New Ramp at the Centre

We are delighted with our new ramp at the Centre, we are now able to welcome wheel-chair users into the Centre–here are some photos of Helena, our first, very happy user of the ramp.



Thank you to everyone who attended our events at the Centre over our 10 Year Anniversary programme. Each event was well attended and we had lovely feedback that they were enjoyable. Alongside our workshops–tasters for those new to yoga; a full day with Frances and three with our regular visiting Indian teacher, Firooza Ali, we also had a range of events that explored yoga in different ways. Here’s some photos that give a taste of what has taken place at the Centre.

Centre Director, Frances Homewood opens the celebrations by lighting the candle in our flower mandala

Centre Director, Frances Homewood opens the celebrations by lighting the candle in our flower mandala

The beautiful wall-hanging in our Reading Room, made by our teacher Caroline Anschutz

The beautiful wall-hanging in our Reading Room, made by our teacher Caroline Anschutz

Dr Helena Davies's talk, The Medical Evidence for Yoga, photo credit John Walton

Dr Helena Davies’s talk, The Medical Evidence for Yoga, photo credit John Walton

Therapy Class Demonstration with Cath Morgan supporting Helena, photo credit John Walton

Therapy Class Demonstraion with Cath Morgan supporting Helena, photo credit John Walton

Dr Majosh Jolly’s talk, Discovering your Doshas

Firooza Ali's talk, Yoga Unveiling Who We Are, photo credit John Walton

Firooza Ali’s talk, Yoga Unveiling Who We Are, photo credit John Walton

Our programme of celebrations for the 10 year birthday at the Centre commenced on Friday night. Friends, teachers, students and their families came to the Centre bringing flowers so we could make a large flower mandala in the front hall. Memories of the Centre were shared, poems read out and cake eaten!  The theme of the mandala, cycles and circles carried on in the workshop on Sunday with Frances. Here are some photos from Friday.

The second celebration weekend is coming up and there are still spaces for our talks, workshops and even slots for head massages. Please book using Eventbrite:


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Standing on the dustbins to peer in through the high windows of 270 Burgoyne Road did not seem a very auspicious start. However, as soon as I saw into the spacious sunlit hall I knew it was the perfect place for our Iyengar Yoga Centre. Even more, we discovered another hall, kitchen and potential office space hidden away so it had everything I had dreamed of.

Ten years on and we now have around 300 people a week signed up for classes. A wonderful team of teachers provides the programme that we offer; from New Starter courses, Beginners and General classes to the more specialist Restorative, Therapy and Gentle classes for older people.

I can only say how much this has been a team effort all the way. From my husband Mike’s generosity in re mortgaging our house and repairing all the windows, through to the students and family members who gave their time and sometimes money to buy what we needed. When people frequently comment that there is a lovely community atmosphere in the Centre, it reflects this truth.

The 12 weeks we had in the summer of 2005 to get the place ready for opening went by in a flash. People queued to get into the first classes. As more teachers qualified we were able to build up to the 21 classes a week we now offer. The cooperation and support in the teaching team means we can always cover for each other when needed. As time went on, we were able to recruit admin support and now Catherine, our Office Manager, is our rock. Our excellent website was designed at “mate’s rates” by a talented designer friend, as was our lovely logo.

What do I feel most at this point? A great joy in what we have achieved mixed with a huge sense of gratefulness. Primarily I am grateful to have been alive when this great soul BKS Iyengar walked the earth. Because he brought Yoga to the West we have an amazing practice made accessible to us all. I cannot imagine my life without his teachings. And now I know that, through our Centre, so many more people feel the same way.



Messages for Guruji

Dear students,

We wanted to take a moment to pass on our thanks for your thoughts and messages over the last week. Many of you have taken the time to mark Guruji’s sad passing on 20th August 2014, either by attending the Centre to light a candle and share your thoughts and memories or by sending a message to us. 

We would like to share some of your messages here:

Hi Frances, as an occasional student I felt a need to send a note of thanks at this time. Thanks for the life of a great spirit and the teaching he passed on. Thanks also for your enthusiasm and the encouragement received . Also to the many dedicated teachers who pass on the message. Good luck for the future and thoughts are with you. Alan Penn.

I’m sorry I can’t be with you this evening to unite in  the love, the gratitude and the  great sadness  that we share.
Please light a candle for me in honour of guruji and for all that he has given to so many. May the light of his wisdom stay in our hearts, in our practice and in our teaching.
With love Bev.

I am unable to come tonight as I’m staying at my parents still. I saw the news about BKS Iyengar on the news last night and gave a heartfelt sigh at this loss even more poignant for me given my own family are in the situation of getting closer to losing a loved one. May Mr Iyengar rest in peace. Regards Jane.

Hi Frances, I’m away on holiday in the North East this week but would like to express my sadness and gratitude for everything that Mr Iyengar gave to the world. To devote ones life to the improvement of all is the mark of a great soul. May he rest in peace. Best Wishes, Mike Sullivan

Light a candle for our Guruji, BKS Iyengar, who brought light to so many of us during his long life. Light to the dark places in our bodies and in our minds; light to our hearts and souls in dark times. May the wisdom and teaching that he has given us, through his family and those he has taught, last long and burn strong, even though his own personal spark of light is extinguished. Respects, love and peace from Emma – 21st August 2014. 

Hello Frances, I just wanted to say a big thank you to you for your wonderful teaching of iyengar yoga again. I can’t think of a better tribute to pay to Iyengar on this sad day than to acknowledge how his senior pupils can & are carrying on his teachings in such a thorough, compassionate & thought provoking way as you do – your enthusiasm & dedication is infectious, as his has been all his amazing life. His teaching will therefore go on spreading, but what enormous gratitude has to be paid to our source – we are so lucky to have been touched by his ‘light’, his spirit & by his method of yoga. I would love to be with you at the centre tomorrow but I will be there in spirit, take care my dear, with love, Carol.


Frances and the Yoga Centre team.