Our Yoga Teachers

At the Ribble Valley Yoga Studio our Iyengar teachers are fully certificated by the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Yoga Institute (RIMYI) in Pune India and are experienced Iyengar Yoga teachers, committed to ongoing professional development so you can be sure of safe teaching.

All Iyengar yoga teachers are trained to rigorously high standards and undergo a well-organised programme of extended training lasting a number of years after having trained regularly with a qualified teacher for several years.  After achieving the Introductory Certificate Iyengar yoga teachers must continue training regularly and complete professional development training each year in order to maintain their membership of the Association.   Teachers often move on, with class teaching experience to the next level, ‘Junior Intermediate’, and are encouraged to travel to the Iyengar Yoga Institute in Pune, South India for a month-long course. In this way the care and precision that characterises Iyengar yoga is maintained.

These high teaching standards are part of the reason Iyengar Yoga is the most widely performed method of yoga worldwide and why Iyengar teaching certificates are internationally recognised and are a benchmark of excellence.

Only certified teachers teach genuine Iyengar yoga. The teachers at RVY hold the Iyengar Yoga Teachers Certification Mark; a sign of excellence, clarity and depth of understanding. To use this logo, they have to be properly trained and maintain their development.

The Iyengar method is systematic and thorough.  It is carefully structured so you make safe and steady progress.  The method is very precise with great attention given to correct practice.  You start with asanas (postures), including savasana (relaxation) and gradually more difficult asanas are introduced as your depth of understanding increases.  After some time, in accordance with the Yoga Sutras, pranayama (breathing technique) is introduced.

The Studio’s teachers, Helen Blackett and Heather Brennan are both Intermediate Junior level certificated teachers and attend regular classes and workshops with more senior teachers, at Iyengar UK conventions and the RIMYI in Pune India to develop their own practice and teaching.

Helen Blackett

I began practising Iyengar Yoga over 20 years ago and immediately noticed how the practice helped to balance the stresses and strains of a busy life. I qualified as an Introductory Teacher in 2013 and and currently hold an Intermediate Junior 2 teaching certificate. I continue to attend regular classes and workshops with Senior teachers here in the UK and was fortunate to be taught directly by Prashant and Geeta Iyengar during the Centenary Celebrations in Pune in December 2018.

Alongside my yoga teaching, I am also a Registered Mental Health Nurse and Community Public Health Nurse and work within the NHS.

Heather Brennan

After practising Iyengar yoga for over 20 years primarily with senior Iyengar teacher Alan Brown I realised that yoga made me feel so good both physically and psychologically that I needed to extend my practice.

I obtained my Introductory teaching certificate in October 2014 after 2 years of study and have since continued my yoga training. I now hold a Level 2 teaching certificate. I continue to develop my learning through professional development workshops, Iyengar UK conventions and study with senior Iyengar teachers.

Teaching yoga since 2015, I combined teaching regular classes in Burnley and Blackburn with full time work before opening the studio with Helen in Clitheroe in 2018. I retired from my role as Head of HR for a local authority in March 2019 and continue to enjoy sharing the benefits of Iyengar Yoga in Clitheroe.

Lucy Backhouse

Lucy joins the Ribble Valley Yoga studio from September 2021.  She has a Foundation Course qualification from the British Wheel of Yoga, a 300 hour teacher training diploma from The Feel Now School of Yoga accredited by Independent Yoga Network and a Pre and Post Natal teaching diploma from Poppy Perinatal Yoga.  Lucy regularly attends CPD courses and has been teaching for 8 years.

Lucy’s classes are nourishing and relaxing, focusing on gentle mobility of the spine firstly, then working around the body to the hips, pelvis, shoulders and awakening the feet and hands. Ensuring the movements are paired with an awareness of the breath combines to soothe and calm the nervous system; your mind becomes less busy, allowing a deeper dialogue with your body.

Drawing on a sound understanding of the body, good communication and humour, Lucy’s classes encourage you to embrace your individuality. Yoga is not a ‘one size fits all’ practice and Lucy offers you ways to explore postures that respect your unique history, lifestyle and challenges, regardless of fitness level, age, experience or ability to touch your toes!

“My classes are designed to support and encourage you to find ways to move more comfortably, so your everyday life feels easier. I have a functional approach to yoga and draw on postures and movement sequences that will help us ‘do life’ better – anchoring and grounding, easing physical aches and pains and reducing stress.”