Welcome to the BIY Blog

Articles and Thoughts from our Teachers and Students

Acceptance … Autoimmune Hepatitis and Yoga

June 25, 2019

Hello, this is Lara. Is this Colleen? Yep, it’s me. What are you doing right now? Not much, just getting ready to go to yoga. How are you feeling? Fine. How are you? Colleen, you need to get yourself to the emergency department. Your liver enzymes levels are off the chart. Can I check myself into hospital after yoga? This…

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Personal Truth or Fake News? Exploring Satya: Part 1

May 5, 2018

by Susie Surtees  ‘You could write about the Yamas’, said Shayna Ogden, my yoga teacher. ‘Sure’, I said, and after a little research, decided to start with Satya, the second of the yoga Yamas, or restraints. Put simply, it means thinking, feeling and behaving from a place of truth in both your inner and outer worlds. I sat down to…

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In Conversation with Shayna Ogden: Exploring Surrender

March 26, 2018

by Susie Surtees I confess. The resistance/surrender duality is alive in me. The dictionary definitions of surrender are: ‘Stop resisting to an enemy or opponent and submit to their authority’, and ‘Give in to a powerful emotion or influence’. In yoga practice, I experience both. I’m reminded of the Balinese checked fabric poleng—black squares against white—a metaphor for life’s many…

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Yoga — Two Kinds of Body Memory. Like Paper. Like a Flower.

February 1, 2018

By Susie Surtees In February 2017 I came home to yoga after decades away. After almost a year, I’ve discovered that my body is using two memory systems. Let me tell you how I experience them. Picture a sheet of artist’s paper. Fine, smooth, fit for purpose. But when creased, crumpled or rolled, restoring it to a flawless state verges…

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Hepburn Springs Yoga Retreat with Shayna

November 9, 2017

by Shelley McBean In September, I attended Ballarat Iyengar Yoga’s annual 6 day retreat with Senior Iyengar Teacher Shayna Ogden. This was a wonderful opportunity to step back from the day to day responsibilities of work and family life and become immersed in the benefits of a yoga practice under the tutelage of a wonderful teacher without the usual distractions…

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Overcoming the Obstacles to Yoga Practice – Part 3

November 4, 2017

Overcoming the Obstacles to Yoga Practice Part 3     Tips for Establishing Your Home Asana and Pranayama Practice By Shayna Ogden,  October 2017 Edited by Cara Steele (thanks) In the previous two blog posts I shared my own experience of establishing a home yoga practice then explained some of the obstacles to practice that we all face, as outlined by Patanjali…

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Overcoming the Obstacles to Yoga Practice – Part 2

November 4, 2017

Part 2     Practice in Relation to the Sutras By Shayna Ogden,  October 2017 Edited by Cara Steele (again, thanks Cara) In my previous blog post, I described my personal journey in establishing a home yoga practice. In this post I examine three sutras that relate to that experience. The obstacles that we all face when trying to establish a home…

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Overcoming the Obstacles to Yoga Practice – Part 1

November 1, 2017

Part 1     Personal Experience By Shayna Ogden, October 2017 Edited by Cara Steele (thanks Cara) Often students ask me how to start a personal home yoga practice. It is easy to dismiss this question as silly. Surely the aspirant just gets on the mat and practises the poses that they know. But students and teachers alike know that it…

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Benefits of a Yoga Retreat

August 31, 2017

by Shayna Ogden Often students ask me why they should go on a yoga retreat. I answer honestly “to do more yoga”. But this doesn’t really do justice to their sincere question. Attending a residential yoga retreat is a completely different experience to attending yoga classes on a regular basis. Below I have tried to outline a few major points…

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yoga training

Reflections on Passing my Iyengar Yoga Introductory Assessment

June 28, 2017

On the 7th of May, this year I received the news by the Iyengar assessment panel that I had passed my Introductory Level Iyengar yoga assessment, I responded with tears of relief. The possibility of not passing the assessment had felt very real, I had participated in previous Iyengar Yoga assessments volunteering as a mock student in the past, so I had seen how daunting the process could be and I had heard that many trainee teachers failed their assessment for various reasons, such as their practice being floppy and out of alignment or their teaching skills being too casual and not up to the Iyengar standard.

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The Joy of Being a Student

June 14, 2017

By Shayna Ogden I arrived in India keen to begin classes at RIMYI. I hadn’t been for four years and was eager to have my body opened and knowledge poured into it to facilitate further yoga self-discovery. It was late Saturday afternoon, too late for a class, and the Institute is closed on Sundays. So we (J.H. and myself) chose…

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Conversion to Inversions

March 5, 2016

Why do we do inversions in Iyengar yoga? by Shayna Ogden Sitting in my local library chatting to an erstwhile yoga student, I was contemplating subject material for my next blog instalment. I asked her if she had any burning questions to ask about yoga. What is it that she most wanted to know about yoga? “Inversions” she replied. “What…

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Why do we focus so much on standing poses in Iyengar Yoga?

March 5, 2016

by Shayna Ogden When beginner students first start Iyengar yoga, it is typical for the teacher to introduce the standing poses first (of which there are eighteen). The standing poses are strong dynamic asanas that can be difficult to perform initially. When taught and performed correctly, standing poses educate the legs, teaching them how to straighten and support body weight…

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yoga for beginners

Why are we concerned about menstruation in Iyengar yoga?

December 2, 2015

by Shayna Ogden An Iyengar yoga teacher will usually enquire as to who is menstruating each class. For some people this can be an awkward or embarrassing question. It is not meant to be. In yoga, it is advised that menstruating women practise a sequence specific to their condition rather than join in with the general class. This is because…

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basic yoga

Home Practice

August 26, 2014

By Jules White. ‘Why not meet up and practice once a week together?’ Based upon these wise words of our yoga teacher, Jo and I embarked on a whole new world of home practice. As you can see from our photo we listened and gave it a shot. We practiced for about an hour with all the distractions you can…

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yoga poses

The Importance of Practice and Being Earnest

September 28, 2011

Many yoga students often ask me whether or not they should practise. Yoga practice will make a significant difference to your body and your life. It will make you feel good about yourself.

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