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Iyengar Yoga at Festivals

IY(UK) teachers represent Iyengar yoga at a growing number of festivals around the UK and Ireland every year, from the Hay literary festival to music festivals and even a beer festival! Here are some reports from Scotland in 2019.

FYNE FESTIVAL

Sarah Hunter taught in the main tent at this festival in Scotland:

“It was a great opportunity to introduce Iyengar yoga to people. I had a very positive response with some people who were giving it a try for the first time saying they would like to take up yoga. I also met a lovely lady from Manchester who was sure she had been taught by Guruji many years ago. She is now quite elderly but always travels up to this festival with friends. Unfortunately we had to cancel the sessions on the Sunday morning due to adverse weather conditions!”

TARTAN HEART FESTIVAL

Fiona Sarjeant (aka Madame Fifi) teaches at this Scottish Festival in early August in Belladrum, just West of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands.

“I have been lucky enough to teach at the Tartan Heart Festival at Belladrum since its inception in 2004. Since 2005 I have organised the dance tent (Madame Fifi’s Dance Parlour) at this three day event held in early August, which is now the largest camping festival in Scotland (since the demise of T in the Park) and it always includes a slot each day for Iyengar Yoga which I bill as ‘Salute to the sun/rain,’ as the weather is not always what we hope for. I am usually assisted by Donna Youngson, who stepped in to cover me in 2008 as I had given birth to my son three weeks previously, and has helped out ever since. In the last few years there has been an upsurge in other yoga at the event – family yoga, yoga for teenagers, even kilted yoga (!) – however the Iyengar sessions are always popular and the same faces turn up year on year.

We teach a gentle general class starting with simple sun salutations with standings, seated twists and forward bends but no inversions (no wall space in the tent) and vary the class over the three days. We supply mats but no other equipment so emphasise the need for ‘working within your limits;’ we need to be mindful of getting complete beginners, some folk are rather merry (even at noon) and also people are usually dressed for a bit of a rave rather than a yoga class so clothing may restrict movement.”

Published in IYN Autumn 2019

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