Showing posts with label Nancy Gilgoff. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Nancy Gilgoff. Show all posts

17 February 2015

Ashtanga yoga with Nancy Gilgoff in London 2015

8, 9 AND 10 SEPTEMBER 2015

We are delighted to announce that internationally renowned ashtanga yoga teacher, Nancy Gilgoff, will be returning to Yoga Mama and The Putney Clinic of Physical Therapy in September for three days of Mysore-style ashtanga yoga workshops.

This is a unique opportunity to practice with Nancy, in her only teaching dates in London this year. Book early if you would like to attend, as places will go quickly.


Nancy is widely respected as one of the greatest pioneers of ashtanga yoga to the West. She was one of the first westerners to study ashtanga yoga over 30 years ago with K.Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. She is the director of Maui's House of Yoga and Zen. Her studies have led her to the dharma teachings of the Dalai Lama and the expression of love and compassion for all beings. We are honoured to host Nancy's only workshops in London this year.


  • Tuesday 8th September (8:30am - 11:30am): Mysore style practice followed by Q & A and examining the breath in the practice
  • Wednesday 9th September (8.30am - 11:30am): Mysore style practice followed by Q & A and meditation
  • Thursday 10th September (8:30am): Mysore style practice only



The price of these workshops is as follows:
  • Day 1: £40
  • Day 2: £40
  • Day 3: £25
  • All three days: £105*

* EARLY BIRD OFFER: £95 if booked before 30th June 2015

To book your place on this workshop, call us on 0208 789 3881 or send an email to

04 January 2015

September Mysore classes with Nancy Gilgoff

8, 9 AND 10 SEPTEMBER 2015

We are delighted to announce that internationally renowned ashtanga yoga teacher, Nancy Gilgoff, will be returning to Yoga Mama in September for three days of Mysore style workshops.

This is a unique opportunity to practice with Nancy, in her only teaching dates in London this year. Book early if you would like to attend, as places will go quickly.


Bookings: call 020 8789 3881 or email

20 July 2014

Karavandasana "crawl up" demonstration with Nancy Gilgoff.

I recently did a 2nd series Ashtanga yoga adjustment clinic with Nancy Gilgoff in Berlin.
Here Nancy shows how to crawl up from lotus position when learning this pose-She also recommend practicing lotus legs whilst in headstand, to gain strength and find the lotus without using your hands- Nancy is nearer to 70 then she is to 60-what an inspiring woman she is. 

18 September 2013

Manju Jois in London

I feel really lucky to have practised yoga with the two people I would call the most influential teachers in my yoga practice, Nancy Gilgoff and Sharath Jois, here in London this summer (see previous blog items).

Nancy has of course known the Jois family for many, many years and recommended practising ashtanga yoga with Manju, if I got the opportunity.

StillPoint yoga London hosted him here in London and I managed to get along to one led ashtanga yoga class. It was a wonderful experience and I can only describe it as a "soft and joyful" practice.

It is always interesting to see how the same yoga asanas (more or less), are taught differently by different teachers. Manju counted us into the pose but not once we were in it. I glanced at him in in what seemed to be a very long Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana and saw that he was counting to himself throughout. This really made me smile. The long pranayama and chanting were the best and was indeed the pranayama practice Nancy had taught me this summer. If you get a chance to spend a bit of time with Manju on his travels then take it. He will be in Maui with Nancy in November at her shala The house of yoga and Zen.

12 May 2013

Yoga keep it in the family. Parampara?

My daughter has been practising yoga on and off for a number of years. She and my son grew up in a household where yoga is a way of life for me. I have never imposed yoga on my family, but I have to say I love having my daughter in my classes. She has started to have a much deeper understanding of yoga and this understanding is helping her through a very difficult and stressful period of time as she prepares for her degree show at Central Saint Martins in London.

I am currently her only yoga teacher but I am hoping she will be able to practice with my own teachers, Nancy Gilgoff and with Sharath Jois when they are in London over the summer.

I remember discussing with Nancy many years ago how it felt to see her daughter practising with her. She had said she always loved looking through her legs and seeing Vanessa on a mat beside her. Vanessa now assists her quite often when she is teaching around the world.

My daughter and I discuss yoga. All limbs. Not too much because in a way by trying to practice the other aspects of yoga in my own life,  my children have adopted the principles of the yama and niyama without even realising. It is in their bones. I am passing on what was given to me by my own teachers. While I am definitely not claiming to be a guru (see below), the linage from Krishnamachari through to my girl child continues; related to each other or otherwise.

Mysore practise together and then a bit of tuition on jumping forward and back.

