Tamara has taught at Bristol's Yogawest Studios for 12 years and has now taken over the reins at Eastern Yoga. After a lifetime of lethargy and ill health she felt completely transformed by the practice of Iyengar Yoga and is dedicated to passing on the benefits to her students regardless of their current state of fitness and flexibility. Students say they enjoy her clear and thorough approach and feel that they are always encouraged to work to their highest level. She aims to make her classes challenging and transformative and to give time to recover and absorb the benefits in a well earned savasana. Tamara is a certified Senior 1 Iyengar teacher (and an assessor for the IYA) and brings many years of experience teaching beginners, general, gentle, intermediate, pregnancy and assisting Lynda in the Therapy Class. Tamara travels to Pune regularly to study with the Iyengar family and had the great privilege of studying with BKS Iyengar himself, in general classes and one to one in the medical class. You can read about the experience in my blog tamarahockey2014.wordpress.com and tamarahockey.wordpress.com
Zoë has been practising Iyengar Yoga since 1998. In 2001, her work as a woven textile artist took her to India and gave her the opportunity to study with Rajiv and Swati Chanchani. This event was the turning point at which yoga became central to Zoe.
For several years, Zoë devoted most of her time to the study and practice of Iyengar Yoga in India, as both a student of the Chanchanis and in her own practice. The Chanchanis continue to be her teachers and she makes regular visits to their centre near Dehradun. In 2004 she took local classes at RIMYI, Pune and celebrated Guruji’s birthday. She qualified as an Introductory Level 2 Teacher in 2015.
Zoë has studied Ayurveda in India and England, and her understanding and practice of yoga is enriched by Ayurvedic philosophy.
Zoë is incredibly grateful to have come into contact with Iyengar Yoga and she fully embraces it as part of her daily life. She believes that the practice of yoga can influence our lives greatly, that it engages conscious and unconscious components of ourselves—our known and unknown—and that it is a vast and revealing subject that can offer us a means to be introspective and still. For Zoë, yoga offers support, nourishment and great joy as well as balance and connectivity. It is a constant, true and trusted companion that guides her so very well.
Janet is a Senior Level Iyengar Yoga teacher, she has been practising for over forty years and teaching for more than twenty.
Janet has visited the Iyengar Institute in Pune a couple of times to study under the watchful eye of Geeta Iyengar and has advanced her training most recently with Richard Ward, Lynda Purvis and Gerry Chambers.
Janet aims to make her classes accessible to all regardless of age, experience or flexibility.Her students enjoy her calm manner and crystal clear instruction. Iyengar yoga has given her life focus, balance and joy. She hopes to impart some of these qualities to her students.
Andrea was introduced to Iyengar yoga back in Slovakia during a family yoga holiday in her early teenage years. Yoga practice has been part of her life ever since. She became a very dedicated yoga student in her early twenties when she moved to London. She trained with Alaric Newcombe and in 2008 became an Iyengar yoga teacher. She persevered with her teacher training and in 2013 qualified to Junior Intermediate Level 3.
Andrea has studied with many senior teachers in UK and India as well as with the Iyengar family in Pune. She is also greatly influenced by the time she spent learning from Mira Mehta in London.
Home practice has always been a big part of Andrea’s yoga life. And now that she has two young children, spending time on her own on a yoga mat is even more rewarding.
Jess remembers looking at the photographs in Light on Yoga as a child. Being brought up in rural Dorset it was an unexpected good fortune when, after falling from tree climbing, her doctor (who happened to be Indian) drew yoga postures to help relieve pain and correct her spine. Jess began regular classes with the Iyengar Yoga Society at Edinburgh University, liking the focus on precision and alignment in the postures and the feeling of well-being. Since then yoga the Iyengar method has been an important aspect of her life, leading her to study at RIMYI in Pune, India. Jess feels that yoga keeps her healthy and balanced and hopes to pass the benefit of yoga to students. She is certified at Senior Level 1.
Zoë Reason began yoga in her twenties, loved it and got distracted, and finally, when she went on her first yoga holiday in 1996, began to see that routine and regularity is an essential part of the practice... She started teaching in 2004 (her introductory training was with Judith Jones in West Berkshire and then Brenda Booth in Kent for intermediate). Her principle teachers are Rajiv and Swati Chanchani (who are the first generation of teachers trained by BKS Iyengar) and she has been lucky enough to spend long periods of time learning from them and assisting in their classes at their centre in India, at the foothills of the Himalayas. She’s enormously grateful to have been able to study with the Iyengar family, both in India and Europe, on a number of occasions. She has just moved to Bristol and is delighted to be teaching at the very beautiful Eastern Yoga Centre. Zoë’s teaching is methodical, structured, precise. She’s interested in exploring how these shapes we call yog-asanas allow us to become truly intimate with what it means to be alive.
