Iyengar yoga is a systematic approach to learning the classical 8-limbed practice of yoga as developed by B.K.S. Iyengar and his family in India. Iyengar yoga focuses on uniting the body, breath, and mind through attention to alignment both inner and outer and the therapeutic application of yoga asanas (postures) to help the student deal with limitation, disease, injury and pain. Each class we learn about the body and its movements as a way of entering into deep inquiry of our inner experience. It is a safe practice that is appropriate for any body, regardless of age or condition.
I am a devoted student and teacher of Iyengar Yoga, and am eager to share this knowledge with you. I am a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher at the Intermediate Junior II level, a Certified Yoga Therapist, and the Director at the Iyengar Yoga Center of Vermont. I study regularly with Patricia Walden, Janice Vien, Joan White, and Kevin Gardner, and have done many trainings with other teachers including Genny Kapuler, Manouso Manos, and several years of training with Eileen Muir of Karuna Yoga in Northampton MA. I also have traveled to Pune, India to study directly with the Iyengar family.
I have been teaching in Vermont for many years and have a passion for all 8 limbs of the Yoga system which I try to share with my students. I teach prenatal yoga and also have a particular interest in therapeutic and medical applications of yogasana (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises). I have worked successfully with individuals in private and group classes on many issues including fatigue, depression, chronic illness, chronic pain, lower back pain and sciatica, hip/knee/shoulder problems, recovery from injury, anxiety, blood pressure and immune system disorders.
I discovered Iyengar yoga in 1984 as a way to recover from physical injuries and to develop greater calm and balance in my life. I am a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher at the Introductory II level. I practiced with Theresa Rowland, director of Studio Yoga in Madison, NJ, completing her teacher training in 2012. During my three year intensive training with her I assisted in specialized classes for students with back and neck problems and taught beginner level classes. I am grateful to have studied with many other senior teachers such as Kofi Busia, Lois Steinberg, Gabriella Giubilaro, Sri Arun, and Mira Metha. I am currently studying with Rebecca Weisman and Janice Vien.
My meditation teachers Drs. Jim and Diane Handlin have laid a foundation for my continued study and practice of mindfulness meditation. After a 17-year career in art education I bring my passion for students, teaching, and learning to the life-long study of yoga as a holistic system of knowledge. I embrace the rigor and rich tradition of Iyengar yoga and am passionate about the possibilities of personal transformation and empowerment that the regular practice and study of yoga can offer.
I started practicing yoga in college and discovered Iyengar Yoga several years later. The Iyengar method helped me recover from a traumatic accident and subsequent panic attacks, and I am forever grateful. In 2009, I completed a 200-hour teacher training with Alison West in New York City. I moved to Vermont in 2010 and began to teach around Montpelier, and take classes with Mary Flemming. She guided me to Patricia Walden’s Iyengar teacher training in Boston. I completed the two-year training in 2015, studying with Janice Vien and Patricia Walden. I also ran River House Yoga in Plainfield, VT from 2012 to 2016. This past year my daughter was born, and my family moved to the Burlington area. I will be going up for Iyengar certification in 2017. I am very excited to be here, studying with Rebecca and teaching at IYCVT!
I was first introduced to Iyengar Yoga in 1987, and it set me on a lifelong path to take care of my body and mind. I have been blessed to study with many knowledgeable teachers, most recently Rebecca Weisman and Janice Vien, who mentored me through the assessment process to become a certified Iyengar teacher.
In 2006 I founded Otter Creek Yoga in Middlebury, Vermont, Addison County’s first yoga studio! I am a full time yoga teacher and I love sharing this practice with students of all ages and abilities. I am especially interested in how our practice is a method of self care, that can also influence how we care for our family, our community, and our world. Although many of the teachings are ancient, yoga philosophy offers precious jewels that can help us navigate our modern world. As a devoted student of yoga, I seek to deepen my understanding of yoga ethics and to apply these teachings in all aspects of my life. I am passionate about anti-racism work, and consider this a key part of my spiritual practice.
I was introduced to Iyengar Yoga in 2007 and ever since yoga has been an important part of my life. Through ongoing practice, yoga brings me balance of body, mind, and emotions, restoring inner peace. Since living in Vermont, I have had the opportunity to participate in multiple workshops given by advanced teachers in the Iyengar tradition. Recently, I completed an Iyengar Yoga teacher training with Janice Vien of Grantham, NH assisted by Rebecca Weisman. After passing my introductory assessment, I am thrilled to now be a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher (CIYT). I love teaching yoga and helping others learn more about their body, helping each student build greater strength and flexibility while at the same time developing confidence and quietness of mind. Through my teaching, I strive to provide an encouraging, comforting, joyful and safe environment for students.
“I am new to yoga and started taking the gentle class at IYCVT after about a year doing Iyengar in general. I was never particularly limber, not even as a child, and now I am a lot less so. I have a frozen shoulder that has improved greatly through the teacher’s thoughtful and knowledgable approach. I have become so much more aware of my body in entirely new ways and look forward to class every week as essential to my physical and emotional wellbeing.”
“I am a golden-aged woman with the aches and pains that naturally go along with achieving this stage of life. I have been taking Yoga classes with Rebecca for over a year and find her to be an excellent teacher in the true, classical sense of the word. She is constantly observing, cognizant of each person’s abilities and/or limitations; everyone gets individual attention – with props, modifications, or gentle hints. It seems that Rebecca instinctively knows when a class member is not comfortable and she is there, presto, with some aid or suggestion. I always look forward to Rebecca’s class and trust my body to her knowledge and expertise.”
“I was on the verge of giving up on my yoga practice, until I began to pursue Iyengar yoga. The fundamentals of Iyengar, paired with the teacher’s knowledge, patience and dedication, have created a framework that I feel happy and comfortable working within. Iyengar yoga is inherently malleable, allowing people with chronic issues to integrate the practice in their lives, while maintaining active poses and not creating further pain or injury. I feel that I am working with and listening to my body in ways that no other approach has provided.”
“The engaging spirit of inquiry, welcoming generosity and honed precision that Monika brings to her teaching of Iyengar yoga has been an inspiration; her guidance has encouraged me to cultivate self-awareness and a sense of compassion in my own practice.”
“I had done a fair amount of yoga off and on previously, but Iyengar has been wonderful in that it has made me slow down and really focus on the intention of each posture. You don’t rapid fire through dozens of different poses in a given week’s class, and pray that you’re doing them right. You learn the right way to do a few by going through them as a group, and then you build on those in subsequent sessions. It’s still physically engaging at times and relaxing at others, but I feel that I leave having learned something every time that will empower me in my solo practice at home.”
“I have always wanted to improve my posture, and can still hear my mother saying “Stand up straight, throw your shoulders back!” but frankly did not know how to form the habits that would help me achieve better posture. Through Iyengar yoga’s attention to full body alignment I am finally learning correct alignment and beginning to develop muscle memory to be able to maintain good posture habits throughout the day. I wish I had discovered Iyengar yoga years ago.”