History of Iyengar Yoga in NZ

Yoga is the study of the functioning of the body, the mind and the intellect in the process of attaining freedom.

Yoga is the study of the functioning of the body, the mind and the intellect in the process of attaining freedom.

Geeta Iyengar

Timeline of Iyengar Yoga in
New Zealand

  • 111960s and 70s
    A small group of New Zealanders found their way to Pune including Martyn Jackson and Guyon Neutze. Martyn began teaching Iyengar yoga in the Hamilton area in 1975 and Guyon in Wellington later in the 1970s
  • 22Early 1980’s
    Martyn Jackson ran Iyengar yoga teacher training in Sydney – attended by among others, Wendy Brown and Mike Byron-Mackay from New Zealand.
  • 331984
    The Iyengar Yoga School of New Zealand was opened in Symonds Street Auckland. The teachers were Nicky Knoff, her partner James, and Mike Byron-Mackay. Monica Haar, Cornelia Regnier and Paul Barton attended classes there. Wendy Brown opened The Yoga Room in Christchurch around the same time.
  • 44Mid 1980s
    New Zealand was supported by teachers from Australia including Shandor Remete and John Leebold who conducted workshops and teacher training here. Iyengar yoga schools were being opened across New Zealand as its popularity spread and more yoga teachers were trained in the Iyengar method.
  • 551986
    Frances De Haas commenced her teacher training under the mentorship of Wendy Brown.
  • 661990
    The first NZ Iyengar Yoga teacher training 2-year course was started at Mike Byron-Mackay’s school in Herne Bay.
  • 77November 1992
    B.K.S Iyengar accompanied by Jawahar Bangera and Birjoo Mehta came to Auckland as part of a tour of Australasia. They conducted classes and teacher training workshops over the 4 days they spent here.
  • 88Early 1993
    The B.K.S Iyengar Yoga Association of New Zealand (IYANZ) was formed after a meeting of about 50 people. The first committee was voted in comprising Monica Haar, Wendy Brown, Mande White, Mike Byron-Mackay and Duncan Henry.
  • 99From the early 1990s until the 2020 pandemic
    When travel restrictions were imposed, New Zealand teachers regularly travelled (some annually, others less frequently) to India to attend classes at RIMYI, the Iyengar Institute in Pune.
  • 1010Mid 1990s
    The first Introductory Level Assessment was held in Auckland. Wendy Brown and Duncan Henry were joined by Shandor Remete, Peter Thompson and Pixie Lillas from Australia to form the assessment panel. IYANZ (now known as IYNZ) continues to hold annual teacher certification assessments according to the syllabi and guidelines set out by RIMYI and NZ now has close to 120 certified teachers.
  • 1111During the 1990s
    Felicity Green, a senior teacher from the USA was invited by Wendy Brown to run workshops and teacher training in NZ during the 1990s. She made a significant contribution to teacher development both in the South and North Islands.
  • 1212October 1995
    15 New Zealanders attended the Australasian Intensive held at RIMYI in Pune taught by Geeta Iyengar assisted by her father, B.K.S Iyengar.
  • 1313Early 2000’s
    New Zealand had enough assessors to conduct 4 of the 5 levels of certification, independent of Australia.
  • 1414May 2003
    Geeta Iyengar visited Australasia and taught Conventions in Sydney and Auckland.
  • 1515Since the mid 1990's
    IYNZ has held annual workshops(conventions) inviting guest teachers from around the world including: India - Rajiv and Swati Chanchani, Jawahar Bangera, Gulnaaz Dashti Australia - Kay Parry, Peter Thomson, Pixie Lillas, Peter Scott, Simon Marrocco As well as Faeq Biria (France) and Manouso Manos (USA)
  • 1616August 2014
    B.K.S Iyengar passed away at the age of 94
  • 1717December 2018
    Geeta Iyengar passed away at the age of 74. Geeta was a massive part of Iyengar yoga teaching in Pune and around the world. She wrote a book called Yoga for Women which is an instrumental book in our learning and practice.
  • 1818November 2018
    IYNZ held its annual Convention in Raglan, Waikato to commemorate B.K.S Iyengar’s Birth Centenary.
  • 19192018
    The association changed its name to Iyengar Yoga New Zealand (IYNZ)
  • 2020May 2019
    IYNZ Convention in Christchurch – classes were taught by NZ senior teachers Monica Haar, Anne-Marie Tweedie and Melodie Batchelor
  • 2121May 2020
    Due to the global pandemic, yoga teaching went ‘online’. IYNZ Annual Convention with guest teacher Abhijata Iyengar was cancelled and instead, a workshop was held via Zoom with Abhijata teaching live from Pune.
  • 2222June 2021
    Raya Uma Datta, a senior teacher from RIMYI who had been invited to teach at the 2021 Convention, taught the workshop via Zoom from Pune
  • 2323May 2022
    IYNZ held its first in-person Convention since the 2020 pandemic in Raglan with visiting Australian teacher Glenn Ceresoli

It is through the alignment of the body that I discovered the alignment of my mind, self, and intelligence.

B.K.S. Iyengar

B.K.S. Iyengar

Attend an event or workshop

Certified Iyengar yoga teachers from Wellington, Auckland and around Aotearoa New Zealand regularly host yoga retreats and workshops. Find an Iyengar yoga event near you.

Seated Asana & Arm Balancing Intensive with Monica Haar

Suitable for teachers, trainees and experienced students

Sue Everett Matariki Weekend Workshop

General and Yoga Immersion Workshop

Piha Workshop with Vanessa Greenwood

Last Saturday of each month

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