What first drew me to yoga was that, during my first class I attended, I forgot everything else in my life; anxieties, thoughts, what I was planning to have for dinner...all melted away as I focused on the teacher's instructions.
Yoga is like a guide or best friend in times of trouble and helps you face life's inevitable challenges.
Yoga calms a scattered mind, stretches the body and leaves you feeling physically energised and the mind alert.
Gerry Chambers has been a qualified Iyengar yoga teacher since 1980. Gerry is from Scotland and became interested in yoga in his mid 20’s when he lived in Canada. Following a period at a Catholic seminary where he was training to be a priest, he went on to study at Edinburgh University. At York University in Toronto he completed a postgraduate degree with a thesis on Zen. He has completed further postgrad studies in Indian Religions at Trinity St Davids University, Wales. Gerry moved to Bristol from London in 1999 to set up Yogawest, an Iyengar yoga centre, with his partner Lynda. He now lives in the beautiful county of Devon and travels to India regularly to learn from the Iyengar family. Gerry is a Senior 3 qualified Iyengar Yoga teacher and an assessor for the IYA. To say we are chuffed to have him teaching at Eastern Yoga (finally) is something of an understatement! Gerry's teaching is dynamic, thorough, challenging and thought-provoking. Not to be missed.
Naomi lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters. She started practicing Iyengar Yoga in 2009 when she was diagnosed with CFS/ME. Prior to that she was a runner - regularly doing 10ks and half marathons – but her illness meant that couldn't run to the end of the road without pain and exhaustion setting in. The way that yoga created energy, rather than burnt it up was quite overwhelming for her. It was quite clear that yoga wasn’t just “exercise” and she fell in love with it from the first class!
Now fully recovered from CFS/ME, She has completed 2 years of Introductory Iyengar Yoga training with Sheila Haswell. She is fully qualified to Introductory level 2. She hopes to be able to help people whether it is to tone up, lose weight, find peace of mind or to recover from illness or injury.
She also runs her own children’s music and singing company - JollyTots! Music and Singing Workshops - doing parent and child classes and birthday parties. Naomi enjoys the balance between the singing and the yoga!
Naomi says “I love how Iyengar Yoga is accessible to all; young or old. The Iyengar method, in particular, means that people of all flexibilities can come to class and may be offered more props to help with their alignment or for support in the pose. People think they can’t do yoga because they are not flexible, but yoga isn’t about that, it’s about building strength. If you have never tried yoga before, then I am looking forward to being your introduction to it!”
Frances has practised Iyengar yoga for over 30 years. Richard Ward was her first teacher and she undertook her teacher training under the guidance of Gerry Chambers and Lynda Purvis. She is an Intermediate Junior 3 Qualified teacher. Frances has recently retired from her day job of working with students with Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome and their families.
Frances says: “It is a great responsibility and a pleasure to introduce new students to Iyengar Yoga. I love to teach the foundation class as it is a closed course and I can get to know the students and people feel free to ask questions. I can see changes after only six weeks. I like to teach all types of people, old and young. I try not to make assumptions about people.”
Jacob has been teaching Iyengar Yoga since 2008. He originally trained with Gerry Chambers and Lynda Purvis in Bristol and has travelled to India to study with the Iyengar family in Pune. Jacob's teaching is appreciated by his students for his straightforward, no nonsense style with occasional unexpected dry humour! Jacob hails from the Czech Republic but has lived in Bristol for over a decade.
Lynda Purvis has been a qualified Iyengar yoga teacher since 1990. Lynda is from New Zealand where she began yoga in the 80’s. She arrived in the UK after a few years travelling in Asia and started attending yoga classes in London where she trained as a teacher. From 1999 until 2011 Lynda was the co-owner and director of Yogawest in Bristol. She has been to India on many occasions to attend intensive courses and general classes with the Iyengar family. She is a Senior Level 3 teacher who specialises in yoga therapy. Lynda now lives with her partner Gerry in Devon
Craig may just be Bristol's stiffest yoga teacher! This gives him a unique perspective on teaching yoga to real people, with real bodies.Craig teaches with great warmth and humour – ensuring safe, welcoming practice for all. His ability to break down poses and make you feel your body working in new ways make his classes a wonderful experience for any level of practitioner.