The text on Parampara from KPJAYI Mysore

Parampara is knowledge that is passed in succession from teacher to student. It is a Sanskrit word that denotes the principle of transmitting knowledge in its most valuable form; knowledge based on direct and practical experience. It is the basis of any lineage: the teacher and student form the links in the chain of instruction that has been passed down for thousands of years. In order for yoga instruction to be effective, true and complete, it should come from within parampara. 
Knowledge can be transferred only after the student has spent many years with an experienced guru, a teacher to whom he has completely surrendered in body, mind, speech and inner being. Only then is he fit to receive knowledge. This transfer from teacher to student is parampara.
The dharma, or duty, of the student is to practice diligently and to strive to understand the teachings of the guru. The perfection of knowledge – and of yoga — lies beyond simply mastering the practice; knowledge grows from the mutual love and respect between student and teacher, a relationship that can only be cultivated over time. 
The teacher’s dharma is to teach yoga exactly as he learned it from his guru. The teaching should be presented with a good heart, with good purpose and with noble intentions. There should be an absence of harmful motivations. The teacher should not mislead the student in any way or veer from what he has been taught. 
The bonding of teacher and student is a tradition reaching back many thousands of years in India, and is the foundation of a rich, spiritual heritage. The teacher can make his students steady – he can make them firm where they waver. He is like a father or mother who corrects each step in his student’s spiritual practice. 
The yoga tradition exists in many ancient lineages, but today some are trying to create new ones, renouncing or altering their guru’s teachings in favor of new ways. Surrendering to parampara, however, is like entering a river of teachings that has been flowing for thousands of years, a river that age-old masters have followed into an ocean of knowledge. Even so, not all rivers reach the ocean, so one should be mindful that the tradition he or she follows is true and selfless. 
Many attempt to scale the peaks in the Himalayas, but not all succeed. Through courage and surrender, however, one can scale the peaks of knowledge by the grace of the guru, who is the holder of knowledge, and who works tirelessly for his students.

10 March 2012

The Eight Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga-Ashtanga confluence

This video is just fabulous-Thank you to the person who posted it. How wonderful to have all this information, from all these amazing first generation Ashtangi-So much shared knowledge and wisdom and not an asana in sight. 

05 March 2012

Nancy Gilgoff London Ashtanga Yoga workshops 2012

Nancy Gilgoff London Ashtanga Yoga workshops
26th-28th June 2012.

Nancy Gilgoff Yoga workshop 10

It is a great privilege for us to be hosting Nancy Gilgoffs only London yoga workshops.

Nancy is widely respected as one of the greatest pioneers of ashtanga yoga to the West. 
She was one of the first westerners to study ashtanga yoga, over 30 years ago with K.Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. 
She is the director of Maui’s House of Yoga and Zen Her studies have led her to the dharma teachings of the Dalai Lama and the expression of love and compassion for all beings. 
Nancy travels throughout the US, Europe and Japan sharing her experience of yoga. We are very honoured to have her come and share her wisdom with us, on her rare trip to London.

Workshop dates and format.

Tuesday 26th June 8,30am -11.30am ; Led class followed by Q&A and examining the breath in the practise.
Wednesday 27th June 8.30am-11.30 ; Mysore style practise followed by Q&A and loving kindness meditation
Thursday. 8.30am- Mysore style practise only.

£40 1st day
 £40 2nd day
 £25 3rd day
£105  Early bird offer if all three days booked together and booked before the 31st of March £95.00. To request a booking form contact

Nancy has requested you attend all three sessions where ever possible.
Venue The Putney clinic of physical therapy.
2nd floor  266 upper Richmond road, Putney London SW15 6TQ.

For venue location  

09 June 2011

Peeling the god-damn yoga onion

The past seven months have been a pretty difficult time in my life. As a family, we lost two friends to suicide, one of whom was 18 years old. My daughter became really unwell and we spent months trying to discover what was wrong and what we could do for her? The house was burgled, the dog had a major operation, the Vespa was stolen, the car blah, blah blah... Life stuff! Shit happens to everyone!

Throughout this time, I consistently showed up on my yoga mat. I showed up and cried. I showed and did standing poses. I showed up and did what ever I could, but I showed up.

For me, when I am in emotional pain, I feel it physically in my body so I had to sit with myself at times and allow those emotions to surface; something that is not always easy. I had to with draw from the debating society as my physical yoga practice felt like it was going backwards and I had to accept this. Binds I once had were no longer there, poses I once loved became my nemesis, I continued to place my mat on the floor and tried my best to practice non-judgement.

As my daughter is recovering and the grief of losing friends is subsiding, my yoga practice has shifted into a whole new realm. Going through this period where I had to slow down and practice compassion for myself, has taken me to a much deeper level, both on and off the mat.

Yoga is sometimes described like the peeling of an onion, the layers come off and you go a bit deeper, but you can feel a bit raw as the layers disappear. Having just spent 4 days with my yoga teacher, I was given a whole new yoga practice. I was not looking for new poses, but I was given them; not one pose but many!

I have practised some of the intermediate Ashtanga yoga series in the past, but never liked this. I have a completely different fearless relationship with the poses and with myself. Compassion, patience and love feature in my yoga practice, and in my life...

I am deeply grateful to my yoga teacher, Nancy Gilgoff, who has been a guiding light on the way and also to her teacher, Sri K Pattabhi Jois, both of whom have spent many years peeling the god-damn onion and showing us how to do it.

