We are happy that the Yoga for Sitters Series was a success! Check out some highlights written by on of 2nd year students Theresa Marks:

“Thanks to IYISF and San Francisco Zen Center for making Yoga for Sitters a success! Mentored by Faculty member Shosan Victoria Austin and taught by 2nd year IYISF students James Terburg, Ruchi Murlidhar and myself, this six week series of classes introduced students to a wide variety of yoga poses that built strength, flexibility, and composure for seated practices.

     “This was quite a fortunate situation for all!” said James Terburg, “Victoria is a crucial link between these two warm, loving communities and one that will increasingly benefit students near and far. The San Francisco Zen Center provides an auspicious space where students and instructors feel safe and relaxed. The students provide the essential community support to the instructors-in-training, who also feel the support of Victoria, an exemplar of compassion through her spontaneous response to student needs and skillful application of the techniques found within Iyengar Yoga. This created an excellent overall environment for students and instructors-in-training! What an experience to feel I could really explore the skills learned at IYISF with genuine students and with the safety of a qualified teacher nearby! Thank-you to the San Francisco Zen Center, thank-you to Shosan Victoria Austin, and especially thank-you to the students! Keep practicing!”

    Ruchi Murlidhar agreed that this supportive environment fostered deep learning: “What an enriching teaching experience I have had… I felt for the first time that I could plan the whole class, from creating the sequence and theme, to preparing and executing it for students with different physical challenges. I could achieve all this in a safe environment for first-time teachers and under the supervision and guidance of a wonderful and compassionate teacher and friends.”


Ruchi sitting in front of the Buddha at the Zen Center


     Students in the classes were enthused and appreciative as well. “These classes were a great introduction to yoga” said student Cheryl Morgan. “I was afraid my physical limitations wouldn’t allow me to keep up, but modifications and clear instructions were offered that allowed me to access different versions of the poses without holding the rest of the class back. At the same time, I could see how practicing might make some of those final versions possible and that was encouraging. All in all these classes were a great experience!”

      Victoria Austin described this collaborative experience as the essence of B.K.S. Iyengar’s vision: “Three pillars of teaching practice are your own practice, the example of your teacher, and learning by doing. Guruji once said that in the beginning, you should pay your students, because you learn from them how to teach. The purpose of this program is to provide a safe, supervised venue for trainees to teach real students, and to receive feedback that nourishes their growth. This is how Manouso so generously trained me decades ago, so naturally I want to pass on the gift to a new generation.”

     Mission accomplished Victoria! Thanks to everyone involved, we are more inspired than ever to share the gift of Iyengar Yoga with the world!”

-Theresa Marks 

Michaela and IWe are all very sad to see Rachel go. She has been a joy to work with and added so much to the Institute during her stay. Some of you may have only known her as the smiling face behind the front desk, but she was also the voice and talent behind the stories on our blog and Instagram and was integral to planning many events and programs in the past year. Her passion for event management has brought her an opportunity for growth and we all wish her very very well on her journey! A note from Rachel on her departure below. Her last day will be Monday, February 23rd.


 Words from Rachel:

“The past year of discovering Iyengar yoga has bonded me to this practice for life. I want to thank all of the teachers at the Institute as you have helped me grow in my personal practice and have inspired me in many other ways. As I one day hope to open a Yoga and Meditation Hostel-Hotel that also hosts events of all kinds, the Institute has vastly taught me a lot professionally in the realm or programming, marketing, management and community engagement. I am very excited to start the next chapter of my life with Joie de Virve Hotels in the sector of event sales and management as I have a love for creating, planning and implementing events. Although I am leaving the Institute professionally it will remain a part of my personal life as I feel rooted in this community and practice. I’ll be seeing you in class and workshops! “