The practice

I began studying Modern Postural Yoga in Canada in 1986. At that time, the only style of yoga was BKS Iyengar technique and I was extremely lucky to have Dona Holleman as my first teacher. Since then, my yoga path has involved extensive studies with brilliant teachers around the world, many who have had a profound influence of my unique style.

I practiced Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga for 12 years, during which time I studied with Sri K Pattabhi Jois in Mysore and some of his senior students – Manju Jois, John Scott, David Swenson, Matthew Sweeney and Rolf Naujokat. Nancy Gilgoff was my first Ashtanga teacher and I attended many of her ‘Adjustment Clinics’ to learn how to safely assist people in the Primary and Intermediate Series. I completed a 200 level Yoga Teacher Training with Richard Freeman (2004) and attend his annual yoga intensives in London. I also completed a 200+ level training focusing on the traditional Krishnamacharya method of Asana, Pranayama and Kundalini Metaphysics with Sri BNS lyengar at the Patanajala Yoga Shala in Mysore (2008). And later his course on full body Mudras (2011).

On the Vinyasa Flow side of yoga, I completed the Tripsichore Yoga Theatre Teacher Training with Edward Clark (2002). David Life and Sharon Gannon (Jivamukti Studios) and Emil Wendel (Beyond the Asana) are also inspirational people and teachers. For the past decade, my yogic path has returned to its roots and I feel as if I’ve come ‘home’ in the precise alignment techniques of BKS Iyengar. My main teacher is Alaric Newcombe in London. I’ve also taken many workshops with Glenn Ceresoli. I attended classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in February 2020 and 2023.

I love the practice of asana and view it as extremely important on the spiritual path, but it alone will not take me to enlightenment. Hence, I shifted my gaze to Tantric practices. Tibetans have turned out enlightened beings on a treadmill since 8 C.E. I’m now a Buddhist practitioner and am blessed to be a student of Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse Rinpoche.

As a result of extensive sadhana in Asia, I met my Hindu tantric guru and, in 2017, I was initiated into the Nath Sampradaya as an Aghori Nath yogini at Pashupati in Nepal. Throughout my yogic journey, I keep an open mind about the practice and try not to succumb to dogma.

I’m qualified as a Senior Yoga Teacher with both the Yoga Alliance USA and Yoga Alliance Professionals UK.

“Very interesting, fun, hard, new and amazing experience…”

“I have learned so much about yoga, philosophy, but also about myself. I feel that this experience has opened me up to new ideas and beliefs. I really enjoyed the asana training and the sequences were great. The instruction was clear and very helpful. I learned a great deal about alignment and a safe practice of yoga. All the information about alignment and anatomy was practical and I’ll be able to apply it in future classes.”

Marian van Sprakelaar

A series of yoga asanas

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