16 February 2011

Casa Yoga Spain, workshop with Nancy Gilgoff

I have just booked a place on this workshop with Nancy Gilgoff in Tarifa, Spain. Adam Keen & Theresa Appleby have set up a beautiful yoga space in an area renowned for its windsurfing beaches. I had been trying to arrange to practice yoga with Nancy in her home studio in Maui, but life was getting in the way of making this big trip from London. I am delighted to be able to take the short flight and practice yoga with Nancy. She has so much wisdom and is always willing to share it. I would highly recommend practising Ashtanga with the grand dame, Nancy.

June 2nd to June 6th: Nancy Gilgoff - 5 Day Practitioner’s Workshop

Nancy began practicing Ashtanga yoga over 30 years ago with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, and was one of the first Western women to study with him in Mysore, India. As a result of their long and close association Nancy is able to teach with a style and touch that comes directly from 'Guruji' who has told her to teach the same way he taught her, advice which she took to heart and continues to follow today. She has also been inspired by the teaching of Baba Hari Dass and continues to pursue the dharma teachings of the Dalai Lama and incorporates Loving Kindness Meditation into all of her workshops. Nancy is thrilled to be assisted on this workshop by her daughter, Vanessa.

For details contact:

Aerial view of the beach in Tarifa, Spain

View of streets of Tarifa, Spain

28 January 2011

03 November 2010

Nancy Gilgoff's Ashtanga yoga workshop in Wiltshire

I recently had the pleasure of attending Nancy Gilgoff’s Ashtanga workshop, the only one she will be holding in the UK this year. I have practised with her on many occasions and it is always a privilege for me to spend time with one of the world’s most renowned Ashtanga yoga teachers.

Nancy was one of the first Western women to practice Ashtanga yoga with Sri Pattabhi Jois in India back in the 70s. She arrived at his shala with a lot of physical pain and, with the help of Pattabhi Jois, she was able to begin her wonderful Ashtanga yoga journey, which has now continued for more than 30 years. She was able to work through her physical pain using this physical form of yoga.

Nancy has also studied with the "silent sadhu", Baba Hari Dass, and will sometimes refer to his teachings. She says that what she learnt from him has also helped her as a teacher.

I missed the Friday evening led class, but I could tell immediately when I joined the Saturday intermediate class that there had been a few “add ons” in the Friday night practice. Nancy is very traditional in her teaching and made it very clear that some of the “add ons” were not Ashtanga and had no place in her class; all said in her usual calm caring way.

Having missed the first session I went straight into intermediate (2nd series). This brought up a lot of fear for me. In the previous few days, I had had some really bad news; that an old friend of mine had taken his own life and I had been grief stricken. When practising the primary series, in those few days prior to the workshop, I cried throughout the seated postures. My fear of back bending (heart opening) was that I might be overwhelmed, this thankfully was not the case.

Nancy is a very intuitive hands-on yoga teacher. Like her own teacher Patthabi Jois, she is able to feel what a student needs in their yoga practice and is able to assist them in a kind and compassionate way. I trust her adjustments and her experience; to know when to back off or to move forward in the yoga practice.

I had mentioned to Nancy when I arrived at the workshop that I had had a” difficult week” this was enough information for her to let me be. I worked through the back bending sequence and my personal grief in that workshop, allowing myself to stop where appropriate for me.

In Urdhva Dhanurasana I felt a a slight pain in my left upper chest (pectoral muscle) and I thought perhaps I had a minor injury, but it disappeared as quickly as it arrived. I think it was my body moving through and letting go of some of the grief.

I enjoy Nancy’s off-the-mat time as much as the practice. She has a lot of wisdom and is a householder yogi. She has a grown up daughter and has lived life, whilst continuing her dedication to her own practice and teaching; something I aspire to in my own life.

13 October 2009

Yoga weekend with Nancy Gilgoff II

Here are some pictures taken during the yoga weekend in Wiltshire last weekend.

Nancy Gilgoff

Nancy Gilgoff and myself

Photo taken during yoga session

Yoga weekend with Nancy Gilgoff

I have just returned from a fantastic weekend in Wiltshire where I attended Ashtanga yoga workshops with Nancy Gilgoff. Nancy was one of the first western women to practice Ashtanga yoga in Mysore with Pattabhi Jois (Guruji) back in the 70's. She and her partner at the time, David Williams, brought SRI Pattabhi Jois to the USA and opened up the door of yoga to the west.

Nancy has been practising this style of yoga for more than 34 years and has an amazing ability to share her knowledge of Ashtanga yoga, as it was taught to her, by her guru, Guruji. As the Ashtanga yoga practice has been embraced by the West, it sometimes gets slightly diluted or changed. Change will always naturally occur as traditions are passed down, but sometimes the changes are not always for the best. Nancy has kept true to the Ashtanga traditional teachings, but is able to see when a western body needs to do something differently to continue on their yogic journey.

I am lucky enough to have practiced with Nancy on a number of occasions and in various locations around the world. I have always found her wisdom inspiring. As a woman it is great to have a female yoga teacher for guidance and, as Nancy is also a mother, she understands the practicalities of trying to juggle yoga and family life. Nancy is an amazing yoga teacher who is able to teach this dynamic style of yoga, in a soft and kind way.

if she is passing through near you, get your mat into her class and experience her wisdom for yourself.