the Iyengar institute in India. I love teaching students of all ages, shapes and sizes. That’s one of the joys of Iyengar yoga – it is accessible to all and can benefit everyone

Jane Walker

I have been practising yoga since the early 1980’s following visiting the Iyengar stand in Fresher’s Week at Edinburgh University. I joined many other things too, but yoga is the one that I continue with to this day. It has contributed positively to many aspects of my life – work, family, sport. In 2011 I qualified as an introductory level teacher and have been enjoying sharing my love of yoga since then.