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Iyengar yoga at Maitri Studio

  • by Claire Ferry - Nov 21, 2018

There are many styles of yoga offered at Maitri Studio but the director Claire and several other teachers are Iyengar trained, so most of the classes offered at Maitri Studio are Iyengar yoga. This means we can offer a choice of class levels all available on single or 10-class passes, and regular introductory courses as well. Drop-ins are welcome although we do encourage people to register for each class they wish to attend through our online booking system Tula, available on our classes page via the calendar or the booking link.

Why Iyengar yoga?

There are so many styles of yoga, why might Iyengar yoga be the class for you? It is the most widely practiced school of yoga around the world due to being accessible for all, safe and with structured classes that lead you through a sequence of asanas (poses) and pranayama (breathing) to feel lighter and longer at the end of your class. There is a rigorous system of teacher training: all Iyengar teachers will have a minimum of five years Iyengar yoga practice, two of which are teacher training. Props are used to help you find the essence of the pose, no matter your personal restrictions or difficulties. There is balance between heating and cooling, grounding and enlivening poses, and all classes end with a period of relaxation. And there is variety: no two classes or teachers are ever the same, with different aspects of the asanas being studied.

Class levels: which one for me?

We offer different levels of classes so you can choose which suits best. In all classes teachers will adapt the teaching to the students present, and can advise if another level would be more suitable.

Introductory course: these are 5/6 week courses held periodically throughout the year. It's great value for money and you learn the basic poses building on your knowledge each week. It is advised (but not compulsory) for people completely new to yoga, or if you've had a long break or have never used yoga props before. After the course you join a beginners class. The next one is a 5-week course with Louise Saturdays 10-11.15am 27 April to 25 May 2019 inclusive book here.

Beginners: For all new students or those with less than two years’ experience of Iyengar yoga. Some people stay in beginners classes for many years, depending on their body and level of practice. Basic yoga postures (asanas) are taught to develop strength, stamina and flexibility, and they’re suitable for any age group. Shoulderstand (sarvangasana) is introduced when appropriate for the student. Andrew has an 8 week course starting Tuesday 7th May 6-7.15pm, and Rachel 9 weeks on Wednesdays 6pm on 1st May.

General: This class builds on the beginners class but is open to new students if beginners class times don't suit. Additional poses are introduced and basic pranayama. It is especially good for those with active lifestyles helping to stretch and tone muscles, while building stamina and protecting against injury. Additional inversions are introduced including headstand (sirsasana).

Intermediate: For students with at least two years practice in Iyengar yoga (including personal practice at home), who working on a stable sirsasana and sarvangasana. Work in the asanas is more demanding and subtle.

Gentle: A gentler class which will work within the bodies limitations, open to all including post-natal moms, those with minor injuries/ailments (backs/knees/shoulders - do check with your teacher) and over 50s (or thereabouts!): Wednesday 6pm & Thursday 10am. Claire starts an 8-week course Wednesdays 6-7.15pm from 8th May.

Monthly pranayama class: Sunday 9-10.15am open to all with 1 year + practice, with Claire.

Your teachers

On the Iyengar class pass system (single, 10-week or 5/6-week intro courses), Claire, Louise, Rachel and Maura are your teachers.

  • Claire Ferry: the most experienced Iyengar teacher at Maitri Studio (Junior Intermediate Level 3) - offers a variety of classes throughout the week, weekend workshops and is available for 1:1s.
  • Andrew Benfield: trained to Junior Intermediate 1 teacher in 2008, Andrew is offers a regular beginners class for active people on Tuesdays 6pm and shares the general class with Claire week-about on Tuesdays 7.30pm.
  • Louise Belshaw: an Introductory level 2 teacher since 2016 with a general class on Thursday evenings, and now working towards her Junior Intermediate 1 certificate.
  • Rachel Overton: an Introductory level 2 teacher with general and beginners classes on Mondays and Wednesdays. Rachel is a full time yoga teacher. Prior to her Iyengar Certificate, she has taught since November 2010 (ad hoc) and regularly since January 2013 with other yoga teaching qualifications.
  • Maura Gribbin: an Introductory level 2 teacher with a general class on Friday evenings. Maura also has a previous hatha yoga qualification and teaching experience.

The following teachers also Iyengar-trained and may provide cover for Iyengar classes.

  • Tracy Stuart: an Introductory level 2 teacher, teaching on Monday evenings.
  • Miriam Chambers: an Iyengar trained teacher who has subsequently trained in Birthlight yoga offers pregnancy yoga (not in the Iyengar style)
  • Eva Komuves: trained in Iyengar yoga along with other styles and who offers core yoga at Maitri on Wednesdays and Fridays

Do contact us if you've any questions:

Interested in reading more about Iyengar yoga? There's a great resource online at YogaVastu, including online classes. We also recommend YogaSelection (website) and RoadsToBliss youtube channel for online videos to help your home practice.

Contact Us

Maitri Studio Limited
4 The Mount, Belfast, BT5 4NA

Tel: +44 (0)28 9099 2428

Company number: NI635546