Rachel Lee

My yoga journey spans 40 years, starting with a deep grounding in the Iyengar system and more recently in Knoff Yoga, with complimentary practice in Ashtanga Vinyasa, Yin Yoga and Scaravelli-inspired.

I have completed over 600 hours of teacher training since 2001, in Yoga, Meditation and Pranayama, achieved the Yoga Alliance 200 RYT, Knoff Yoga Foundation Certificate, Anatomy and Physiology diploma (Otago Uni) and teaching certificates in Yin Yoga and Aerial Yoga.

I believe that Yoga is for everyone and my aim as a teacher is to demystify the practice and make it accessible, fun, safe and above all, beneficial for every student regardless of their starting place.

The Iyengar approach has given me a deep understanding of the principles of alignment and this strong, intelligent and focused style of Yoga continues to influence my teaching today.

I am hugely indebted to the many talented teachers that I have been fortunate to study with and my purpose as a teacher is to pass on their knowledge and channel their unique gifts to the best of my ability.

My biography is my way of honouring my teachers

Peter Henneveld, under his guidance, in 1998 I completed a 2-year teaching apprenticeship in the Iyengar style and gained valuable teaching experience from him and his sister Lynda Miers-Henneveld at Yoga Central Wellington.

Janette Browne, an Intermediate Iyengar teacher, an incredibly knowledgeable teacher with a wonderful instinctive way of practising and a great sense of fun. From Janette I’ve learnt a huge amount about adapting the practice to all different types of bodies.

Surata, who I first met in mid-80’s on a week’s retreat in Spain, when was, by his own admission, a “sergeant major Iyengar teacher”. He has since trained with Pete Blakeby in the Scaravelli-inspired approach.  Surata is wise, compassionate and hugely funny and I laugh and learn so much on his retreats. Through him I’ve learnt how to make the practice fun and soften the hard edges of Iyengar with the Scaravelli approach of using gravity and breath to release the spine.

Nicky Knoff, truly a master teacher with nearly 50 years’ experience and direct study with BKS Iyengar, Pattabhi Jois, Desikachar and Bikram. I gained my first 200 hour RYT with Nicky in 2003 on a rigorous, intensive 8 week training programme in Knoff Yoga – a new system developed by Nicky and her partner James Bryan.  In 2019, I repeated my 200 RYT training with Nicky on a 3 week intensive in Sri Lanka, gaining the Knoff Yoga Foundation Certification.

Norman Blair, one of the foremost Yin Yoga teachers and published authors in the UK.  I’ve learnt much from his thoughtful, considered, compassionate approach.

Maitripusha, her wise and compassionate approach to teaching meditation, has fundamentally changed my own approach to meditation and my teaching.

Other workshops and teacher trainings I’ve attended have been with Leslie Kaminoff - internationally known for his experience in Yoga and Breath anatomy and author of Yoga Anatomy and David Swenson - recognized as one of the world's foremost practitioners and instructors of Ashtanga yoga. Silvia Prescott and Silva Mehta, both direct students of BKS Iyengar and instrumental in bringing Iyengar Yoga to the West.

Thank you to all my teachers, may I come some way to living up to your high standards.

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