We are delighted to welcome Firooza's return to the AIYI . She started teaching in the UK in 2006.
Firooza has studied intensively with Yogacharya BKS Iyengar since 1977 and with Geeta Iyengar and Sri Prashant Iyengar from 1979. In 2011 she accompanied and assisted Geeta Iyengar at the South African Yoga Convention in Johannesburg. In 2015 she was invited to teach at the South African Convention.
With a curiosity Ignited by yoga, Firooza gained an MA in 1982 and has been teaching philosophy to undergraduates ever since. Her philosophical understanding informs and illuminates her yoga teaching providing deep connection between the philosophy and practice of yoga.
Sat 9.00-3.00pm £60 AIYI Member/ £75 Non Member
Sun 9.00-3.00pm £60 AIYI Member/ £75 Non Member
Both Days £80 AIYI Member/ £100 Non Member
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RIMYI BURSARY INFORMATION
Each year the AIYI will award a bursary to one of its members towards the cost of studying at RIMYI.
Application forms and guidelines can be found here.
We need more material for this website!
If you are a teacher or Committee member (or both) please keep your class and contact up to date. And some biogs. are getting a little stale. I'd also really like it if we could put up a short report on Edgar's workshop and a write up on Geetaji's Yoganishanasanam 2015.
The AIYI Committee is pleased to announce that Tamara Hockey is the first recipient of the AIYI Pune Bursary; the blog of her stay in Pune is linked below. It includes not only her personal experiences and opinions, but also a set of notes for each class she has attended. (We are allowed to attend one class of our choice each day, under current rules.) I can vouch for the fact that she never goes to bed until this is done. Mostly the notes have been constructed from our memories, and supplemented by any notes we have been able to borrow from class observers. (Special thanks to Judith Jones who has actually copied out a couple of sets by hand, and Alex Klein who puts them straight into her mini PC and emails them to us.)
So - here is the link that you need to follow Tam’s Pune Daily:
Feel free to pass it on to anyone you think might find it interesting.
There is also a Facebook group for anyone planning a trip to the RIMYI. It has more than 2000 members and has invaluable contacts for you to use. Go to FB and search; the name of the group is:
VISITING IYENGAR INSTITUTE (RIMYI) PUNE ?
If you want to join, just make sure you have one friend in the group - me, Tamara, anyone you know personally.
Also check out Bobby Clennell’s Pune Guide.
This is absolutely invaluable from where to stay, to how and where to buy spices. She keeps it updated and includes feedback. Anything not covered - just put the question to the Facebook group.
Geetaji's YOGANUSHANASANAM in Pune in December 2014 was attended by many several and friends of the AIYI. Kirsten Agar-Ward has written a heartfelt and moving piece about the event. This is reproduced below, with a few illustrations to follow.
Yoganusasanam - exposition on the sacred art of yoga
by Kirsten Agar Ward
It was a privilege to attend Yoganusasanam last December, the convention of over 1,200 Iyengar
Yoga practitioners from 72 countries on the occasion of Geetaji’s seventieth birthday.
I hadn’t been to Pune since Guruji’s death and I admit to some apprehension and mixed feelings
before I went, but these were happily laid to rest.
Geetaji began “A big pillar, a live pillar who was enlivening us..is no more with us. That great
shock…has made unto be just alone. We have been left lonely is the fact. Yet the memory is such
a gift for us, we have to apply the smrtti….in our heart, brain, breath body, Guruji will be existing
forever whilst we are in this birth.” Geetaji explained to us from the outset how it was Guruji’s wish
that the event should go ahead, in his words “no cancellation, go ahead, proceed”. It cleared any
doubts and was very helpful for us all to hear these simple and truthful words from the heart. As
Geetaji said “We are all supposed to carry the message coming as close as possible to Guruji. We
are now on the threshold, Guruji won’t be here to see with his naked eyes what we are doing, but
from that world he will be definitely looking. Let us not bring that pain to his heart.”
Throughout the event we were blessed with her generous teaching. Geetaji took much time and
care to explain and show many things to us. She even gave us an excellent Q & A session, and
this after a whole morning (indeed a previous week) teaching over a thousand people and having
been unwell. I was left wondering how does she give so much, so generously for so many years?
That spirit of generosity, conscientiousness, duty and simply giving is what most stays with me, a
living continuation of that thread from Guruji. Geetaji expressed very eloquently about continuing
the thread “Let us remain honest to his teaching, whatever we know, whatever we can do, we
should carry this fact that whatever Guruji has taught with all the honesty and the justice to the
subject we should carry on. Human nature is such that in absence of Guru, when physically we
don’t see him we may divert our attention suddenly. Many a time people feel that since physically
he is not available bodily he is not existing, let us find somebody else who is bodily existing and
that will be injustice. Once we have decided to follow the path shown by Guruji, we should not give
up, we should not leave it. It’s not only merely the responsibility but in his own words ‘it’s the
honesty from inside’. And therefore because I cannot do anything else except requesting and
praying the Lord to give us that strength so that we remain on this path shown by him, the divine
path shown by him. And that’s why we chose the name yogansusasanam. because the discipline
has been given by Guruji to us and it’s our duty to carry in a similar manner with the same intensity,
with the same depth of understanding so we will be able to pass on the knowledge to the next
generation who will be missing to see him.”
As if that wasn’t enough we were given an excellent and varied afternoon programme with many
gems which stirred the heart; talks from Abhijata, chanting with Sunitaji, Birjoo reading Sameer
Kulkani’s piece written after Guruji’s death as well as instructional talks. We were showered with so
many beautiful gifts - dance, music, heartfelt talks, beautiful series of photographs of Guruji, the
funny time-lapse film at the end, the touching film of Guruj. For sure Guruji was there in spirit. He
had even chosen the menu for our lunch on the last day, given to us by the Iyengar family. It was,
of course, perfect.
Yoganusasanam was a true example of community culture. Not only the whole Iyengar family,
including Prashantji’s hand at work behind the scenes in making it happen, but also the devotion of
all the many volunteers, working to make it happen with such amazing efficiency and good nature.
Again Geetaji’s words “We will carry forward, always remaining together, the mantra [shanti
mantra] says we will eat together, we will be together and carry on this knowledge without having
any kind of jealousy, magic or any kind of klesha within us. With the purity of mind we will carry on
the knowledge with our teaching process and that is how even if we are living this earth at different
areas we have to have that feeling that we are always together.”
What most struck me was the heart in the event. I was touched by the openness with which the
Iyengars spoke of Guruji, his living and his passing. It was very helpful to me and I am sure to
many. Many tears were shed, which I feel needed to be shed. But there was also so much joy and
love in that gathering. It was uplifting and I feel it brought out the best in me. As well as sharing
thoughts and feelings were shared about our loss, but also about our legacy, the generous bequest
Guruji gave us all and inspiration for how this will continue and go from strength to strength. Thank
The Avon Iyengar Yoga Institute (AIYI) is the local not-for-profit club for Iyengar Yoga practitioners. Whether you are a complete beginner or an advanced yoga student you can find details of nearby teachers and our regular yoga events and workshops across the West and South Wales area, including Bristol, Bath, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Devon, Somerset and all areas in between. All are welcome.
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