Sheila Haswell

Sheila HaswellI have been teaching Iyengar Yoga for almost 50 years. During that time I have visited the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune on several occasions, the most recent being in 2019. When possible I attended classes with BKS Iyengar in London and Paris and with Geeta Iyengar in the UK and the US.

I qualified as a Senior Iyengar Yoga Teacher (now called Level 3) in 2000 and I have given most of my working life to studying and teaching both in the UK and abroad.

I began my yoga experience whilst at university. My mum Lilian Biggs (also my teacher until her death in 2005), sent me a copy of ‘Light on Yoga’ by BKS Iyengar. She had just come across this form of yoga and was sure I would also be interested. I learnt and practised from the book for two years before I was able to find a class to attend, but the seed was sown deep and I have continued with the practice which has become a part of who I am.

Sheila and her Mum with BKS Iyengar (Pune 1994)

Sheila and her Mum with BKS Iyengar (Pune 1994)

I qualified to teach Iyengar Yoga in 1980 but have now taught without a break since 1987, after the birth of my third child. I continued to upgrade my teaching certificate with further study, reaching Junior level in 1991 and Senior level in 2000. I am an Assessor for IY(UK) – the Iyengar Yoga association of the UK – as well as being a mentor and trainer for new teachers and for those who are upgrading their teaching qualifications. I am a member of the Board of Directors for IY(UK), and have served on committees for many years, currently as chair of the Therapy Committee, and serving on the Executive Committee and the Assessment and Training Committee.

I was the senior teacher and co-director of Sarva Iyengar Yoga Institute for 12 years but when that came to an end in 2014 because the lease expired, I was determined to find a new yoga space in which to continue my teaching. The Iyengar Yoga Shala (High Wycombe) is that space.

Sheila’s practice for senior assessments (summer 2000)