About Us

About Us

Our history

The Iyengar Yoga Institute Maida Vale is London’s original Iyengar yoga centre. We’ve been welcoming new students and experienced practitioners for more than thirty years, since B.K.S. Iyengar first taught classes here.

Located in Maida Vale, ten minutes from central London, the Institute is open daily, from early in the morning until late at night. We offer more than fifty classes a week, catering for all levels from complete beginners to more advanced practitioners, in award-winning bright, spacious studios.

As a charity, we’re run on a not-for-profit basis with a commitment to offer affordable yoga to students of all ages.


Founded by teachers

The Iyengar Yoga Institute in Maida Vale was founded on this site in 1984 to provide Iyengar students in London with a dedicated teaching centre. It was financed by contributions and fund-raising activities by its early members and also from B.K.S. Iyengar himself, who taught here and gave public demonstrations. From 1968, senior UK students gave evening classes through the Inner London Education Authority. Mr Iyengar visited each year to assess their teaching, but there was no permanent space to work in. Some classes were held in school gyms, while others had to make do with draughty rooms, noise and dirty floors.

 

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B.K.S. Iyengar with some early students outside our original building

The original Institute was formerly an artist’s studio and its members did a lot of the conversion work themselves. When B.K.S. Iyengar came to open the building, he lived there for a while. As students recall, it became his home away from home on visits to Britain. Over the next ten years plans were made to create a bigger and purpose-built studio. In 1994, the old studio was replaced by our present premises, which were officially inaugurated by Mr Iyengar in 1997. After visiting the Maida Vale site many times and helping fund the new building he explained in his speech ‘I feel I am part and parcel of this building from my heart, my head and my soul!’

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BKS Iyengar at the official opening of the new building with His Excellency the High Commissioner of India Dr L. M. Singhvi

See the full set of pictures from the blessing of the new building >

Read BKS Iyengar’s speech from our official opening >