jazz pianist, composer, piano teacher | yoga teacher
I started practising Iyengar yoga, a form of Hatha yoga in Amsterdam in 1993. I was aware that the classical violinist Yehudi Menuhin had practised it for many years, and being a musician myself, I thought what’s good for him might be good for me too. Also, I had been interested in Eastern holistic methods of training body and mind for several years and when I started practising yoga I knew this was the right method for me.
The idea behind Eastern thought is that body and mind form an integrated whole, inextricably interwoven, and that human conduct, i.e. morality and the quest for a happy life, are also parts of this holistic approach.
Yoga, then, is a system promoting health and equanimity by means of 1) emphasizing a moral conduct based on injunctions such as non-violence, non-greediness and truthfulness, 2) physical exercise, or asanas, 3) breath awareness and concentration, 4) philosophical teachings.
The full course of yogic discipline and philosophy has been laid out in the classic text by the Indian sage Patanjali which forms the basis of many yoga schools.
Once started, I continued practising yoga avidly. I then decided to do my teacher training at the Iyengar Yoga Institute Maida vale in London and got my certificate in 2002. Since then I’ve been teaching full time in yoga studios, gyms, companies, community centres, privately, and I’ve been leading retreats near Bodrum in Turkey since 2005. I also run a weekly class at the Bonnington Centre in Vauxhall where I live.
Part of my training was with the Iyengar family in Pune, India, but over the years I have studied other yoga styles such as Sivananda and Astanga too and incorporated some elements of those schools into my teaching although the bedrock of my teaching continues to be Iyengar yoga.
Iyengar yoga focuses on precision and uses props such as belts and blocks to facilitate good alignment in postures. Postures are usually held longer than in other styles to allow students to explore them in more depth and breathe through them with a concentrated mind.