Training Certificates or Qualifications:  I’m a certified Iyengar yoga teacher, having completed Introductory Levels 1&2; Junior Intermediate Levels 1&2, and currently preparing for my Junior Intermediate Level 3 Certificate.

Yoga Influences: I came across Light on Yoga by B.K.S. Iyengar before I started yoga; this book was (and remains) one of the texts that, now dog-eared and tea stained, accompanies me on all my travels. Also, Iyengar’s Light on Life and the Tree of Yoga, now heavily annotated, and equally well travelled.

Inspirational teachers: My first Iyengar workshop was with an inspiring Iyengar teacher in her 80s: Joyce Stewart, or Padma as she was better known. She taught in the old fashioned way and, during a forward bend session, she gave me a carefully aimed “Thwack” right in the middle of my dorsal spine area. The imprint of her hand has remained there ever since. It didn’t take her long to discover my Achilles Heel! My most inspiring teachers are the Iyenger family themselves, in particular Geeta-ji with whom I studied in India; and more recently, Iyengar’s granddaughter: Abhijata.

Background: I started life as an academic with a PhD in Economic History; for many years I was a university lecturer and spent much of my day in dusty archives pouring over old manuscripts. In my spare time I rode horses and they became my first teachers of the yogic principles of “centred-ness”, alignment and the importance of finding ones centre of gravity. Then in the 1990s I discovered yoga in the Shrine Room at the Rokpa Buddhist centre in Harare, Zimbabwe. I discovered a new world: how well I remember that peace-filled cool room, brick under thatch, where we practiced, while outside the blistering African sun scorched the dry red earth - too hot to touch. And sunrise practices on deeply receded verandas, the cold stone floor and the contrasting already balmy air. I knew this was to be my future, and I started teaching yoga in Zimbabwe not long afterwards, not for money but for Dharma; donations were put into a tarnished, buckled copper bowl at the shrine room door. I did Iyengar teacher training after I came to New Zealand in 2005.

Why I practice: I practice because yoga is a practice based system and this is how I grow. Yoga is Union, integration where the body and mind are harnessed by the breath. To explore this union – we have to get on our mats!

Why I teach: I teach because I want to share with others that which I have learned, and what I am still learning.

Favourite quotes:

“Your body exists in the past and your mind exists in the future. In yoga they come together in the present.” B.K.S. Iyengar

“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Eliot

“So the darkness shall be light, and the stillness the dancing.” T.S. Eliot

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