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Yoga is a silent teacher, that helps us find a safe place within ourselves, a place like a sanctuary, which nobody can take away from us. We just need to know how to get there and yoga can allow us to find our way in. Once we know the way, we can always come back to it.

I began practising yoga when I was very anxious in my life and I slowly learned that there is a safe space within me. In a silent experiential way, yoga has told me how to get there. My enthusiasm and love of teaching yoga comes out of my gratitude, of being deeply thankful, for yoga. It has been a lifesaver for me.

It is good to have some discipline with yoga so that we are building a path. It is like creating a clearing first really, hard to find our way in the beginning, to that place within.  We might not even realise that it exists. We don’t know where we are going, and then we make that clearing, that passage a little wider, and slowly it becomes more like a track, and then gradually a path.
We begin to strengthen that path within ourselves, through discipline, and once we know how to get to that safe place within, to the sanctuary, our sanctuary, we can always return.

I love to share yoga with other people because I feel that yoga changed my life, saved my life and increased the quality of my life endlessly. So out of that love and gratitude, I feel honored to share with other people the tools I have learned from the vast repertoire of life skills that yoga provides us with. Subtle and yet powerful tools and practices that work for me, which I have been practicing with my students over the years.
Some of which have also suffered from anxiety, like me, and others who have experienced highly stressful situations, looking to find respite, and others who simply want to stay fit, healthy, flexible and quieten their minds.

Part of my path as a yoga teacher is sharing techniques and practices that have helped me and others deal with anxiety, calming down our nervous system, bringing us into relaxation. Creating peace of mind and tapping into our inner resources.

Practices that help us strengthen the body, build resilience for the nervous system and allowing our mind to find peace, to calmly settle within. From my personal experience of living with anxiety, I know the importance of finding inner balance on all levels of our being and how challenging that can be.

Yoga becomes our ongoing support and the more we put into our yoga practice, the more it cares for us. It is strengthening that part in us. It is as if we are sitting in a safe room, a safe space within ourselves.

moving inwards – finding peace

BACKGROUND
I have been practicing yoga for over 35 years. My journey of exploring moving with my body started when I was 14 years old in a little dance studio in the backstreets of Berlin, Germany, in the late 1970s, where I began to take tap dancing classes.

In my late teens I continued “working” with my body when I went to DIE ETAGE (acrobatics and dance school) in Berlin,  focussing on tap-dance, acrobatics and tightrope walking.  My search naturally developed into exploring the deeper aspect of the body-mind-spirit relationship, bringing me to yoga.

STUDIES
– in the late 1980’s I started taking Yoga classes with Shanti Gowans learning Shanti Yoga, Melbourne, Australia
– then Iyengar Yoga with Frank Jesse and Murray Lazenby, Melbourne, Australia
– after practising yoga for many years I undertook three years of yogic study and teacher training in the Satyananda Yoga tradition at the Rocklyn Ashram, Victoria and at the Mangrove Mountain Ashram Yoga Academy in NSW, Australia
– completed Teacher Training Level 1 in 2007 and Level 2 in 2012
– completed the 200 hour Yin Yoga & Anatomy training with Yin Therapy taught by Markus Giessen and Karen Sang, (students of Paul Grilley and Sarah Powers)
– undertook a 50 hours Yin Yoga training with Mindful Yoga Academy
– Mindfulness training with Dr Craig Hassad, author of “Mindfulness for Life”
– various intensives with Donna Farhi, the widely published yoga teacher
– I am a registered level 2 teacher with Yoga Australia

BELIEFS
One of the most important aspects about yoga is that we actually have to do it if we want it to support us. Yoga is an experiential practice. Developing a routine with our yoga practice in our lives is very important. I have an established daily yoga practice and believe yoga is a way of life; applying yogic principles, making conscious decisions with integrity, creating a peaceful environment within and around oneself.  To the classes I teach I bring my experience, passion and commitment to yoga.  I have been running yoga courses in Melbourne, Malmsbury, Kyneton, Chewton and Castlemaine since early 2000 and am now also offering live courses online.  I have taught private yoga courses; classes in the Youth Justice System; meditation classes at the State Library of Victoria, individually tailored one-to-one sessions and I create individual practice plans for home practices for people who are ready to delve deeper into their own yoga enquiry.

