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, 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 wonderful 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 have a particular interest in therapeutic and medical applications of yogasana (postures) and pranayama (breathing exercises) and have worked successfully with individuals on many issues including fatigue, depression, chronic illness, chronic pain, lower back pain and sciatica, 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.
Yoga has been a daily practice of mine since I was 13, when I was introduced to it by my mother, who insisted I would love Iyengar yoga because it focused so intently on alignment and bringing awareness to every little part of the body. Through my teenage years I attended classes weekly with Bobbie Fultz. As a young adult I have studied mainly with Jennifer Karius, Dean and Rebecca Lerner, and with many other Iyengar teachers around the globe. I am certified at the Introductory II level and have been teaching yoga for over 6 years. I earned my doctorate degree from New York Chiropractic College specializing in Applied Kinesiology, Bachelor of Science in Nursing from University of Vermont, and certificate in Asian Healing Arts and Whole Foods Nutrition and training in Shiatsu and Swedish Massage from Heartwood Institute. As a practicing chiropractor I bring my in-depth knowledge of anatomy, physiology and the inner workings of the nervous system to my teaching. I feel that life experience and integrating my beliefs into my own lifestyle are by far my best teachers. Practicing what I preach allows me to offer care from my personal experience and my goal is to create a sense of excitement and motivation when it comes to caring for yourself!
“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.”