A small group of teachers and students set up the Iyengar Yoga Centre for Essex (IYCE) in 1995 to help improve the practice and teaching of Iyengar Yoga in Essex. During the early years our main activities were the provision of information about Iyengar yoga classes in Essex to members of the public, organising workshops and yoga days, publishing a newsletter, IYCE News and training new Iyengar Yoga teachers.
In 2015 IYCE became a Registered Charity.
2020 was the twenty-fifth anniversary of the formation of the Iyengar Yoga Centre for Essex. To celebrate this anniversary we marked this auspicious occasion with a special events with Julie Brown in January and online classes with Jayne Orton towards the end of the year.
There is a full range of Iyengar Yoga Classes in Essex from beginners classes, general level classes, to intermediate level classes, teachers classes, and teacher training. In addition there are also relaxation classes, gentle classes, pranayama (breathing) classes and classes for people with health problems. We also have a children's class.
Regular workshops and yoga days are held around the County. These are taught by either a guest teacher or a local teacher.
2018 was the Centenary of Guruji's birth. To celebrate this momentous year IYCE organised a programme of events to pay our respects to Guruji and to celebrate his life and work. The programme included workshops with Nikki Hollas, Susan Long and Lois Shilton and with Denise Mehlman and Michelle Galliano. Brenda Booth, Senior Teacher from Kent, taught a Yoga Day in October and in November a Yoga Day with Dolly Kapoor, Michelle Galliano, Nikki Hollas and Sandra Hitchcock taught another Yoga day and there was a free trial class for beginners.
In 2008 there were celebrations in Essex of Guruji's 90th year. These included pranayama workshops with Susan Long, a yoga day with Lois Shilton, yoga day with Susan Long, a weekend of Iyengar Yoga with Jayne Orton, a children's course in the summer term and public demonstrations and a stand at the Body, Mind and Soul Exhibition. On Guruji's actual birthday we met together and practiced the first ninety asanas from Light on Yoga.
IYCE News focuses on what is happening in Essex plus some general news about Iyengar Yoga and Iyengar Yoga Events. Originally a paper newsletter it is now sent by email once a term to IYCE Subscribers. Contributions to IYCE News are made by Iyengar Yoga Teachers and students.
Most of the teachers in Essex were assessed under the previous training and assessment model. The equivalent certificates are: Level 1, the previous Introductory Certifcate; Level 2, the previous Intermediate Junior 1 and 2 Certificates; Level 3, the previous Intermediate Junior 3 and Intermediate Senior 1, 2 and 3; Level 4, the previous Advanced Junior 1, 2 and 3, and Advanced Senior 1 and 2. Advanced level qualifications are only awarded at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute, Pune, India.
Currently there are seven Level 1 teachers, 9 Level 2 teachers and 7 Level 3 teachers. Five of these teachers have attended classes at the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute in Pune, India with Geetaji and Prashantji. Several others have attended the December courses in Pune.
All IYCE local and guest teachers are registered to use the Iyengar Certification Mark which is a recognised trade mark.
In line with the request from Geeta and Prashant Iyengar to move away from Teacher Training courses towards Mentoring Trainee Teachers our trainer, Susan Long, started mentoring two trainees in 2018. Both of these students successfully passed their Introductory Teaching Assessment in 2019.
Three further students are being mentored with a view to becoming teachers in the future.
A number of Level 1 and 2 teachers are continuing to develop their understanding and may upgrade their qualifications in the future. This process takes place with the teacher's regular teacher and mentor. In addition assistance with preparation takes place during the Teachers Support Group and in the Teachers' Classes.
To continue the development of Iyengar Yoga in Essex it was decided to register IYCE as a charity. This was achieved in 2015. There are 8 Trustees: Paul Brown, Michelle Galliano, Claire Hanrahan (Secretary), Sandra Hitchcock, Nicola Hollas, Susan Long (Chair), Sharon Murphy and Stephannie Percy (Treasurer).