DANCING 
Having started dancing and moving with my body in my early teenage years I am happy to say, that in my private time I still love dancing.  I have taken up the practice of 5Rhythms, which is a movement meditation practice devised by Gabrielle Roth that draws from indigenous and world traditions using elements of shamanistic, mystical, ecstatic and eastern philosophies.  It is described as a soul journey drawing from Gestalt therapy, transpersonal psychology and the human potential movement. Fundamental to the practice is the idea that everything is energy, moving the body, releasing the heart, freeing the mind, so that one can connect to the essence of the soul, the source of inspiration.  I have undertaken workshops with Jonathan Horan (NY), Tammy Burstein (NY) and Kate Sheela (LA), (Waves, Heartbeat, Trance, Cycles, Mirrors).

what my students are saying

Iris is a wonderful yoga teacher. I feel Iris has the ability to assist in healing others through her teaching and she is able to reach out and connect with people of different ages and stages in life. She is very compassionate and has a warmth, and a lovely sense of humour which she brings to her teaching. She has a commitment to yoga and a daily practice and way of life which shines through in her teaching. Iris understands the power of yoga as a tool to manage anxiety and stress. She is always learning and bringing these teachings to her classes so that they are dynamic and interesting. Iris brings a spirituality and teaching style to her classes which is inspiring. Iris’s classes help me manage anxiety and return to my true self. She inspires me to be better!

Fiona J., Australia

I love attending Iris's yoga classes. The experience settles me and builds my sense of an inner, calm and focussed centre. The sequences of poses she presents are so carefully selected and she always allows time to settle into each position as she makes gentle comments that stimulate my awareness of my body and help me to understand and experience the poses more deeply each time. Each time we repeat a pose in a new class, there is a freshness to her approach and it often feels as if we are doing the pose for the first time. The meditation and breathing that end the class have developed my ability to deeply enter an inner meditative state that is restful as well as invigorating. This has had wonderful benefits for me in assisting me to deal with stress, particularly at this time of COVID. Thank you Iris!

Prue V., Australia

Iris has a talent for making you feel at ease while she gently talks you through how to get into each pose without pushing too hard, or causing any injury. As a health professional this is very important to me. Her knowledge of anatomy and body systems is excellent. I particularly love that each session has a breathing and meditation component. After each session I feel uplifted and more relaxed than when we start. I have noticed that my flexibility is improving and so is my ability to cope with stress. Iris cares about her students and creates a relaxed atmosphere in which to practice in. I look forward to my weekly session, especially the part where all I have to do is lie on the floor under a blanket and breath!

Lisa Y., Australia

I would recommend Iris as an ideal teacher for beginners; for those looking to extend their understanding of yoga; for people needing remedial therapy for body and/or mind; or for those just wishing to treat themselves to some weekly self-care. Iris has a deep understanding of the Satyananda tradition and of customising its poses and practices to her students’ strengths, limitations, body types and health conditions. She is a kind, considerate and patient instructor who gives clear, detailed direction. Iris has helped me to enjoy and expand my poses, breathing exercises and meditation after returning to yoga from some time away. This has given me confidence and brought focus to my sadhana. Thankyou Iris for the dedication, experience and enthusiasm you bring to your teaching!

Beck S., Australia

Iris’s classes have enabled me to relax and unwind while providing some much-needed stretching and body awareness in areas I would otherwise neglect. During our time, we have gradually developed more awareness via progressive development of breathing practices, which are guided closely and in detail by Iris. I have been able to reach a deep meditative state which lasts beyond the class. Having dealt with anxiety and stress over the years, Iris’s classes have given me some powerful relaxation tools which I can apply at any time. The classes reinforce these practices and give me a chance to ‘reset’ each week.

Kain W., Australia